As a bunch of passionate foodies we’re always up for trying out the newest additions to Balmain’s culinary scene. The Fenwick got a unanimous thumbs up from us, especially because we love to see historic buildings brought back to life in sympathetic, unique ways. Part restaurant, part gallery, the venture has opened in a reclaimed Balmain East waterfront sandstone building, giving it a new lease on life that’s been 16 years in the making.



Capturing sweeping views of Barangaroo, Luna Park and the Opera House, the heritage-listed building formerly known as J. Fenwick & Co Boat Store was built in the 1880s as a tugboat store. A number of private development proposals were submitted and rejected throughout its century-long life before it was acquired by the former Leichhardt Council in 2003. It’s now owned by the amalgamated Inner West Council thanks to a campaign by local Balmain East residents and has undergone a multi-million dollar restoration.



The Fenwick encompasses a seasonal, contemporary cafe dining experience along with an upper-level gallery space created to exhibit works from local and international artists, which will be open to the public seven days a week (interested artists are encouraged to get in touch). The cafe is restricted to daytime trading at this stage but it would certainly make a pretty special setting by night.



We’re always eyeing up new lunch and coffee spots and found both the fare and service to be top notch. The staff were friendly and helped us navigate the menu, all of which we wanted to get stuck into. Top rated were the herb bread and butter, burrata with prosciutto, figs and vincotto, the homemade spaghetti with prawns, pecorino, black pepper and lime and the fish stew with fregola, cherry tomatoes, olives and capers. Also highly recommended is the potato gnocchi with wild mushrooms, black truffle and scamorza. The food was faultless, the portions were delicate and beautifully presented and it all went down a treat with the spectacular view. All in all it was a pretty special dining experience.


Open daily 7am-5pm. 2-8 Weston Street, Balmain East, 9159 4700,

Posted in Balmain Office, Community, Inner West on 26th July, 2019