A new Sicilian restaurant headed by internationally acclaimed chef Lino Sauro is the latest venue announced for the still-blooming Kensington Street precinct. Opening on the second floor of the newly restored Old Rum Store, it will join first-level French restaurant Bistrot Gavroche and a soon-to-open pop-up private kitchen on level three. The best part? It'll have its own rooftop terrace.
Sauro has spent the past ten years in Singapore where he headed Sicilian restaurant Gattopardo. His new Sydney venture will be called Olio, which is the Italian word for olive oil — a very appropriate name given that olive oil, which will make up the base of the Sauro's dishes, will be sourced from his family farm in Sicily. As for the rest of the ingredients, you can expect seafood, wild fennel, raisins, saffron and couscous to play a big part in the menu. Sicily's natural environment — like the ocean and its abundance of olive trees — and historic relations with North Africa and Mediterranean Europe are major influences on Sicilian cuisine. Sauro's own farming heritage has also inspired a passion for cooking with fresh, local produce.
For Olio, he's prioritised international award winners in his choice of architects too. LAVA, who are also responsible for designing Abu Dhabi's Masdar eco city centre and Sydney's Martian Embassy, have designed both the indoor dining room and the rooftop terrace to reflect the menu. They'll incorporate the industrial history of the space — like its exposed brick and loft-style windows — into a modern revamp, which will include hints of Mediterranean blue and olive green in the colour scheme and Sicilian tiles. Those dining on the terrace will be treated to views of Central Park's vertical garden and Kensington Street's Spice Alley while surrounded by olive trees.
Olio is expected to open in the first quarter of 2017. For a hard opening date, keep checking their website.