It’s no secret to long-term residents of the Sutherland Shire that the southern region of Sydney has stepped it up on the food and wine front in recent years. And while the pristine beaches and national parks have long been garlanded with praise, the Shire is now being heralded for its gastronomic delights, too. If you’re new to the area or passing through, here are a few new local gems to look out for.
Eat Burger Cronulla
This place manages to be a little bit then and a little bit now. The whole proposition is perfect. Burgers, fries and blue skies. Chef Paul Camilleri (who trained at Banc, earned a hat at Sojourn before moving to Mim’s in Burraneer) could bang on about his burgers forever, because they are that good: big, modern butch creations that offer maximum juices-running-down-to-the-elbow fun. So much umami one’s head might explode. Wash it down with some pillowy fries and a craft beer and then sit and contemplate how bloody marvellous life is.
44 Gerrale St, Cronulla Beach, 9523 6471, eatburger.co
Frank and Blanco Sutherland
In Sutherland, the hot new ticket in the southern suburb has to be Frank and Blanco, as the rippling effect of the Mexican wave hits the outer reaches of the Shire. Locals demonstrated ownership over the tequila bar and restaurant from the get-go and in fact helped fund it via a Kickstarter campaign. In the kitchen, you will find Tom Stott (former sous chef at Est.), who has curated a menu of contemporary Mexican fare that includes soft shell crab tacos, El Diablo prawns and a signature street salad spiked with jalapenos. While Stott works his magic on the food front, owners Brendon Hill and Shahir Galal share their passion for tequila behind the bar. A Day of the Dead mural dominates the narrow space, which also features pendant lighting, bare wood tables, boxes of cacti and collections of tequila and hot sauce.
790 Princes Hwy, Sutherland, 9545 0005
Low & Lofty’s Cronulla
Want the lowdown on Low & Lofty’s? It will ricochet off Texas via the Caribbean and arrive via the roar of a conch shell found on the beach in Cronulla. Yep, it’s fusion but jerk seasoning makes most things better so get ready to get amongst it when the doors open mid-August. Another reason to love Low & Lofty’s from the get-go (apart from a bit of a Pirates of the Caribbean vibe) is the fact it is one of the first new kids on the block to see the potential in an upstairs space in Cronulla Plaza. Well done to owners Trent Roberts (ex venue manager at Belgian Beer Cafe), Steve Lyon (ex Pool Bar at The Ivy) and partner Madeline (ex-Bucket List, Bondi). As for the name, Low & Lofty’s – Roberts says it’s a reference to the fact that he is much shorter (read: low) than his business partner Steve, who reaches the ‘lofty’ height of 6ft, seven inches.
51A Cronulla St, Cronulla
La Fresca Cronulla
Johnny and Cindy Rechichi have taken over the site next door to local hotspot Croydon Lane Wine & Tapas Bar and opened up a little Italian trattoria, dubbed La Fresca. The dynamic duo – in partnership with businessman Lenny Davis – have also ramped up their local expansion by taking over Zink (1 McDonald St, Cronulla), the bar overlooking the Alley that has been dormant for six months. Chef George Sideris (who trained under Luke Mangan at glass brasserie) will hold onto the mantle of executive chef.
Shop 7, 30 The Kingsway
Life’s a breeze in Cronulla
And while there have been many whispers about what Sammut Developments plans to do with the space below Breeze apartments on Gerrale St in Cronulla, managing director Allen Sammut, of Sammut Developments has confirmed it will include Zeus Street Greek Food, a wood-fired pizza restaurant, burger and beer bar and an organic eatery. Sammut Developments has also taken over the Art Deco building that once was the Commonwealth Bank, which will also help anchor Cronulla as a food destination. One last bit of insider goss is that Luke Collins, of Luke Benchmark, is taking over the lease next to Eat Burger to opens Shucked Oyster Bar and Posh Take Away, giving us a dozen more reasons to visit Cronulla.
Gerrale Street Cronulla
Queen Margherita of Savoy
SAVE THE DATE: Lee Carroll, of AVPN-accredited local pizzeria, Queen Margherita of Savoy, will be hosting a progressive walking dinner in Cronulla on September 15. For bookings, call (02) 9527 4992.