Review: Hinchcliff House

Bars, Drink, Eat, Sydney / 28 April 2021

Circular Quay just scored a four-level dining and drinking destination inside a revamped heritage wool store.

In the heart of Sydney city within walking distance from the Opera House and iconic Harbour Bridge views, a bunch of hospitality heavyweights have restored an 1860’s wool store. With beautiful exposed sandstone walls and wooden beams bringing the place heritage charm, it’s easy to see why international restauranteur Scott Brown snatched up the opportunity to turn this venue into a multi-level dining destination.

Grana on the ground floor is both a bakery and an all-day eatery. The name translates to “grain” in Italian, and references the custom made mill from Austria that you will spot when you walk in the door. For breakfast, grab a freshly baked pastry and Allpress coffee to go, or sit down and savour over an Italian-inspired dine-in menu featuring stracciatella with agrodolce tomato salad and in-house baked focaccia, sweet potato and egg yolk ravioli with brown butter, Blue Swimmer crab omelette with salsa verde and rocket, and smoked pork sausage with poached eggs and red almond pesto.

Your lunch and dinner experience will offer an Australian interpretation of Italian dining to better suit the tastes of Circular Quay corporates. You won’t see red check table clothes but you will see burrata, Capelli, salami, cannoli and affogatos gracing the menu. Our highlights were the house-made Capelli pasta, delicate thin strands of egg dough served with fragments of broccoli, salty anchovy, zesty lemon, chilli and pangrattato, and the Margra lamb served perfectly pink with a mouthwatering green sauce. If you’re vegan (or not), we’d go the Cauliflower cotoletta served with the best almond cream you’ve ever tasted. As for wine, let the team of wine enthusiasts pick the perfect tipple to suit your tastes.

Once you’ve finished your wine and you’re after something boozier, head downstairs and through the dark alleyways into the basement bar called Apollonia. Housed in a Sicilian bandit’s drinking den, the bar pays homage to Apollonia – the patroness of The Godfather novel. It’s your speakeasy bar with dimly lit lighting, red accents and a wall of spirits that wrap around the entire bar. Highlights include the pineapple negroni with pineapple rum, Apollonia vermouth, Italian bitters and sea salt. Should you be after a late-night snack, the bar serves up a mean meatball sub that will have you fighting off your company for the last bite.

Now Open:

Lana, meaning ‘wool’ in Italian, pays homage to the history of the beautiful restored Hinchcliff House which was one of the last remaining wool stores in Sydney dating back to the 1860s.

Lana welcomes feminine energy to the venue to counteract the masculinity in the downstairs bar. It’s a place to gather with friends or host corporate meetings with guaranteed good vibes. Jump on a communal table, order share plates and sip on cocktails poured from taps in the middle of the table, all while DJs pump beats in the background. Leaning into Lana’s zero-waste ethos and sustainable propositioning, the restaurant offers a set menu only, with two courses for $69, three courses for $85, or a five-course tasting menu for $99 per person. And ladies, get excited about the LED-lit mirrors in the bathrooms.

Hinchcliff House Events will take over the top floor and is a black canvas with exposed brick, wooden beams and original windows offering natural light. With a capacity of 170 people, the venue has already been taking enquiries for weddings and corporate events.

For more information, visit the Hinchcliff House website.