Redfern's new Australiana-inspired restaurant with top-notch burgers and fairy bread pudding.
On a weeknight at the beginning of July, Bush very quietly opened its doors. Still learning the ropes of the business, Head Chef Grant Lawn and his team didn't want to overwhelm themselves.
Despite their best efforts (or because of them), the George Street hole-in-the-wall quickly became a hit, and now regularly sells out of its burgers and pud on the weekend.
The brains behind the concept, Lawn saw the restaurant as an opportunity to bring the Australian bush back to the forefront of Sydney's dining landscape — by opening Bush right in the middle of Redfern. "I wanted to make a positive difference in the community," says Lawn. "Start a place that could bring people together and start conversations, while eating food inspired by the Australian outback."
The menu is small (really small), but there isn't an item that doesn't look appealing. Cheeseburgers, chips, fairy bread and butter pudding — it's as if the menu from your sixth birthday party got a revamp.
The American-style cheeseburger at Bush is very good. It's certainly not Australian, but Lawn said they had to put it on the menu because "that's what Aussies want". For the meat-free folk, there's also a mean mushroom burger.
There is one item on the menu that confuses us, however: the notoriously un-Australian bloomin' onion. "Yes", laughs Lawn, "but we're taking it back and reinventing it!".
Born and raised in Sydney, Lawn briefly studied landscape architecture before turning his focus to cooking. While he was playing around with the idea of opening his own restaurant, he realised he could combine the two by landscaping a restaurant to resemble the Australian bush he grew up in. Which is exactly what he did. The space is filled with roughly cut stools and long wooden tables, native Australian plants adorn the tables and you'll spot stuffed toy versions of native Australian fauna hidden around, too.
Bush started as a pop-up in popular Sydney establishments like Young Henrys, before Lawn found the perfect spot in Redfern to set up shop permanently.
In the future, Lawn plans to host live acoustic shows, 'locals nights' and workshops. To get to the front of the line, you can join the Bush Club for first dibs on future live shows and degustation nights.
Images: Kitti Gould.