Applejack Hospitality has confirmed it will open a new restaurant and bar in North Sydney this September.
Rafi has secured a site located at 99 Mount Street and is a personal passion project for Applejack Co-Founder Ben Carroll, who grew up in the area.
“We want to put North Sydney back on the centre stage with a world-class restaurant in a setting to match,” he says.
“We want to make this venue a place where visitors, corporates and the local community can come together and feel that connection in a warm and welcoming space.”
Rafi’s culinary direction will very much be anchored by cooking over charcoal, with Head of Culinary Patrick Friesen (former Merivale) recruiting Matias Cilloniz as executive head chef of the 300-seat indoor-outdoor restaurant.
Cilloniz joins after time at Central restaurant and stints at hotels including Four Seasons and Hilton.
“Rafi is all about enjoyment in a respectful way,” says the chef. “Our food is meant to surprise and nourish with simple dishes creatively combined to be as tasty, nutritious and sustainable as possible.”
Debut dishes include tuna sourced from the South Coast combined with cucumber, avocado and yuzu; Glacier 51 toothfish with chickpea miso, fresh chickpeas and chilli and crispy potatoes teamed with uni, cultured cream and chives.
Group Bars Manager Lachy Sturrock and Group Sommelier Amandine Rouviere have teamed up to design the beverage list that covers classic cocktails, local beers and wines.
Luchetti Krelle are behind the fit-out of the venue and have created unique spaces from an island bar that connects to the main dining room and The Arbor glasshouse to an alfresco terrace, private dining room and chef’s kitchen.
Rafi is slated to open in September for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday.
It joins Applejack’s growing portfolio of venues which includes The Butler, SoCal, Bopp & Tone, The Botanist and Forrester’s.