Sydney's favourite Italian restaurant is taking its classic dishes to Tokyo.
This year's hot trend? If the restaurants of Sydney's Potts Point dining hub are any guide, it's all about opening outposts in Japan. Giovanni Paradiso, co-owner of Fratelli Paradiso, said he and the team had kicked the tires on other sites in Sydney and Melbourne for an expansion from the Italian landmark, but in the end it was an offer in Tokyo that ticked all the boxes. Fratelli Paradiso will open a 90-seat restaurant with a 50-seat "10 William St-style" bar in late April next year.
Frat Paz's near-neighbours at The Apollo may have beaten them to the punch, opening in Ginza this past April, but Paradiso says Japan has been on the horizon for some time. "Funnily enough it's been a long time in coming; the first approaches were made four years ago, but it was only in the last six months that the stars aligned for us to do it on our own terms."
Japanese-born former Fratelli head chef Toshi Nakayasu will run the kitchen, turning out a mix of familiar favourites, plus some local specials. "The lasagne, the calamari Sant'Andrea, they'll all be there," says Paradiso, "And I think we'll use Australian beef for the bistecca Fiorentina."
The ready availability of wine from around the world in Tokyo - especially natural wine - is something Paradiso says he's particularly excited about. Beyond the connection in the kitchen, the Fratelli Paradiso/10 William St gang have a link to Japan in the form of sommelier Matt Young, a connoisseur of Japanese drink and culture who also imports sake into Australia under the Black Market label. The opportunity to delve ever deeper into natural wines and sake and pour them for an appreciative audience, says Paradiso, "is a big hook for us".
The restaurant will be called Fratelli Paradiso; Paradiso says he hasn't given much thought to how it might translate to Japanese. "Heavenly Brothers could work quite well. It sounds like a chain of bomboloni shops."
Fratelli Paradiso in Tokyo will open in April 2017.