After what felt like a lengthy lead up (but pribably wasn't), Merivale's two newest Sydney establishments open tomorrow on Paddington's Oxford Street. Those familiar with The Paddington will no doubt already know that this basement bar (Charlie Parker's) and restaurant (Fred's) is part of Merivale's concerted plan to spruce up the once-thriving Oxford Street precinct.
Kicking off with Fred's, a farm-to-table offering headed up by Danielle Alvarez (an alumni of California's Chez Panisse), the 60-seater restaurant takes an ethical approach to its produce. Utilising local growers and farmers for its fruit, vegetable, dairy, poultry, fish and meat; Alvarez will cook on free standing Tuscan-style grills and open fire. "Cooking with fire is first and foremost about flavour, but I also love using it because I think working with an open flame makes you a better chef," explains Alvarez. "You have to use all of your senses."
The open-plan kitchen style is also intended to foster a sense of community between staff and guests. "The way you cook for your friends and family, with so much love and thought behind it, that's what I want people to feel like at Fred's; that they've come to our house and have been taken really good care of," she adds.
Of course, in true Merivale style they haven't forgotten about their drinking patrons either. Completing this trio of venues is Charlie Parker's, which sits at the basement of Fred's. Under the careful Palmer & Co-honed eyes of Sam Egerton and Toby Marshall, Charlie Parker's mirrors the ethically-sourced attitude of Fred's by featuring a botanically inspired drinks menu that is bolstered by bar snacks designed by Alvarez. Surely with the addition of Fred's and Charlie Parker's, Paddington looks to be regaining some of her much-needed shine.
Fred's and Charlie Parker's, 380 Oxford Street, Paddington