Paddo gets a new restaurant and wine bar
With all of those ‘for lease’ signs running rampant on Oxford Street, it’s good to see a little bit of new life on the Paddington shopping strip. Mr Cooper’s Restaurant & Wine Bar has just popped up in the old Avido space.
In fact, anyone who patroned Avido will feel right at home: the rough-hewn brick wall is still there, as are the pendant lights, wall-length leather banquet and the glorious outdoor rear courtyard. But what’s certainly changed is the kitchen. John Rankin, the chef who led Darlinghurst’s Owl House to win best bar food in the SMH Good Food Guide, is now here, producing a menu with European foundations and Asian accents.
Bar snacks include the likes of housemade baby chorizo, and oysters with tequila, lemon, lime and soda. There’s a brave entree of quali and pig trotter dumplings with black pudding and scallop congee, while mains include a Blackmore 9+ wagyu crepinette, as well as a duck for two ($56): a breast and braised leg with potato gratin cooked in duck fat. Oh yeah, and brunch includes pancakes with caramel banana and – oh yeah – bacon ice-cream. There’s also a pretty hefty cheese list for the lactose tolerant: from Queso de Valdeon goat’s cheese blue from Spain to unpasteurised Coeur de Savoie from France’s Rhone-Alpes.
As for drinks, they have nothing to do with South Australia’s famed brewery, and plenty to do with Robert Cooper, the gin distiller who built Paddington’s first house, the aptly named Juniper Hall. He was also an ex-con, apparently for stealing ostrich feathers, which feature prominently in Mr Cooper’s logo.
Suitably, the bar’s planning a focus on gin, which is much more likeable than the middling wine list, a strange shortcoming for a wine bar. Instead, lap up signatures like the apple strudel martini, a balanced concoction of cinnamon vodka, apple schnapps, apple puree and apple gin. We’d like to think Mr Cooper would approve.
Where: 438 Oxford St, Paddington
Hours: Tue-Wed 5-11pm, Thu 10am-11pm, Fri 10am-midnight, Sat 9am-midnight, Sun 9am-10pm
Phone: (02) 8084 5465