It’s been nearly 6 years since Cafe Paci last served Sydney diners. And now, the venue is back (and here to stay).
Some would call Pasi Petänen the master of pop up dining experiences. In fact, it was how Sydney foodies came to know the Finnish chef back in 2013. Tucked away in the Eastern Suburbs, Pasi opened the doors to what would become one of the city’s most innovative dining concepts.
Finding its home in Darlinghurst’s ex-Cafe Pacifico digs, Cafe Paci 1.0 was the Mexican-meets-Finnish pop up restaurant that earned itself a reputation for all the right reasons. The pop up took out the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide Innovation Award with Pasi named as Chef of the Year the following year. Sydneysiders adored this award-winning seasonal set menu, with inspired dishes that challenged the status quo. But like all good things, the pop up’s 12 month season ended with the site slated for demolition.
Since then, Pasi has been popping up around Sydney at a series of experiential events and dining experiences. You might have spotted him at the Italian pop up That’s Amore, Food by Colours and Sydney’s natural wine festival Rootstock. And now, Pasi has decided to find a permanent place to call home in the heart of the Inner West.
Meet Cafe Paci 2.0, the latest venture from Pasi in collaboration with sommelier and wine importer, Giorgio De Maria. Taking up residence at 131 King Street, and rubbing shoulders with Newtown’s Bella Brutta pizzeria, the restaurant is set to be one of the most exciting openings of 2019. In line with Sydney’s love affair with snack-styling dining, Cafe Paci 2.0 delivers a European-influenced a la carte menu and wine list focusing on small scale producers. Plus, they’ve called in Angus Burton from Tasmania’s Spirit People to consult on their cocktail and broader drink offering.
On the menu, you’ll find Cafe Paci’s iconic potato and molasses bread with butter alongside everything from devilled egg with trout roe to pickled kingfish with potato and buttermilk plus more experimental dishes like potato dumplings with XO trout.
The restaurant has been carefully designed by George Livissianis (responsible for The Apollo, Cho Cho San, The Dolphin Hotel and Chin Chin Sydney), bringing a relaxed neighbourhood vibe to the space. For Pasi, its all about letting diners pick and choose their way through the experience. “We want the new Paci to be somewhere where you can come for a glass of wine and oysters for 20 minutes or somewhere for a full night of dining,” Pasi explains.
Cafe Paci 2.0 is now open at 131 King Street, Newtown, open Monday to Friday from 5:30 pm till late and Saturday from 12 pm to late. Although walk-ins are available, bookings are recommended for all sittings. To secure your spot, click here.