Sydney’s best new restaurant: 6HEAD at Circular Quay

July 1, 2019 - 4:30pm
By Nicole Hogan
Image The Daily Telegraph

They say that music is the space that lives between the notes; the rhythm in the connection of silent and audible parts. Recently opened 6 Head restaurant at Campbell’s stores is no exception to this analogy.

Award-winning designer and architect Callie Van Der Merwe has turned a beautifully preserved 1839 warehouse crafted from selected chiselled stone and hand sawn timbers into Sydney’s impeccable 6 Head restaurant in Circular Quay.

“The concept for 6 Head is framed around the historic building and the backstory that gave birth to the name,” says Van Der Merwe.

6HEADImage: The Daily Telegraph | Award-winning designer and architect Callie Van Der Merwe creates a warm, inviting space

This concept stretches back to Australia’s colonial roots, when steak was one of the rarest of pleasures. At the time, the First Fleet brought with them just six head of black Cape cattle on the HMS Sirius.

This story is reflected in the stacked tiles, shards, stone, and timber, curated and sculpted to shape all the functional insertions such as the bar and kitchen walls.

6HEADImage: The Daily Telegraph | The 6 Head concept stretches back to Australia’s colonial roots

Diners are greeted by a suspended wall installation of four cows and two bulls hand carved in timber as a nod to the very first livestock ever to be brought into Australia.

“The entire space is a beautiful dance between shadows and light to frame the textures and materiality and bring the full experience to life,” says Van Der Merwe.

But it is all about the menu. Executive Chef Sean Hall describes the food as uncomplicated, good, honest ingredients, with great produce that’s cooked in the right way and consistently.

6HEADImage: The Daily Telegraph | Executive Chef Sean Hall

“Cooking techniques are deliberately basic to enhance the flavour of the ingredient and celebrate its authenticity,” says Hall.

In a feat of determination and passion, Hall wrote the menu 35 times before it was completed.

It was a search of trends and ingredients to fit within the 6 Head concept that he was eager to create a menu that will get people to enjoy the food and experience and come back again and again for more.

6HEADImage: The Daily Telegraph | Don’t miss the Lamb Tartare

Hall designed a menu that pushes boundaries, especially with the six steak cuts on the menu, as well as three specialty cuts designed for sharing and the general house cuts.

The Farmers market was a main source of inspiration for Hall, scouring what produce is available and creating dishes around what he sources.

The farmer’s pie, consisting of a medley of vegetables was inspired by his frequent trips to various farmers markets.

Hal says a recollection of nostalgic experiences as a child inspired his menu ideas. “I grew up devouring doughnuts; fast track to today, a bite of a doughnut can powerfully transport me back to my past. I want to extend these moments to our guests by bringing back the doughnut and placing it on the dessert menu for guests to experience similar nostalgia and increase a sense of social connectedness.”

Hall’s extensive culinary background — from growing up on a cattle farm in Johannesburg, to mastering classically trained French cooking techniques and working with the Jamie Oliver Group in the UK — has enabled him to design a bespoke menu that beautifully complements the 6 HEAD ethos.

With a focus on premium steak cuts, curated wines and a bespoke architectural approach, Sydney’s 6 Head restaurant complements the area’s history with an exclusive steakhouse dining experience.

6HEADImage: The Daily Telegraph | Complete the experience with delectable doughnuts

Hall says, “We have searched hard to find the best beef from around Australia. Months have been spent ageing the beef to find the sweet spot, as I want to ensure we only deliver the best dishes to our guests”.

“I am passionate about combining ingredients to create dishes that will install a memory for years to come, combined with some theatre to create that everlasting memory”.

6HEADImage: The Daily Telegraph | The Tender Valley Fillet is outstanding

Alongside the 6 HEAD dining menu is a curated wine and beverage menu designed to showcase six of the world’s best wine regions — Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, South Africa and the United States — with six additional varietals each from Spain and Argentina to complement the premium cuts of meat and fresh seafood on the menu.

6HEADImage: The Daily Telegraph | Light, soft and sweet Burrata and fig

Over 250 wines have been hand-picked by Group Beverage Manager Sommelier Ben Preston for their quality and expression of place, power and elegance to deliver unique regional recognition.

“It gives me great pleasure to curate and deliver a wine list that people want to explore, from Australia and around the world,” says Preston.

This story originally appeared on The Daily Telegraph.

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