The wow factor down at Circular Quay was always the view. Never the food. Casual bites to eat that weren’t out of this world expensive, or over the top touristy, were nowhere to be found. That is until now.
Popina Kitchen has opened up inside the swish new Gateway Sydney complex, bringing a new age of cutting edge casual cuisine to the Quay.
Popina is no ordinary pizzeria (or ancient Roman bar, if we’re getting technical with translations) – it’s the culinary love child between two of our favourites, North Bondi’s Shuk, and Salt Meats Cheese.
It’s the best of both worlds – Middle Eastern and Mediterranean. That’s right, think Green Tahini pizza (tahini, olives, parsley), hummus with pinenuts, currants and cauliflower, and zhug spice rub chicken with sweet potatoes.
The space is industrial chic, with windows all along one wall providing excellent people watching onto the street below, but the real action happens in the open kitchen. The wood fire oven doesn’t stop pumping – even the pit-zza bread, served with an Italian za’atar, comes out of that oven, and its just so damn good.
The chefs haven’t been arrived to experiment with flavours – dessert is the best example. A tahini cake topped with banana ice cream and sesame tuiles is a world away from your stock standard sweet treat. Then there’s the Alfajor, a dulche de leche mousse sandwiched between shortbread, served with coconut icecream. You’ll be licking the bowl for the last little bit of the delicate dulche de leche mousse.
Level 2, Gateway Sydney
1 Macquarie Place, Sydney
T: (02) 9247 6446