Pyrmont has welcomed a new Euro-leaning wine bar, helmed by acclaimed Sydney chef Justin North (Hotel Centennial, Becasse). Opening this week within boutique hotel Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour, Mister Percy pulls its inspiration from the Mediterranean — for its menu, wine list and designer fitout. It's named in honour of Percy Ewart, a former wool classer who worked in the site's original wool store.
In the kitchen, Justin North has collaborated with head chef Luca Guiotto (A Tavola, Catalina) to deliver a considered lineup of skewered pintxos and large share dishes, built around classic coastal European flavours and top local produce. You'll find creations such as chargrilled citrus-cured kingfish with horseradish yoghurt, gnochetti with zucchini and cime di rapa, and tortelli with haloumi and broccoli purée.
The European vibe is mirrored in the drinks offering, too, with Ovolo Hotel's Group Wine Curator Shun Eto assembling a 100-strong wine selection that heroes Mediterranean grape varieties and local producers. Expect to find yourself kicking back with drops like Beechworth's Jamsheed rousanne or a touriga-shiraz blend from Gundagai — with many wines served by the quartino, 250ml — or, if you veer away from wine, NSW craft beers and classic Italian cocktails.
While you're doing that, you can admire the luxurious, old-meets-new interiors by the award-winning Luchetti Krelle (Banksii, Matinee). Local artist Oliver Watts has painted Australian-inspired artworks that adorn both the walls in the 60-person main area and in the two private dining rooms.
The former hotel lobby has been transformed into a classy blend of leather, cane bark, plush fabrics and Venetian-style paintings, paying homage to its history while simultaneously celebrating the contemporary.