And three more on the list

July 2009

As we’ve noted over the past few months, there’s no shortage of new openings. Here are three more:

Fans of the late Eat City in the City Hotel in King Street need only walk down to the bottom of that street to find the team of Jeff Schroeter (chef) and David Murphy (up front) at the brand-new Eleven Kitchen & Cellar (11 Lime Street, King Street Wharf, Ph 9290 3500). As the name implies, there’s a dining room and a wine bar — more soon.

And there’s yet another space for one of our favourite Italian chefs, Eugene Maiale, whose A Tavola won a category award from us last year. The new venture is Omerta (235 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, Ph 9360 1011) where Maiale has teamed up with sommelier Glen Davis to showcase his Abruzzese home cooking. But what a curious name. Omerta — with the accent on the ‘a’, which means you stress the ‘a’ — is the word used in the south of Italy for the code of silence or, as Latizio Paoli’s Mafia Brotherhoods puts it, “the categorical prohibition of co-operation with state authorities or reliance on its services even when one has been a victim of a crime”. Hmmm. Maiale’s spin on it is that it means “a merging of families”. Well, yes, Eugene. Depends on your definition of family. Still, there’s no doubt the food will be good — and we won’t be silenced on that.

And, finally, up on Oxford Street, home of the wild, weird and wonderful, is what we are told is a “multi-faceted venue” under the general heading of Ruby Rabbit (321 Oxford Street, Ph 9332 3187), a series of spaces. First, there’s the Big Rig Diner, a truckstop diner complete with burgers and hot dogs. Then there’s the Houndstooth Room, billed as an “unmarked drink den hidden away at the back of the Big Rig Diner”.

Upstairs it gets so weird we don’t feel qualified to tell you much about it until we’ve actually been there. Suffice to say there’s the First Floor, which really does defy description. Then there’s a nightclub, the Palace of Versailles-themed De Nom, which has been around for a while (like Borat, it’s so 2006). And the Ryeball Room, another cocktail bar, is described as “decant”, which, we assume, means decadent, unless they’re gonna pour us out of there — quite possible. Aaah, Oxford Street, madcap one minute, passed out the next.

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