By JrmJanuary 22,2020
The inner-south precinct of Green Square has been slowly transforming from an industrial wasteland into a glisteningly new residential hub, building to a population density that will soon rival New York’s. But while countless apartment towers sprouted seemingly overnight, and a sparkling new library has arrived, noteworthy eateries have been slow to follow.
New Italian cafe and restaurant Freddie Green’s is changing that. It’s the latest from JRM Hospitality, the team behind Chippendale’s lauded Saint George, and is offering coffee, cocktails and hearty Italian fare in one of the neighbourhood’s busiest stretches.
Named after Frederick Green, who served two stints as Mayor of Alexandria between 1937 and 1945, and from whom the nearby Green Square Station gets its name, Freddie Green’s is angling to become the sort of community hub that pulls the booming area together (Green Square includes the suburbs of Alexandria, Zetland, Waterloo, Rosebery and Beaconsfield).
“We want to provide the Green Square community with a little taste of Italy in their own backyard” says executive chef James Metcalfe. “Freddie Green’s will be a destination for big-flavour Italian dishes made with great produce.”
Metcalfe – who has Michelin cred from his early career in London; he also spent almost a decade at award-winning fine diner Becasse – has entrusted ex-North Bondi Italian’s Concetta Bille to be Freddie Green’s head chef.
The light-filled restaurant is on the ground floor of the Veriu hotel, and as well as offering all-day dining, Freddie Green’s provides room service. You don’t need to be sleeping over to order the buffet breakfast, which includes 63-degree eggs, hash browns, pastries and charcuterie.
Taking inspiration from across Italy, Bille’s pasta selection strums all the classic refrains. Think fettuccine carbonara, gnocchi with blue cheese and walnuts, and a squid ink-linguine dotted with white chunks of spanner crab. The pizza list is a little crazier. In place of tomato bases, the bianca pizzas are slathered in a cheesy sauce. The porchetta comes with chunks of crackling roast pork, while the Siciliana is blanketed with mortadella from LP’s Quality Meats in Chippendale. Unlike Bella Brutta’s well-known version, where the charcuterie is added after pizza is baked, the meat is roasted in the oven until crisp.
There’s plenty of Italian fare on offer besides pizza and pasta, like the grain-fed T-bone steak and the chicken cotoletta (schnitzel to us neophytes). The burger comes with truffle-laced pecorino cheese.
Those looking for something to start, or simply an accompaniment to one of the many Italian wines and beers that make up the drinks list, can order burrata with cherry tomatoes, squid fritto and prosciutto with rockmelon from the antipasti menu. Bille’s heritage shines through in her Sicilian cannoli filled with airy vanilla ricotta or chocolate mascarpone.
If you prefer cocktails, there’s a smoked rosemary Negroni, apple-spiked Pisco Sour and a selection of spritzes. Our pick is the summer-ready limoncello variation, where Aperol is switched out for the citrusy Italian liqueur.
Article by Tristan Lutze for Broadsheet, Sydney.
Photography: Yusuke Oba