It's goodbye shawarma and hello schnitzel as Rushcutters opens on the former Neild Avenue site this week. It's a collaboration between the Keystone hospitality group and former Longrain chef Martin Boetz, who has left the lemongrass on the shelf for this venture, and is looking instead to his German background for inspiration. "I just want it to be a local," says Boetz, "and I want that feeling like at Longrain where you can come, have a drink, have something to eat and, whether you stay in the bar or dine in the restaurant, it's a one-stop shop."
The venue is divided into two parts. The casual all-day deli offers the breakfast-friendly likes of smoked trout with capers, parsley and green apple and house-baked German breads, and morphs into a late-night snack-zone (hello twice-cooked pork hock). The restaurant dining room, meanwhile, is all about sharing plates; we're already eyeing off the schnitzel with lemon and smoked meats with mustard and dill pickles.
The other thing driving Boetz's menus is sustainable produce from the Hawkesbury, where he has his Cooks Co-op farm and providore business. On the table that translates to spring chicken with a sauce of young garlic, fish cooked simply with riesling, salt and fennel, and the more rib-sticking likes of corned veal brisket with kale, sour cream and malt. "It's about food that I've sourced from the Hawkesbury region from my farm and also from what is around me," says Boetz, "which ranges from goat's curd and goat's milk to pork, to fruit and vegetables, and just really trying to promote a very close food area to Sydney that I think has been lost
"We're just feeling out people and what they want at the moment. We've got quite a lot of neighbours here… so we just want to be really user-friendly."
Rushcutters, 10 Neild Ave, Rushcutters Bay, NSW. Deli open from 7am-midnight daily, dining room open Tuesday to Thursday from 5pm to midnight and Friday to Sunday from noon till midnight from Wednesday 30 October.