Restaurant News

The Dolphin’s guest Aperitivo returns

Not your average happy hour – the roster of guest chefs and winemakers makes this the hottest ticket in town.

By Emma Breheny
Snacks at The Dolphin Wine Room
If your Sundays are usually spent searching for a hangover cure, the Dolphin Hotel's Aperitivo Hour might be just what the doctor ordered. From February 25, a series of guest chefs will take-over the Surry Hills pub's Wine Room for a shake-up of the usual aperitivo, offering bespoke snack menus with matching wines and cocktails. The inaugural series last year ended with Ben Shewry DJing and along the way included a Rootstock after-party, an Italian disco and a Monday night dinner with Angie and Dan Hong.
The next line-up features local favourites, ex-pats and international names. Josh Niland of Sydney's Saint Peter, Shannon Moran from Bali hotel The Slow and newly minted Hobartian Analiese Gregory of Franklin are just some of the faces you'll see on the pass between now and September (see the full list below).
"It's that thing where you break down the wall between the kitchen, winemakers and sommeliers, and you connect people to producers," says James Hird, The Dolphin's wine director. "It gives people the freedom to move out of what they're known for."
Kicking off the series are The Venezuelans, a pair who came to every aperitivo event last year and sat at the same spot, table 40. After getting to know them and talking about the low profile of Venezuelan cuisine in Sydney, Hird wanted to get them on the program. To go with their dishes, he'll be making a batched Guarapita, a mix of Diplomático rum and passionfruit juice that he describes as "easy-drinking, like an Aperol Spritz".
Elsewhere on the program, Acme's Mitch Orr will turn his hand to Cambodian barbecue, Pasi Petänen has plans for pho, and Clayton Wells will offer a taste of his new A1 Canteen. Dolphin co-owner Maurice Terzini wants to include more music and art, starting with LA DJs Reverberation Radio and Sydney gallery China Heights, who will join The Slow for a one-off Friday night instalment in April.
The rest of the year's program is a work in progress but for now it's confirmed that Michelin-starred sushi chef Hiroyuki Sato will make an appearance, as will Duncan Welgemoed of Adelaide restaurant Africola and Melborune's Andrew McConnell. Between now and the end of the year, you may also see the likes of Josh Lewis and Astrid McCormack of Fleet, Marrickville brewers Wildflower and, if we're lucky, DJ Shewry. And if those names won't lure you out of the house, perhaps the prices will: snacks and drinks will remain within the $5-$7 range. Could Sunday be the new Saturday?
Aperitivo Hour, Sun to Thurs 5pm-7pm, The Dolphin Hotel, 412 Crown St, Surry Hills, (02) 9331 4800,*
The full line-up
Sun 25 February, The Venezuelans, Table 40
Sun 4 March, Mitch Orr, Acme, and Sophia Thach
Sun 18 March, Hartsyard 2.0
Sun 1 April, Analiese Gregory, Franklin, and Andrew Guard Wine Imports
Sun 8 April, David Moyle, Longsong
Sun 15 April, Clayton Wells and Scott Eddington, A1 Canteen
Fri 27 April, The Slow, Bali, and Reverberation Radio DJs, Los Angeles
Sun 6 May, Josh Niland, Saint Peter
Sun 13 May, Adam Wolfers
Sun 27 May, Pasi Petänen
Sun 3 June, Adam James, Rough Rice
Sun 10 June, Wet Dreams Food and Wine Festival
Sun 17 June, Ned Brooks and Ben Sears, Paper Bird
Sun 8 July, Emma McCaskill, The Pot
Sun 15 July, Giorgia De Maria Fun Wines
Sun 29 July, Karl Firla, Oscillate Wildly, and Peter Dredge, Dr Edge
Sun 5 Aug, Saša Radikon
Sun 19 Aug, Hiroyuki Sato
Sun 26 Aug, Andrew McConnell and Samuel Cheetham
Mon 3 Sep, Joe Jones, The Mayfair
Sun 9 Sep, Duncan Welgemoed, Africola
  • undefined: Emma Breheny