After a series of COVID-related setbacks, Clare Smyth’s highly-anticipated Crown Sydney fine dining restaurant Oncore will open its doors. From this Thursday, the 18th of November, Sydney-siders will finally be able to experience the London-based chef’s exceptional food.
Clare Smyth is the first British female chef to hold three Michelin stars, and Oncore is her first international restaurant. Her first restaurant, Core, is situated in the heart of Notting Hill, London and currently holds three Michelin stars. The name for Oncore, as you might have guessed, is a play on the word encore; Smyth has said that “As the new restaurant will build upon the success of Core, it seems fitting to call it ‘Oncore’”. She opened her flagship restaurant in the English summer of 2017, and the following year the restaurant was announced as being awarded two Michelin stars. Sydney-siders can expect that her latest venture will hold food and service to the same high standard.
The 43-year-old chef has spent much of her career surpassing expectations at several Michelin star restaurants. Most notably, she worked at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, where she was head chef and later patron chef. She worked at Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV restaurant; she is also famous for catering Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. She has received numerous accolades, including Good Food Guide’s ‘National Chef of the Year’, Chef Award at The Catey Awards, World’s Best Female Chef by the World’s 50 Best Restaurant, Core was named Best Restaurant at the 2018 GQ Food and Drinks Awards. Furthermore, in 2013 she became a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to food.
Although Smyth will be unable to attend the opening of the restaurant, it is in good hands. Oncore’s head chef is New Zealander Alan Stuart, who has worked with Smyth at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Core; other notable workplaces include the Michelin starred restaurants Eleven Madison Park (New York) and Frantzen (Sweden). The restaurant manager is Michael Stoddart, who has worked front of house for Bennelong and the exclusive Soho House in London. The head sommelier comes from The Netherlands; Remon Van de Kerkhof is a decorated wine master who has worked at distinguished restaurants, Parkheauval Restaurant and De Treeswilikhoeve.
Smyth’s food has an emphasis on using natural and sustainable produce. Though you can no longer hear it in her accent, she was born and raised in Northern Ireland. Her father was a farmer, and her mother was a waitress. They raised her with respect for food and the importance of farmers in creating the best quality products. The menu at Oncore will showcase the best produce from Australian farmers and food producers. An extensive wine list will include 800 references, and their cellar will hold over 3000 bottles. The list will showcase wines from both the Southern and Northern hemispheres.
If you want to enjoy dinner at Oncore, the 3-course A La Carte menu costs $210pp and the -course tasting menu costs $300pp. Bookings can now be made to experience New Year’s Eve’s best view and food from Oncore’s 26th-floor view of Sydney Harbour.