The Dolphin Hotel unveils Aperitivo Hour line-up

A rollcall of leading chefs join in Aperitivo Hour at Sydney's Dolphin Hotel.

The Dolphin Hotel in Surry Hills is switching up its Aperitivo Hour with a series of stellar guest chefs that'll see the likes of Paul Carmichael, O Tama Carey and Daniel Pepperell create tight snack menus over the next few months.

From Sunday to Thursday, The Dolphin's Wine Room will host happy "hour" from 5pm to 7pm with $5 or $7 snacks such as anchovy toast and Tuscan fried chicken, while drinks will include ales from Tasmanian brewery Two Metre Tall and wines from Seppeltsfield winemaker Tom Shobbrook. Dolphin wine director James Hird aims to provide a tasting experience beyond the traditional format.

"Aperitivo is all about people hanging out at the bar, having new conversations," says Hird. "We want to create a new kind of happy hour that engages locals, chefs and winemakers, and becomes a discussion point."

Hird and chef Monty Koludrovic have lined up kitchen takeovers till late July, which kicked off last Sunday with chefs Mike Eggert and Jemma Whiteman. Their playful menu was a mix of the modern Chinese-leaning menu at their pop-up, Good Luck Pinbone, and The Dolphin's Italian fare, featuring crab spring rolls and "sang ciao bow", with radicchio replacing lettuce. Future highlights include Clayton Wells of Sydney's Automata, David Moyle of Hobart restaurant Franklin, and Louis Tikaram of Los Angeles' EP & LP (see the full list below). It's a great opportunity to explore what each chef has to offer.

"Not everyone gets the chance to go to Franklin or LA," says Hird. "This gives them a snapshot of what each chef's about."

On the wine side, the line-up includes a range of Australian winemakers and producers. Rootstock Sydney co-founder Mike Bennie and Tasmania's Brian Wines will team up to create a menu in May, while fellow Rootstock co-founder Giorgio De Maria will revive his That's Amore collaboration with Pasi Petänen for one night in July.

The current line-up covers the next three months, though there's no plan to call time on Aperitivo Hour - but for now, there are more than enough reasons to watch the clock.

Aperitivo Hour, Sun to Thurs 5pm-7pm, at The Dolphin Hotel, 412 Crown St, Surry Hills, (02) 9331 4800,

The line-up

Mon 24 April, O Tama Carey, Lankan Filling Station
Mon 1 May, Ben Sears and Ned Brooks, of the former Moon Park
Mon 8 May, Mike Bennie, wine writer and Rootstock Sydney co-founder, and Brian Wines
Mon 15 May, Alex Herbert, Bird Cow Fish
Mon 29 May, Clayton Wells, Automata
Sun 4 June, Andrew Guard, Andrew Guard Wine Imports
Mon 5 June, Cian Mulholland, Momofuku Seiobo
Sun 11 June, Louis Tikaram, EP & LP Restaurant, Los Angeles
Sun 18 June, Paul Carmichael, Momofuku Seiobo
Sun 25 June, David Moyle, Franklin
Sun 2 July, Veronica Trevizo, Momofuku Seiobo
Wed 5 July, Pasi Petänen and Giorgio De Maria
Mon 10 July, Mitch Orr, Acme
Tue 11 July, Peter Dredge, Dr Edge, Tasmania
Sun 16 July, Superior Burger and wine importer DRNKS
Sun 23 July, Daniel Pepperell, Restaurant Hubert


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