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  1. The cold dishes from the snack flight at Longshore
    Photograph: Jason Loucas
  2. Jarrod Walsh and Dorothy Lee
    Photograph: Jason Loucas
  3. The hot dishes at Longshore
    Photograph: Jason Loucas
  4. The Strawberry Old-Fashioned at Longshor
    Photograph: Jason Loucas
  5. A sashimi dish at Longshore
    Photograph: Jason Loucas

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

Kensington Streets’ cool, quirky dining precinct just got a hot new neighbour

If you thought it’s impossible for ‘coastal’ design to not look naff, you certainly aren’t alone. But the old warehouse space previously home to Automata has been given a luxe marine makeover in honour of its recent inception – sustainable seafood restaurant and wine bar, Longshore. And Sydney-based interior design firm Guru Projects have absolutely killed it – the building's stark, industrial bones now exude grace and warmth, thanks to a raw, yet refined glow-up.

Soft linens, sandy terrazzo tiles and textural features are evocative of Australia’s shores, while coiled rope, a pearlescent bar top and a muted, pelagic colour palette really take the brutalist edge off.

Ex-Hartsyarders Dot Lee and Jarrod Walsh have curated three ocean-inspired dining experiences spiked with Asian flavour and executed with skillful, contemporary flair. There’s a la carte, a five-course tasting menu, and the $80 a head ‘snack flight’ – ten courses, served in two stages (hot, then cold).

Should you attempt to make a reservation online (recommended, getting a seat close to 7pm proved tricky) you will need to commit to one of the three menus at the time of booking, a requirement which for us, somewhat stole the fun. If rocking up, equipping yourself with a cocktail and perusing the menu at leisure is as much your jam as it is ours, maybe opt for a more relaxed long lunch session, instead.

Speaking of drinks, the brininess of a Dirty Gin Martini is just the ticket to prelude a succession of seafaring snacks, and Jaimi, who was on the tins that day, absolutely understood the assignment. Ice cold Poor Tom’s ‘first pour’ gin, a single beast of an olive and flawless marriage of flavour, all presented in an etched Nick and Nora glass. Cheers!

The first half of the snack flight arrives, served on a glazed, artisan platter reminiscent of swirling sea froth. To the side, a petite earthenware dish offers up olives filled with a strawberry puree, and strawberries, macerated in olive brine. The most unexpected, playful pairing. Love to see it.

A petite pastry shell cups delicate pieces of spiced, raw black tiger prawn. There’s a real satisfying kick of heat here, and it's offset to perfection with the tang of lime caviar. Scallops bathe in mandarin kosho, adorned with delicate wires of makrut lime, and mussels are pickled in a vibrant escabeche, topped with tiny fronds of fresh fennel. All in all it is nothing short of a pleasure, though if one were forced to pick holes, the chunk of raw daikon dipped in vegan ‘taramasalata’ leans a little too close to low effort. Crudites with tahini and sesame seeds could quite easily be assembled at home.

The second half commences to great acclaim, with grilled Clarence River octopus skewers that are tender and drooled in a delicate, smoky soy glaze. The ‘rusty wire’ oyster is a masterpiece. The mollusc is shown a quick flash of steam before returning to its shell where it swims in a pool of warm, lightly truffled brown butter. It’s impressive enough to unequivocally convert this former ‘oyster purist’ of a writer.

The land meets the sea with a slightly sticky, perfectly fatty lamb rib, encrusted with native tamarind and pepperberry, escorted to the table by head chef Ryan Perry. He also comes bearing the veritable gift of housemade rye – warm, soft, fragrant with caraway and served with what is quite likely the best butter on Earth.

The whipped cultured butter is marbled with soy, salted kombu and rice wine vinegar. If you're going to make something this delicious, you have a civic duty to serve more of it. We swiped our bread desperately through the last skerricks, wantonly – and not in the least bit ashamedly. More, please.

An abalone party pie is, for want of a better word – smashable. It’s eccentric, and absolutely owns it. A perfect little hand pie, packed full of ocean flavour, and teamed with a tangy mushroom ketchup that packs all the punch you’d expect from it’s traditional tomato counterpart, but with a tonne more umami and a complex depth of flavour.

You could, and unless you’re ravenous, probably should, stop here. The snack flight menu is just enough to feel satisfied, without weightiness. The perfect second-date dinner. If like us, however, you found the option to add extras impossible to refuse, you’re in for an absolute treat with the grilled mb6 Westholme flank steak, spooned liberally with butter and generously crowned with globs of unctuous bone marrow.

Chippendale’s restaurant-rich enclave has scored a real winner. Sustainable just got sexy, with this hot new restaurant that’s definitely making waves.


Looking for more? Check out the finest seafood restaurants in Sydney

Check out our guide to the most sustainable restaurants, bars and cafés in Sydney

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Carly Sophia
Written by
Carly Sophia


5 Kensington St
Opening hours:
Mon & Thu 6-11pm; Fri-Sat noon-2.30pm, 6pm-late; Sun noon-4.30pm
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