A truly delectable experience designed to connect diners with their food and start meaningful conversations about sustainability.
Paving the way for sustainability in the hospitality industry is Chef Dylan Cashman with his restaurant, The Blue Door. The restaurant first opened in Queensland’s Palm Beach where it earned the title of ‘Best New Restaurant for Queensland’ and scored one hat in the Good Food Guide. Cashman noticed a gap in this kind of sustainable thinking amongst Sydney chefs and he’s here to shake up the game in Surry Hills.
The award-winning chef has a wealth of culinary expertise under his apron, working in reputable Australian kitchens across Australia (Cottage Inn and Paper Daisy), earning his first hat as Head Chef of Fin’s and working in 3-Michelin Star restaurants in Europe (Vendome in Germany and Brixton Laundry in London). He is joined by Sous Chef Chris Dodd who brings his experiences from Aria, Altitude and Prime to the kitchen.
The restaurant front is unassuming only grabbing your attention with a vibrant blue door. The inside is intimate and charming with just 24-seats, vintage-style wooden tables and chairs, white walls and high ceilings. The tables display handmade ceramics from local suppliers (Porch Ceramics Bondi and Harvest Clay from Tugan), Lancer Wheat as decorations which they use to make the freshly baked sourdough each week and coasters made from reusable materials. The service is extremely welcoming with a side of banter making you feel as though you’re in a NSW country town like Berry, Kangaroo Valley or Berrima.
The menu is centered around their connections with local markers and growers. 95% of the produce comes from NSW and the team only buys whole or half animals to ensure nothing goes to waste. Together Cashman, his partner Angelica Nohra and Dodd personally forage the ingredients themselves. They have a true appreciation for everything on the plate and can share stories connected to each ingredient and their growers.
It’s unlikely you will visit The Blue Door and be served the same plate of food. The menu rotates each week to reflect the nature of seasonal produce from local farmers. On our visit, we got to taste the Blue Door Snack Attack which is a spread of smaller dishes designed to whet your appetite. Followed by Aaron’s Carrots with zhoug, ricotta, harissa and falafel crumb, Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod with peas, fermented mushroom dashi and lemon myrtle, Camden Valley Farm Confit Chicken with Nimbin rainfed brown rice, mushroom, leek and Aaron’s cabbage and Smoked Gundooee Wagyu Beef Brisket with Davidson Plum ketchup, pickled mustard seed, charred onions, pomme anna, miso mayo and chives. Dessert was a Rhubarb Cheeseback with burnt butter crumb, rhubarb ice cream, vanilla cream cheese, peas and meringue. This experience took farm-to-table dining to a whole new level for us.
General Manager Angelica Nohra is the brains behind the incredible NSW-dominated wine list. Her connections within the industry are next to none and her aim is to showcase the incredible variety of wines we have access to in our region. For those looking to juice Nohra for her beverage knowledge, ask for her Secret Sips menu where she shares her current highlights from vintage champagnes, international wines and specialty cocktails.
Cashman and his team are helping to connect people with the food they eat while showcasing the incredible produce we have access to within Australia. The venue is here to start meaningful conversations about the food we consume and how we can better contribute to sustainability in the Sydney hospitality space.
Find out more here