Incoming Japanese restaurant underscores Oxford Street revival

When 43-year-old Balkan Seafood Restaurant dumped its Oxford Street digs in 2019, the once-popular Darlinghurst section of the famed food street was on its knees.

The opening last year of Paski Vineria Popolare and Cafe Freda’s marked a step in the right direction. Now the big hospo players are starting to flock in, with Prince of York owner and Pamela, Paul Schulte, joining the party.

Schulte, the one-time partner and creative director of heavyweight Keystone, has confirmed he has captured the site of Aus-African restaurant The Moshen, at 245 Oxford Street.

The opening of Paski Vineria Popolare has contributed to the revival of Darlinghurst. Photo: Edwina Pickles

“It’s a few doors down from Paski,” he says.

The yet-to-be-named restaurant, which will open in late 2022, is part of an opening salvo from Schulte’s new hospitality group Hunger aimed at spotting and supporting emerging talent.

The Darlo Project is led by Chef Adam Burke, best known to Sydneysiders as head chef at Manly’s Sunset Sabi and Chica Bonita.

boss Adam Burke.

boss Adam Burke. Photo: Delivered

“He also opened Toko Dubai and worked for Gordon Ramsay. I want to work with people like Adam, help them set up businesses,” said Schulte, who also works on site start-ups in Rosebery and the Hunter Valley.

“We don’t have a final name yet” [for the Oxford Street venue] but the food will be japanese and experimental. It will also be a bit of a Pamela spin-off. While the ground floor will be food and drink, upstairs will be a ‘party’ bar.”

It’s not the only incoming arrival on the strip. The grand old building that used to be Don Peppino’s (and The Grand Pacific Blue Room before it) is in the midst of a boutique hotel redevelopment.

When it opens later this year, the hotel will feature a rooftop restaurant and bar designed by Acme & Co, the outfit behind Mimi’s in Coogee.

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