Chippendale’s burgeoning Kensington Street precinct gets another injection of exciting new international food talent. Sicilian-born award-winning chef Lino Sauro (Gattopardo, Garibaldi Singapore) opens Olio in early 2017 to show Sydney why Sicilian is the new Italian. Olio (Italian for olive oil) opens in the beautifully restored Old Rum Store with a contemporary indoor dining room plus lush rooftop terrace overlooking Chippendale.
Sauro comes from a long lineage of self-sufficient Sicilian farmers where he grew up with meals that were created with the quality produce grown on the property. This translates into Sauro’s menu with dishes that reflect a strong connection to his Sicilian roots.
Keeping it in the family, Sauro sources his olive oil – the base of all his dishes – from the family‘s Sicilian farm. Typical of the region, seasonal seafood, wild fennel, raisins, saffron and couscous are hero ingredients on Olio’s menu.
For the past 10 years, Sauro lived in Singapore heading up his first solo Sicilian restaurant venture showing locals that Italian food can be more than pizza and heavy, creamy sauces. Now it’s Sydney’s turn. “This is the style of food my family and I eat in Sicily,” says Sauro. “At home we’re surrounded by the ocean and olive trees so obviously olive oil and seafood are very important. Sicily’s historic past also mean there’s influences from North Africa and Mediterranean Europe. It’s a beautiful cuisine that I believe will translate really well to Australia given the location and climate here.”
Designed by international award-winning architects LAVA (Masdar, Martian Embassay), Olio has both indoor dining and a sought-after rooftop terrace. Lush olive trees and views across the rooftops of Kensington Street and the vertical garden of Central Park make this a sought-after space.
The interiors feature a neutral colour palette with hints of Mediterranean blue and olive green. LAVA use the exposed brick and loft-style windows of the Old Rum Store to Olio’s advantage and fill the interior with light oak timber, Sicilian tiles, and concrete tabletops to reflect the casual feel of the restaurant. A tiled ‘passeggiata’ (promenade) curves through the restaurant and connects the kitchen, bar, dining and rooftop areas.
“I have seen Kensington Street transform into a cultural hub with restaurants playing a huge part,” says Chris Bosse, co-founder of LAVA. “We have this fantastic mix of old and new to work with for Olio – this exceptionally beautiful building and Lino’s tradition with new fit-out and Lino’s modern take on Sicilian dishes. It’s an exciting new addition to the precinct.”
Olio is the newest addition to the historic Old Rum Store restoration which will officially launch in the first quarter of 2017 as a multi-layer food, drink and cultural destination in the vibrant Kensington Street precinct.
Address: Second floor, Old Rum Store, 10-12 Kensington Street, Chippendale 2008