This is the Gateway to your ultimate Circular Quay lunch destination.
Unless you’ve been splashing out on expensive corporate lunches or bringing your sandwiches from home each day, Circular Quay has never been the ideal place to be left hungry. Thankfully, someone finally answered to the 31,000 office workers, millions of tourists and other hungry Sydney-siders. Gateway Sydney has provided a vibrant dining destination that ranges from fast food, to up-market take away, to restaurants and rooftop terraces.
The $80 million development by DEXUS Property Group has transformed the Alfred Street complex into a multi-level food court, the ‘Gateway’ to Sydney city. As DEXUS CEO, Darren Steinberg says, “The new dining experience will enhance the vibrancy of one of Sydney’s most significant precincts. As the gateway to Sydney Harbour and the CBD, people will be able to enjoy a fantastic selection of dining options on a day/night basis during the week and on weekends”. The open complex runs between Pitt Street and Loftus Street, opening up the streetscape of the whole city. Australian architects, Woods Bagot, designed the complex with the intention of collaborating Sydney’s CBD with Circular Quay. This interdependence will increase further with the opening of the light rail, which will take commuters straight from the CBD to Gateway’s doorstep, and vice versa.
The ground floor has just opened, with a familiar food court setting, only more modern and with a fresh, airy feel. You’ll be greeted at the Loftus Street entrance by popular chains Roll’d, Hero Sushi, Mad Mex, Oporto, Schnitz and Top Juice to name a few. They’ve added a friendly familiarity to this big-city complex with their consistent and affordable options.
As you move further towards the main Alfred Street strip, the food chains change to a more ‘home-cooked’ style. Some of our favourites included Bread and Fill, and The Gozleme Co.
Bread and Fill is a new food chain that serves slow cooked meals, healthy salads and other home-cooked goods, in a fast-food manner. All meats are slow-cooked for hours on a French rotisserie to maintain a crispy outer layer, with a soft, juicy middle. Breakfast and lunch menus are offered in a make-your-own sandwich/salad manner and lunch-boxes are offered as take-away option, who didn’t love when mum packed their lunchbox?
The Gozleme Co. is a pleasant surprise, serving quality, homemade produce. The traditional Turkish-infused menu adds its own Mediterranean zest to Sydney’s front.
Keep walking and you’ll find the sweet pot of gold under this foodie rainbow. Adriano Zumbo, Messina and Four Frogs Creperie are located at the Alfred Street entrance. These three incredible dessert bars are the welcome-mat of the main Alfred Street entrance into Gateway, and serve some of Australia’s proudest delicacies. They are all open from early til late, to satisfy those late night dessert cravings… or early morning ones (we don’t judge).
Messina’s front window has their signature display of gelato tubs, all lined up waiting to be consumed. There are over 40 unique flavours available, with new creative specials rotating daily. Messina at Gateway also take gelato cake orders and often serve limited special desserts and other delicacies. We were lucky enough to steal one of the last of the opening day specials – an ice-cream almond croissant sandwich – a crispy, warm and flakey croissant, with sweet, frozen, creamy gelato. There are no words.
Four Frogs Creperie is the face of the Gateway dining experience. It was introduced by four Frenchmen with a rich story they were eager to share, so much so they hand-wrote it on the wall of their restaurant.
Four Frogs have two other locations in Mosman and Randwick, and following the success of their stores, opening another in the heart of Sydney has been very well received. The ‘four frogs’ had a very specific objective in opening their stores, and this was to bring an important part of French culture to Australia. “In France, we love our crepes. Whether sweet or savoury – called galettes – they are a delicious meal, traditionally enjoyed with a glass of cider or white wine and some good company”, they recall. If this is what they mean by bringing a part of France to Australia, we wholeheartedly applaud them.
If the pictures alone don’t excite you, pay close attention. Our savoury ‘galette’ is the waiter’s recommendation and apparently the most popular galette on the menu – ham, swiss cheese, egg and mushroom. The natural and fresh crepe is cooked to a slight crisp with a lightly oiled base that gives the galette a satisfying, yet simple crunch. The ham and mushrooms on the inside of the crepe are mixed and melted through with a thick, tasty swiss cheese that lead you to the middle of the crepe. Us Sydneysiders love our #yolkporn, when it comes to our morning eggs benny over coffee. The satisfaction of an oozing yolk glazing over melted cheese, ham and mushroom on a slightly golden crepe is no different.
The sweet Nutella and strawberry crepe is something not as foreign to us here. Anything with Nutella has been devoured and enjoyed by almost every resident of Sydney. But if you ever have cravings for a late-night crepe after one too many cocktails at Opera Bar, Gateway is here to scratch that itch. What’s even better is the option to dine-in, or grab a take-away cone.
The unveiling of the ground level of Gateway has added an authentic, and much needed, cultural zest to the forefront of Sydney city, and there is much more to come! With another three levels under construction, mid-September to October will see the launch of Gateways first level. Burger Project by Neil Perry, Chat Thai, and Japanese BBQ concept from David Loh, Tokyo Laundry, are just a few of the new additions to the Gateway complex.
Level two will launch a bit further into the year, with a focus on restaurants and dining including Hurricanes Grill and laksa house Jimmy’s Recipe. Popina, a collaboration restaurant between eateries Salt Meats Cheese and Shuk, will also open as a two-level restaurant with a dining terrace overlooking Sydney Harbour.
The Gateway development also includes the refurbishment of the Ship Inn and Paragon Hotel, two of Sydney’s heritage hotels and restaurants in Ciricular Quay.
This multi-level complex, along with the Shipp Inn and Paragon hotel, have added much needed options to Sydney’s greatest landmark area. The fusion of our favourite fast food chains, take-away eateries and dine-in restaurants supports the culture of Sydney and places it right in front of the biggest tourist-attractions, office buildings and favourite Sydney destinations. Adding new experiences, opportunities and choice to the landmark front of Circular Quay.