Restaurant Guide

A1 Canteen: Restaurant review

The neighbourhood hangout that’s open seven days a week, serving hangover-busting breakfasts, killer cocktails and a casual dinner menu.


2-10 Kensington St,
Chippendale Sydney NSW


Daily 7am-3.30pm
Dinner Tue-Sat 6pm-10pm


E $21-$28
M $29-$42
D $12-$14

A venue for all day and all comers, A1 has settled into its role nicely, servicing pre-, post- and mid-work crowds with cut-above breakfast, lunch, dinner and plenty in between. The design, which might be described as private-school-cafeteria-comes-to-the-big-city (luxe plastic chairs and tables; marble accents), looks its best during the day, but the kitchen shows both substance and style the whole way through. This might mean a crab and XO sauce omelette paired with good coffee in the AM; salads, such as couscous with burnt honey and pomegranate, accompanying the likes of roasted lamb shoulder at lunch, or top-notch sandwiches from the takeaway window; and a succinct share menu at night, with enough twists and turns to keep you sitting up straight. Enormous mussels on fat slices of toast, say, with a tomato base and an anise accent from licorice herb. Or a plate of kingfish collars sauced in ghee and a coconut cream flavoured with curry leaf. Drinks land as a more clipped, more affordable, more local spin on the list over at neighbouring sibling Automata, and service is just as sharp. Throw in intriguing desserts built for comfort and there are plenty of reasons to stay back after class.
(02) 9280 3285
Bookings recommended
  • Licensed
  • Vegetarian-friendly
  • Wheelchair access
Accepted card types:
  • American Express
  • Eftpos
  • MasterCard
  • Visa
  • Diners Club
Clayton Wells & Scott Eddington
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.