Mitch Orr

Ace Hotel Sydney appoints Chef Mitch Orr to helm new rooftop restaurant, ‘Kiln’

Ace Hotel Sydney has revealed the culinary team behind Kiln, its upcoming wood-fired rooftop restaurant set 18 stories above the Surrey Hills. 

Mitch Orr will lead the kitchen as the restaurant’s Chef-Partner, with Mike Bennie, a champion of the Australian drinks scene, helping to curate the hotel’s beverage menus. Acclaimed Melbourne-based interior designer Fiona Lynch has been named as the design partner for the space. 

The ground floor of the hotel will feature an all-day eatery called LOAM and a coffee shop – both of which are set to make their debut when the property opens later this spring. Kiln will begin welcoming diners shortly afterwards. 

“Sydney has one of the most dynamic dining scenes in the world,” said Susan Buckley, Vice President of Food and Beverage, Atelier Ace / Ace Hotel Group. “It’s a community we’ve long admired — now we’re thrilled to be a part of it. Mitch and Mike have plotted a one-of-a-kind food and drinks program, just as Fiona’s design of Kiln has created a dining space that’s totally unique to Sydney. We can’t wait for everyone to experience it with us.”

Orr, who made a reputation for himself with the 2015 launch of his boundary-pushing Sydney restaurant ACME, is known for taking an innovative yet unpretentious approach to cooking. His dishes focus on the umami flavours of soy, fish sauce, dashi and dried mushrooms, drawing inspiration from the cuisines of Italy, Japan and Southeast Asia. At Kiln, his menu will centre around the kitchen’s wood-burning grill, creating food designed to be shared, using in-season and sustainably-sourced produce.

“Cooking with fire is the most elemental part of cooking, and something every chef loves doing, whether on a hibachi grill in your garden or on a live fire grill that’s the centrepiece of the restaurant,” said Orr. “You can do so much more than just grill on a fire – char and smoke will play a big part in the menu, whether in the building of rich, umami sauces, or to lightly touch proteins and vegetables left to cook in the residual heat of the grill. The menu will be structured around sharing — heavy on snacks to start, before moving into a raw section, and then the larger vegetable and protein-led dishes — all with lots of bright acidity to finish the dish, which is exactly the way you want to eat in the open space.” 

The restaurant’s name is a nod to Ace Hotel Sydney’s previous history as the Tyne House brick factory, which was built above one of Australia’s first ceramic kilns. Inside, a glass-walled dining room will offer panoramic views of the neighbourhood, with diners also given the option of two spacious terraces with fully retractable ceilings.