Japanese restaurant

New Japanese restaurant highlights Oxford Street revival

When the 43-year-old Balkan Seafood Restaurant abandoned its Oxford Street digs in 2019, the once-popular Darlinghurst stretch of the famed restaurant street was on its knees.

Last year’s opening of Paski Vineria Popolare and Cafe Freda’s was a step in the right direction. Now the big hospo players are starting to pile in, with Prince of York and Pamela owner Paul Schulte ready to join the party.

Schulte, the former partner and creative director of industry heavyweight Keystone, confirms that he has taken over the site of the Australian-African restaurant The Moshen, at 245 Oxford Street.

The opening of Paski Vineria Popolare has helped kick-start Darlinghurst’s resurgence. Photo: Edwina Pickles

“It’s a few doors down from Paski,” he says.

The yet-to-be-named restaurant, which will open in late 2022, is part of an opening round of Schulte’s new Hunger Hotel Group, aimed at spotting and supporting emerging talent.

The Darlo Project will be led by chef Adam Burke, best known to Sydneysiders as executive chef of Manly’s Sunset Sabi and Chica Bonita.

Chief Adam Burke.

Chief Adam Burke. Photo: Supplied

“He also opened Toko Dubai and worked for Gordon Ramsay. I want to work with people like Adam, help them build businesses,” says Schulte, who also works on start-ups in Rosebery and the Hunter Valley.

“We haven’t finalized a name [for the Oxford Street venue] but the food will be Japanese and experimental. It will also be a bit of a Pamela spin-off. While downstairs will be food and drink, upstairs will be a ‘party’ bar.”

It’s not the only inbound arrival on the Strip. The grand old building where Don Peppino (and The Grand Pacific Blue Room before him) traded is being redeveloped into a boutique hotel.

When it opens later this year, the hotel will feature a rooftop restaurant and bar designed by Acme & Co, the outfit behind Mimi’s in Coogee.