Orana In Residence – Sydney | A Photo Recap

It may only be have been a five-week residency, but the kangaroo skin sign signalling the pop-up – made by Jock Zonfrillo himself – signalled a no-expenses-spared residency. The restaurant’s Relais & Chateaux plaque is also proudly displayed outside.

Please click here for my full blog post on Jock Zonfrillo’s magnum opus as it operates in Adelaide.

This post is based on two independently-paid visits to Orana In Residence – Sydney

Date Last Visited: 22/Sep/2019 & 6/Sep/2019 (2 visits)
Address: 85 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Price Guide (approx): $350pp set menu, plus drinks

The dining room, formerly the Longrain’s, has been given a high-end treatment that still evokes the feeling of being in the bush. It all cost a pretty dollar, so I’m told

As someone who prefers to keep the focus on food no matter the pomp or pageantry of the underlying restaurant, ‘exciting’ is an adjective that’s rarely trotted out. And yet, for Orana’s 5-week residency at the old Longrain site in Sydney – the biggest pop-up of the near, no doubt – exciting is the only word that appropriately captured the experience. Or should I say, experiences?

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you know pretty much everything there is to know about eating at the Best Restaurant in Australia (by various publications, no less). In fact, I will assume knowledge. Jock Zonfrillo’s utter devotion to native Australian ingredients is spearheading – possibly redefining – a new wave of true ‘Modern Australian’. Of course, we also cannot his unwavering quest to push forward the culinary ways of Australia’s first people through the Orana Foundation. It comes with the territory, starting all that time ago the conversation between Zonfrillo and that busker at Circular Quay.
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Having visited the Adelaide institution twice – both excellent experiences – Orana had set itself a high bar for its Sydney iteration. In the end, there was clearly nothing to fear: while the Adelaide experience wasn’t short of a compliment, they outdid themselves with Sydney. The dining room is the kind of understated luxury one would expect to find at an outback eco-lodge, and is perhaps the most beautiful dining room I’ve seen in a long time. It didn’t even need to rely on panoramic views of some beach, harbour, or *cough* coathanger.

The prettiest dining room in Sydney, pop-up or not.

In terms of the food, Zonfrillo & team have introduced more courses, more deliciousness, and some twists to Adelaide favourites. As is the norm with this kind of food – 22 courses, no less – not every course is bound to impress to the nines. This is the challenge when serving inherently challenging cuisine, but the mission is important, and the results speak for themselves even if my palate didn’t always agree.

Sure, for all this, you certainly pay more than you would in Adelaide. At $350 for just the 22-course set menu, it’s nearly 50% more. But you know it’s money well spent when you go a second time in nearly as many weeks. With only five weeks in Sydney, I couldn’t settle for just one visit.

I did say exciting, did I not? But I’m still kinda glad for my wallet that they didn’t stick around. Hah. Guess I’ll see you again soon enough in Adelaide.

This post is based on two independently-paid visits to Orana In Residence – Sydney

Ups:

  • Orana was in Sydney for five weeks!

Downs:

  • Orana is no longer in Sydney

Pro-Tip:

  • Find an excuse to visit Adelaide. I hear the wine there is pretty good.

Would I return: this is my fourth time so…

F8.5 | S4 | A3
8.5/10 Caesars
See how I score here

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  • Last modified: September 29, 2019

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