As Parramatta grows, so, too, does its culinary reputation. A brief walk around the CBD on a weekend night proves that the City has become a major magnet for foodies: restaurant after restaurant is crowded with diners and queues are commonplace. Unsurprisingly, celebrity chefs have been catching on, too. Over the past few years, several big names have moved in, bringing with them many of Australia's best-loved dishes. Here, we take a look at a few key players.
Neil Perry of The Burger Project
Neil Perry (pictured above) might be Australia's most ambitious chef and restaurateur. He rose to fame in the 1980s, after opening Blue Water Grill, Bondi Beach, and then Rockpool, Sydney. Today, he's the head honcho of Rockpool Dining Group, which runs numerous popular restaurants, including Spice Temple, Sydney, and Rosetta, Melbourne. In 2014, he took a foray into fast food, with the founding of The Burger Project, a twelve-eatery strong fast food chain that sells burgers based on grass-fed beef, farmed in Cape Grim, Tasmania. It landed in Parramatta in March 2017. In addition, Rockpool Dining Group operates the City's Bavarian Bier Cafe and there are rumours afoot that Perry is exploring further possibilities.
1-2/134-140 Marsden Street Parramatta 2150; Open Monday to Saturday 11:00am - 9:00pm and Sunday 11:00am - 8:00pm
Stephen Seckold of Husk and Vine
Stephen Seckold might not be as well-known as Neil Perry or Jamie Oliver, but, in foodie circles, he's a legend. As Executive Chef of Flying Fish Restaurant and Bar, he brought innovative, Asian-influenced seafood dishes to Pyrmont's waterfront. In 2015, in Surry Hills, he opened Salaryman, a Japanese eatery devoted to ramen based on house-made noodles and seasonal ingredients. Two years later, it was time to move into Parramatta, where Seckold, alongside head chef Ashley Brennan, runs Husk and Vine Kitchen and Bar. The centrepiece is a Beech oven, custom-built for roasting lamb shoulders and whole birds, which are transformed into Middle Eastern-influenced delights, such as butterflied chicken with chilli and lemon.
7/45 Macquarie Street Parramatta 2150; Open daily 6:30am - 10:30am, 12:00pm - 2:30pm and 5:30pm - late
Kyle Quy of Alex & Co
Like Stephen Seckold, Kyle Quy isn't yet a nationwide household name, but, among fine diners, his reputation certainly precedes him. In 2007, he was named Lexus Young Chef of the Year (NSW/ACT), and, in 2010, became head chef at Zippo's Restaurant, then a local favourite on the waterfront in Kyle Bay. Next came a stint at NOLA Smokehouse, Barangaroo, before he was snapped up by Alex & Co., a 350-seat restaurant in the City, with a bar overlooking Parramatta River. There, as executive chef, he oversees the creation of moreish bar snacks, such as crumbed quail eggs with garlic aioli, and decadent mains, including blackened ocean trout with beetroot, sweet corn, fennel and sauce vierge; and coffee-and-pepper crusted venison with forest floor muesli, dark cherry and Jerusalem artichoke.
330 Church Street Parramatta 2150; Open Monday - Friday 7:00am - late and Saturday - Sunday 10:00am - late