Opening today, Popina Kitchen is your next mouth-watering eat-out go-to. A collab between the brains behind popular North Bondi eatery Shuk and Italian eating empire Salt Meats Cheese, Popina offers everything to love from the tables of the Mediterranean and Middle East. Interestingly the name 'popina' hails from a style of ancient Roman bar that served simple food and lashings of wine to the creative crew that treated it as a second home. Paying due respect to this ideal, Popina Kitchen offers basic, flavour-packed chow against the backdrop of a 180 bottle wine wall and cool-kid concrete-toned designer digs.
Head Chef German Shanchez has drawn on his impressive culinary chops working kitchens around Italy and his time at Shuk to create a seriously drool-worthy line up to order up. The menu reads top-to-bottom delicious starting with mezze such as falafel, Argentinian beef empanadas, Yellowfin tuna with watermelon and mint, followed by classic Italian mains (think: gnocchi, snapper with borlotti beans and heirloom tomatoes, lamb ravioli) or cooked-to-perfection pizzas with inspired toppings like green tahini, olives and parsley, cauliflower with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and za'atar, and the ever-popular capricciosa (tomato, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, artichoke, olives).
A punchy drinks list curated by Palmer & Co. alum Hamish Dowie perfectly pairs cocktails like an olive-infused Beefeater gin, rosemary, thyme and bitters with the on-form eats. Popina Kitchen is the first of two spaces to launch with Popina Rooftop on the cards for 2017. Watch this space.
Popina Kitchen is located at Level 3, Gateway Sydney, 1 Macquarie Pl, Sydney. Call: 02) 9247 6446 for bookings (which you can make from Monday 12 December).