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FOOD & DRINK

The Sunshine Inn Is the New Vegetarian Restaurant and Cocktail Bar in Redfern Continental's Old Digs

Out the back, in the old GDR space, you'll find a degustation-only dining room and lounge.
By Marissa Ciampi
September 30, 2020
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The Sunshine Inn Is the New Vegetarian Restaurant and Cocktail Bar in Redfern Continental's Old Digs

Out the back, in the old GDR space, you'll find a degustation-only dining room and lounge.
By Marissa Ciampi
September 30, 2020
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A Sydney institution has closed its doors. While Redfern Continental (and its cocktail bar GDR) are no more, we're happy to announce that a new venue has already taken its place, with Golden Gully owners Daniel McBride and Dynn Smulewicz opening a sister venue to their Leichhardt small bar last week.

The new venue, like it's predecessor, is split in two. Out the front, you'll find casual restaurant The Sunshine Inn and, out the back in the old GDR space, is a degustation-only dining room dubbed DD's.

Gully's Executive Chef Emma Evans (Alibi) is in the kitchen serving up elevated gastropub eats up front and a three-to-five course degustation menu out back — all of which is vegetarian and focused on locally sourced produce. For The Sunshine Inn, expect jalapeño poppers with tapioca cream cheese and smoked garlic hummus, plus New South Wales cheese and olive plates. For larger dishes, there'll be a vego 'meatball' sub, vegan scallops (made with mushroom) and a seasonal pasta dish going for a very reasonable $15.

Casandra Hannagan

While the front bar is bright and airy with a minimalist fit-out — think white walls with navy accents and natural timber furnishings — the back restaurant is dark and moody.

"I loved the moodiness of GDR, so we've gone even further with that," says co-owner McBride. "We've painted the ceiling a deep blue, reupholstered all of the booths and chairs in velvet and added in a chandelier."

The intimate space hosts two dinner sittings per night (with bookings essential), then turns into a cocktail lounge once the kitchen is done. It's looking to be one of Sydney's best priced degustation menus, too, ranging from a very reasonable $39–59 (for three-to-five courses, respectively).

Expect more refined fare here that's reminiscent of Gully's set menu. It will change regularly, but some of the dishes you're likely to find on the opening menu include turnip ravioli with strawberry gum, corn-crusted fennel served atop smoked chat potatoes and a decadent Ferrero Rocher pie.

Cassandra Hannagan

Also similar to the one at Gully, the cocktail menu focuses on Aussie spirits and native flavours — but The Sunshine Inn's list will include international booze, too.

"I found with the Gully that, though I love doing Australian-only spirits, it's a bit restrictive if, say, someone wants a margarita," says McBride. "What we're doing instead is focusing on different approaches to classic cocktails, while getting extra creative with our house-made syrups so all of those native flavours will still shine through."

The 16-strong cocktail list includes The Cure All (a tequila and mezcal take on the penicillin, made with jalapeño and ginger syrup), an amaro spritz (made using Poor Toms' Imbroglio, strawberry gum syrup and prosecco) and the Aussie Amari Sour, which McBride described as "a grown-up version of an amaretto sour".

The wine list takes cues from the Gully as well, focusing almost exclusively on Aussie drops while balancing the natural with the accessible. Local winemakers Eloquesta, La Violetta and Yetti and the Kokonut all represent, and brews from Sydney's Wildflower, Akasha and Grifter are pouring as well.

Find The Sunshine Inn and DD's at 180 Redfern Street, Redfern. The Sunshine Inn is open 3pm–midnight Wednesday–Sunday and DD's is open 6pm–midnight Thursday–Saturday.

Images: Cassandra Hannagan

Published on September 30, 2020 by Marissa Ciampi

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