PLAYMAKER
The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Sunday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Sydney
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
15° & CLOUDY ON SUNDAY 25 AUGUST IN SYDNEY
FOOD & DRINK

Ester's Mat Lindsay Is Opening a Tiny Ten-Seat Shawarma Bar in Surry Hills

It will have just four menu items: lamb, falafel, a breakfast wrap and a 'not' halal snack pack.
By Samantha Teague
June 11, 2019
  shares

Ester's Mat Lindsay Is Opening a Tiny Ten-Seat Shawarma Bar in Surry Hills

It will have just four menu items: lamb, falafel, a breakfast wrap and a 'not' halal snack pack.
By Samantha Teague
June 11, 2019
  shares

The chef behind two top Sydney restaurants is changing tact. He's swapping fine dining and natural wine in sleek surrounds for something cheap, cheerful and ready to cure your hangover: shawarmas.

Mat Lindsay, of Chippendale's Ester and Surry Hills' Poly, is teaming up with Russell Beard, Mark Dundon and Jin Ng of Paramount Coffee Project and Paramount House Hotel (in which Poly is located) to open a tiny ten-seat shawarma shop, which is set to launch on Commonwealth Street in early September.

As well as opening its doors for those necessary late-night, drunken snacks, the new takeaway spot — dubbed Shwarmama — will also be open for breakfast and lunch. In fact, it'll be open all day.

On the menu, it'll have just four options: an Israeli-style breakfast kebab called sabich, with fried eggplant and boiled eggs; a spicy lamb shawarma in laffa flatbread; fried-to-order falafel stuffed in fresh pita with garlic sauce and mango pickle; and a NHSP (not halal snack pack). It'll also be fully licensed, with a red and white wine on tap, as well as beer and a craft soda.

The focus will, of course, be the lamb, which Lindsay will prepare using local NSW meat covered in a spice-heavy marinade, which will then be sliced and slow-cooked on the signature rotisserie. The team will also make all its own sauces, pickles and condiments and there'll be a focus on sustainable packaging. Those whose hangovers often render them bedridden will be happy to know the shop will also offer delivery.

So, how did the fine dining chef and three hotel owners decide to open shawarma shop? "We were going through a phase at Ester of making shawarma-style things for Sunday lunches, and got really excited about it," says Lindsay in a statement. "I half-jokingly threw the idea out there to Russell, and here we are."

While it does seem like a bit of a curveball move, Lindsay is not the first fine dining chef to throw his hat in the shawarma ring. Late last year, famed chef, cookbook author and owner of the global Momofuku chain David Chang opened Bang Bar, a takeaway spot in New York serving up a Korean take on shawarmas.

Shwarmama is slated to open at Shop 2, 106–112 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills in early September.

Top image: Ester.

Published on June 11, 2019 by Samantha Teague

  •   shares
      shares
  • VIEW COMMENTS
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x