Note: this is an edited version of an article that first appeared in Milk Bar Mag.
A smart new eatery has opened in Brunswick, with dessert superstar turned savory queen Phillipa Sibley at the helm, smack in the middle of Sydney road’s thoroughfare (on the corner of Sydney and Albert Streets of course).
Doors open at 8am – simple breakfasts of piadini and pastries to begin, and a full breakfast menu to follow in January when the kitchen has settled in.
For now it’s all day dining off the very modern menu. If you’re snacking at the bar the pizzas will please (perhaps the Albert St special – roasted peppers, pork and fennel sausage with smoked mozzarella). Or if you like it salty try the potted rainbow trout rillettes or the deliciously moist fresh broad bean felafel served with tangy tahini yoghurt.
Catering to those after something more substantial there’s a selection of pastas (try saffron gnocchi with braised veal, broad beans and sage) and modern Mediterranean themed mains with subtle European influences, from coteletta of pork with red cabbage and apple slaw, to a summer cassoulet. There’s charcuterie and cheese aplenty, and of course there’s the calling card of Sibley’s signature deserts (the ‘Snickers’ of Masterchef fame was the special on the day of my visit).
A side-room retail space acts as both bottle shop and providore (with a peep hole window into the kitchen to boot). With a focus on hyper-local labels (stocking Brunswick produce first and foremost, then moving outwards) there’s more stock to come, but the tidy help-yourself space boasts the finest breads, pickles, cheeses, smoked fish, charcuterie and crackers your local dollars can buy. There’s a sustainable focus – refillable oil bottles on a return trade system are available now, soon there will terrines, pizzas, condiments and potted hams available on the ‘zero-packaging’ system of reusable glass containers.
The Sibley factor is high – there’s a copy of her new cookbook on display everywhere you look – but hell, if she was the Executive Chef at my restaurant I’d probably take out a full page ad in the Epicure. Albert St F&W isn’t going to need to ride one her reputation to find success though – the sheer style and quality of the food, service and decor will speak for itself. A delicious journey to be sure.
Albert St Food & Wine
Corner of Albert St & Sydney Rd, Brunswick
Monday to Thursday 8am to 12pm, Friday to Saturday 8am to 1am, Sunday 8am to 11pm.
Here is a series of shots I took for a comparative story about Brunswick Street cheap eateries Bimbo Deluxe and Naked for Satan (NFS). Honestly only wrote it so I could put my name next to an article called Bimbo vs Naked. It was a toss up between that and Naked Bimbos. Tough call. The full story is here, if you want.
The NFS shots kick arse over the Bimbo’s shots. It’s too dark in there. I should get a tripod.
80c pintxos 12noon-4pm weekdays and 7pm-10pm Monday-Wednesday. They’re normally $2 each. It’s an honestly system – keep the little toothpicks in each pintxos and pay when you’re done. Cold pintxos sit in a cabinet awaiting selection, hot pinxtos are handed around at intervals, but it’s a lot of baguette when the best part is the treat spiked on top. It’s not really dinner but at 80c a pop it can be if you want.
Naked For Satan
285 Brunswick St, Fitzroy