After months of patience, Mitch Orr's hotly anticipated restaurant Kiln (originally slated for opening in 2021) is ready for service on the 18th floor of the Ace Hotel in Surry Hills. Kiln's diverse menu takes inspiration from Italian, Japanese and Southeast Asian flavours, with Orr using woodfired focused techniques to bring his menu to life.
Following the closure of his restaurant Acme in 2019 and a year-long stint as head chef at CicciaBella in Bondi, Orr is set to bring the same fun and left-of-centre philosophy to Kiln that made his other ventures such a delight.
And while Orr may have made his name as a pasta master, the chef is out to prove there's a lot more in his culinary canon than the Italian staple. In fact, his menu at Kiln sees a total absence of pasta. Instead, you'll find quirky treats, such as Orr's ode to the Jatz cracker, which sees him pair the classic snack with smoked butter and Olasagasti anchovy… the perfect place to start on a menu designed for sharing. For something with a little more substance, the alfonsino crudo is served with a retro peach and tomato jelly, and for mains, tender charred marron served in its shell with desert lime and long pepper is a must try. The menu is capped off with a whole lot of ice cream, including a steamed chocolate cake with poor man's orange sorbet, and a creative corn ice cream with popcorn and salted caramel that's too groovy to be left uneaten.
The restaurant's name is born from the site's history, with the Ace Hotel set into the original brick framework of the Tyne House brick factory, which housed one of Australia's first ceramic kilns. The impressive structure is still visible in the awnings of the hotel's downstairs bar, Lobby.
Interiors come courtesy of Fiona Lynch Design office (NGV x Bar Lourinhã, Anchovy), and feature marble tiled flooring and wide glass walls, as well as terraces with fully retractable rooves for al fresco dining. Inside, choose between a bar stool perch at a leather-topped table with views into the fiery open kitchen, or lounge in a cushioned booth against one of the expansive windows and marvel at the industrial jungle of Surry Hills below.
And delivering a final dose of funk to this vibing new opening, P&V Liquor's Mike Bennie brings his natural wine-loving ways to the drinks menu, which he has personally curated. Hot stuff indeed.
Kiln is now open at 47/53 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills.