The relaxed sibling of audacious Automata is the everyday eating house Sydney has yearned for.

A1 is the place to enjoy quality produce – simple combinations with big flavours – and killer drinks. Light floods through the floor-to-ceiling windows onto concrete floors, banquettes, timber furnishings and the open kitchen. Breakfast offers curried eggs folded like silk sheets, spectacular snags and almond granola with black sesame and rhubarb yoghurt.

But it’s lunch that delivers the most talked-about sandwich 
in Sin City: the monolithic muffuletta, sliced to reveal a colourful cross-section of olive salad, mortadella, salami, artichoke, peppers and spinach. For mains, choose from grilled kingfish, roasted celeriac or braised lamb shoulder with a salad (freekeh with fermented pumpkin is a must). At night, shaved fennel and fermented red cabbage add spark to oozing burrata, anchovy butter brings out the sea in diamond shell clams, while Espelette pepper plays against the sweet flesh 
of whole flounder. These may be everyday eats but they’re A1.

A1 Canteen interior

Best for: Casual eats
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Stand-out dish: Muffuletta
Price: $$
Open: Seven days for breakfast and lunch and Tuesday-Saturday for dinner
Address: 2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale

SEE ALSO: Sydney’s Best New Restaurants

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