Beyond Definition, Penelope’s Graces The Harbour

Eat, Sydney / 13 December 2023

Penelope’s is not your local fusion joint.

Forget boring boxes and tired labels. Penelope’s, nestled in the heart of Circular Quay, throws open the door to a vibrant party where flavours sing and stories dance.

Forget fusion; this isn’t about neatly categorized cuisines. It’s about the love affair between Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Australian influences, a culinary love letter penned by the dynamic trio of Cuong Nguyen (the mastermind behind Hello Auntie, Hey Chu, and Fugo), Lee Potter Cavanagh (formerly of Rosenbaum & Fuller), and Bremmy Setiyoko (ex-Spice Temple and Sepia).

Selection of menu items from Penelope's Circular Quay

Imagine a prawn cocktail basking in the sun-kissed warmth of a bush tomato Marie Rose sauce, its smoky allure enhanced by charred witlof and the vibrant dance of nuoc cham. This isn’t just food; it’s a celebration of the very multicultural way of life that makes Australia unique.

Head chef Bremmy Setiyoko weaves his personal journey into every dish. His childhood in Indonesia echoes in the smoky allure of the bakar chicken, its charm further enhanced by a garlicky toum sauce – a nod to his adopted Sydney home. Each bite is a journey, a voyage across continents and cultures, all served with a generous helping of Sydney’s vibrant soul.

Bar view of Penelope's Circular Quay

But Penelope’s isn’t just a medley for your taste buds. Get ready to sip on a cocktail named after a mischievous bogan, a concoction of aged rum, macadamia, wattleseed, and Vegemite caramel – a delicious rebellion against the ordinary. Or better yet, share this rebellious feast with friends, laughter harmonising with the blend of flavours and textures that build upon the diversity of the menu and Australia, all while gazing at the iconic Harbour Bridge.

Penelope’s is a place to discover, not define. With sundowner snacks starting at a mere $6 and lavish banquet menus available, it’s an invitation to explore, to lose yourself in the vibrant flavours and stories that unfold on your plate. So leave your preconceptions at the door and embrace the delightful chaos that is Penelope’s.