Chippendale is Sydney’s newest up and coming suburb, offering a wonderfully eclectic mix of style, creativity and innovation. Some of the city’s most loved drinking and dining venues have long called the suburb home but it’s the emergence of newly imagined entertainment precincts that’s really pushing the locale forward into its new era.
One of these precincts presents itself in the form of Central Park Mall, pictured above. Named as the best tall building in the world in 2014, the aesthetic of this place is impeccable with green walls seemingly making up most of the external structure and a super-sized interactive wall permanently installed as digital art. This creative and forward thinking design flows through to the retailers and eateries inside and you’ll find offshoots of some of Sydney’s most popular restaurants here. Chippendale Green, the parkland attached to the precinct, is home to a number of regular and one-off events including the Brewery Yard Markets held on the first and third Sunday of every month. Competition for stall space here is high and the organisers only select around 10% of store holder applications, ensuring a diverse and premium market experience, presenting buyers and browsers with an abundance of food, art, jewellery and clothes.
While we’re on the topic of decadence, Chippendale is home to some of Sydney’s best loved fine dining, with Ester, Automata and LP’s Quality Meats being the pick of the bunch. All three have perfected the balance between accessibility and sophistication, meaning that while you’re indulging in truly first-rate food, the ambience is warm, friendly and relaxed. White table cloths be gone! Automata offers a constantly changing five course degustation, while Ester and LP’s both offer a-la-carte and set menus. We’d suggest opting for the set menus in both locations so you can get a full appreciation of their offerings. Just remember to arrive hungry or you’ll be faced with tough decisions around which dishes are worthy of your stomach space.
If you’re after a good watering hole to end the night, Chippendale has a plethora of options. As a nod to the suburb’s history, a number of old English-style pubs still exist. The Lord Gladstone is one such establishment and is a great option for a relaxed drink on a chilly night. For something with a different character all together, try out Zigi’s Art, Wine and Cheese Bar. Owned and managed by its affable namesake, this is the kind of wine bar where you pop in for a drink and end up staying all night. The wine and cheese selections are unusual and extensive and the murals on the walls and art gallery upstairs provide ample food for thought. Zigi’s Israeli heritage comes across in the more substantial meals and he even takes cooking classes during the day. What a place and what a concept.
The final entry on our Chippendale must-dos is a visit to White Rabbit Gallery. Unique to other exhibition spaces in the city, White Rabbit offers four floors of contemporary Chinese art. It’s free to enter and visitors can while away hours inspecting the owner’s private collection as well as whatever’s on display in the rotating exhibition space. The pieces are unique, thought provoking and always a reliable talking point. Before you leave, why not add to the experience by stopping in at the teahouse on the ground floor where a whole new world of teas awaits, along with some of the most delicious handmade dumplings we’ve ever tasted.