/sydney/eastern-suburbs/potts-point/, Barthelmess believes he may have just opened the first greek restaurant in Japan when he took The Apollo to Tokyo’s Ginza district this year.
Back on home soil, The Apollo was recently nominated seventh best restaurant in the world in The Monocle Restaurant Awards. While his Japanese establishment, Cho Cho San - which Barthelmess and restaurateur Sam Christie launched in 2014 just down the road on Macleay Street - was rated fifth in Monocle’s 2015 awards.
Originally drawn to the hospitality business as it granted him the freedom to surf in the morning, the adrenalin from service now trumps the waves more often. We caught up with the leading chef to find out the establishments he frequents when he’s not working at The Apollo and Cho Cho San. He lives in a Potts Point apartment not far from his businesses.
Your restaurants are Potts Point establishments. What drew your business to Potts Point?
I love to hang out in Potts Point. It has a great local vibe; the mix of people and the great energy.
Other than your own restaurants, of course, where do you enjoy dining out in Sydney for dinner?
The dish The Apollo is particularly well known for is that saganaki cheese. How did you perfect such a dish?
It is just the way you need to eat the cheese - nothing less, nothing more.
*For those who haven’t experienced The Apollo’s saganaki cheese, it is served in a small frying pan with salt, oregano and honey.
On average, how many saganaki cheese dishes do you serve a week?
We sell about 100 kilograms of cheese per week.
What are your favourite brunch haunts in Sydney?
When you're not working, how is your ideal weekend in Sydney spent?
In the Northern Beaches with friends.
When you have visitors in the city, where do you take them to eat, drink and sight see?
Lastly, what drew you to becoming a chef? And how enjoyable has it been to go back to your roots creating Greek dishes?
I was attracted to the buzz from service and the fact there is always something to learn. The Apollo is the first time I have cooked Greek food. I really relate to it.