This Circular Quay Italian Restaurant Literally Mills Their Own Grains
On a chilly Friday night, I get off the bus in Circular Quay and wander around a little until I find one restaurant that stands out with its historic sandstone and inviting warm light. It’s Grana, the newest dining and cocktail offering in Hinchcliff House.
If you haven’t heard of Hinchcliff House yet, it’s inside one of Sydney‘s last remaining woolsheds — a building that dates back to the 1860s. That heritage feel has been kept intact throughout, with Lana restaurant on the first floor, a Sicilian bandits’ drinking den, Apollonia in the basement and now Grana.
Meaning ‘ grain’ in Italian, the name really sums up the main pull to this beautiful restaurant. Next door to the dining area they have their own bakery, pasta room and pastry kitchen where they mill their own grains daily. So yes, if you come here and you don’t try any bread or pasta dishes, you’re a fool.
Once we’ve had a few classic cocktails with an Australiana twist at the white marble-detailed bar, we’re taken over to our table, admiring the wood details and dried flowers that seamlessly fit into the heritage sandstone look.
I am not a fool, and so I order as much grain-based food as I can. Everything is pretty delicious, but absolute standouts for me were the focaccia appetiser (which is not what you’re thinking, but more of a cheese-filled, crispy flatbread) and the ricotta agnolotti pasta dish. You can never go wrong with fresh pasta, but when the savoury taste is combined with the sour of thin pickled pumpkin slice, things just work in perfection.
Honestly, this is a place where the decor is almost as beautiful as the food, and the food is almost as beautiful as the waitstaff (seriously, if literally any of you is single, call me). It’s also in the perfect location to kick on and make a night of it or take a stroll around the water to walk off your inevitable food baby.
“We’re excited to bring a taste of Italy to the heart of Sydney, in one of its oldest and most historic buildings, Hinchcliff House in Quay Quarter,” said House Made Hospitality Creative Director, Scott Brown.
“This project has the very best team of hospitality experts at its disposal to ensure everything from the creative direction, the culinary offerings, the fresh ingredients and customer service is of the highest quality”.
The Grana bakery is open for brekkie from 6am to 3pm, and Grana is open for dinner daily from 6:30am-11pm (and yes, it’s in the same room on the ground floor). You can, and should, go make a booking here. They were packed even when we arrived at almost 9pm so I wouldn’t recommend winging it.
AWOL was a guest of Grana.
(All images: Jiwon Kim via Hinchcliff House)