If you've lived in Sydney long enough, we're sure there's been at least one time when you've found yourself in the food black hole between UTS, Haymarket and the Powerhouse Museum. But new development Darling Square will provide a much-needed sanctuary between those landmarks when it opens on the old site of the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
Along with the residential and business buildings for 2500 CommBank employees, 3000 residents and 1300 students, Darling Square will also set up a food precinct with some of Sydney's cult names in coffee and food. And it's quite the roll-call. Darlinghurst's Edition Coffee Roasters, fried chicken slingers Belle's Hot Chicken, Marrickville Pork Roll and poke specialists Fishbowl are among the announced vendors opening up before May. Toby's Estate is already open in the building's lobby.
Melbourne burger bosses 8bit are also setting up shop in the development, bringing their audience favourite burgers — and arcade-style fit-out — to Sydney for the first time. Head chef Shayne McCallum is excited to be pushing the business into new turf.
"The menu will be the same as our three other Melbourne stores, but we will mix it up and do something different for the Sydney launch," McCallum says. "Although each store is an evolution of each former store, we will always have the design of the arcade games we loved back in the day."
Edition's new outfit — which will be their first permanent venue outside of Darlinghurst — will serve coffee along with the Japanese-Scandi dishes the cafe is known for.
"I think the most exciting change will be going from a modern cafe menu to focussing more on all-day dining," Edition Darling Square chef Jack New says. "We'll have a gas kitchen, a yakitori charcoal grill, a much bigger Scandinavian-inspired pastry section and an alcohol list, all of which will characterise our darker, sexier sister venue at Darling Square."
According to Domain, the precinct will be one of the most convenient in Sydney, with a 'walkability score' of 100. Last year, all 391 apartments at Darling Square were snapped up in a matter of hours. The project has been developed by Lendlease, who also worked on Barangaroo. While some residents and workers have already moved into the building, the retail and food precinct is expected to be open for business by May 2018.