El Camino Cantina
The food: Urban Purveyor – the group behind Saké Restaurant & Bar – is launching its first Tex-Mex restaurant. The menu is chock-full of spicy salsas, tacos, fajitas and enchiladas, as well as a tortilla station that churns out flour and corn flatbreads daily.
The drinks: Sydney’s largest menu of margaritas (frozen and on the rocks), plus 75 specialty tequilas and mescals, many of which will be infused in-house.
The atmosphere: Tex-Mex meets rock ’n’ roll in this neon-lit space with two bars, a dining room and a lounge.
The location: El Camino will take the place of Ananas Bar & Brasserie, which is moving to Darling Harbour.
18 Argyle Street, The Rocks; (02) 9259 5668
The food: A wood-fired rotisserie will be the pièce de résistance at renowned French chef Philippe Mouchel’s new Lyonnaise-style restaurant offering beautifully charred chicken, meats, fish on the bone and vegetables.
The drinks: Enjoy a bespoke cocktail at the zinc bar or order a bottle of wine from the menu, which has both French and Victorian drops.
The atmosphere: Vaulted ceilings, exposed pipes and concrete floors make for a stylish, industrial vibe.
The location: Melbourne CBD, on the site of the former Brooks of Melbourne restaurant.
115 Collins Street, Melbourne; philipperestaurant.com.au
A Tiny Place
The food: Philippe Leban, former executive chef at MONA’s The Source restaurant, is opening his own place with his kind of fare – “world food with simple, clean flavours”. Expect wonton soup for breakfast and prawn broth with tofu for lunch.
The drinks: Fresh soy milk made on the premises, percolated coffee, high-quality teas, Parisian-style hot chocolate and a wine menu.
The atmosphere: Period furniture and antique knick-knacks (like console radios and gramophones) lend a heritage feel.
The location: A short walk from Salamanca Place.
20 Francis Street, Battery Point; 0420 550 450
The food: This new bistro and bar (with a function space) belongs to restaurateur Beau Vedelago, ex-owner of Teneriffe’s The London Club. The menu features antipasti, tapas, chargrilled meats and wood-fired pizzas.
The drinks: About 50 regional and international wines by the glass, from Adelaide Hills riesling and Barossa shiraz to Spanish malbecs, plus 10 craft beers on tap.
The atmosphere: Housed in an early-20th-century factory with French doors and ample space, it’s pure industrial chic.
The location: Revitalised inner-city suburb of Coorparoo, about a 10-minute drive from the CBD.
51 Holdsworth Street, Coorparo; (07) 3324 0844