Originating in the UK, ‘sixpenny’ is a moniker referring to the traditional 19th century meal that could be bought for exactly that. The custom was brought to Australia in the 1850s, providing simple economic meals of meat, vegetables and bread to a growing urban workforce.
While Australian cuisine and the quality of everyday dining has most certainly shifted since then, the creators of Sydney restaurant Sixpenny wanted to build up this element of Australian heritage. They came to Foolscap to refurbish a heritage building and the idea of providing a relaxed, informal and comfortable environment for lunchtime and post-work dining.
Stripping the interior to uncover floorboards and an original fireplace, Foolscap began by recapturing the site’s impressive original features and bringing them back to their former glory.
Befitting a restaurant with such a distinctly Australian DNA, Foolscap worked entirely with local materials and collaborators. Working with ceramicists at Bendigo Pottery, a series of hand-thrown, hand-painted, ceramic wall sconces and pendants were created to provide a welcoming glow within an otherwise restrained scheme. Hand-crafted spotted gum tables add further warmth to the space, as do textile acoustic panels made from olive green 100% Australian eco wool.
Reflecting the owner’s philosophy of engaging diners in the process of eating, a large glazed panel provides clear view of the kitchen, allowing diners to experience the drama and excitement of the chefs at work. With core produce grown in a local plot of land, Sixpenny’s seasonal degustation menu is proudly prepared for everyone to see.
From the dining environment to the cuisine served, Sixpenny is refined and elegant, yet relaxed and personal. A true reflection of the qualities of this Australian culinary experience – extraordinary yet humble.