Neil Perry calls the new David Jones food hall in Sydney’s Bondi
Junction store the biggest restaurant he’s ever opened.
The Rockpool chef is the retailer’s food consultant as DJs spends
$100 million over the next three years once again targeting food
as a key part of its offering under its new South African owners,
Woolworths Holdings (which is not related to the Australian
supermarket business of the same name).
The new DJs food business aims to be like upmarket British food
retailer Waitrose and the Bondi space has become like a mini
market with five in-store dining areas serving 240 people
alongside everything from fresh meats, seafood, fruit and veg, a
bakery, wines and a large range of take home heat-and-serve meals
made especially for the company under the new David Jones Food
Perry has played to his strengths with the in-store dining, with
an oyster bar offering freshly opened oysters, alongside prawn
cocktails and seafood chowder, while elsewhere there’s a pizza
oven, sushi, rotisserie chickens, and sandwiches, plus a space
dubbed “The Restaurant” for grilled meats and seafood, as well as
Asian dishes and wines and beers.
There’s even a private dining room for 10.
The project has been more than two years in the planning and
execution and opened late last week at Bondi Junction. That
outlet is something a blueprint for a larger food hall in the
$200 million refurbishment of the flagship Elizabeth Street store
in Sydney’s CBD.
CEO John Dixon said that instead of traditional aisles, they
wanted to create will journey through nine “immersive worlds” of
“We have completely reimagined the way customers shop for, and
experience, food,” he said.
“We talked to our customers from the outset and saw a huge shift
away from exclusive food experiences to people seeking
experiences that are immersive and inclusive. We were challenged
to create something completely new so our approach has been to
revolutionise our food offering.”
Neil Perry said the new DJs food hall was all about “integrating
quality food service with retail in a way that’s never been done
before in Australia”.
David Jones will focus next on a smaller ‘food market’ concept in
Wollongong opening in October, improve the Sydney and Melbourne
offering over the next year and then look at several standalone
food stores in coming years.
Here’s what it looks like inside the Bondi store.
Flowers and plants are a big part of food hall design too
The legendary Costi family are responsible for the seafood
There are a range of fast, casual dining areas
The cheese counter has a range of Australian and the best
This Victorian blue cheese made from buffalo milk is amazing and
DJs is one of the few places you’ll find it
You can sit at the counter and watch the chefs cook steaks and
seafood on the grill
The wine cellar is behind the oyster bar, which serves freshly
opened oysters and sushi
And there are some marquee Australian wines available.
There was one important institution that Neil Perry didn’t dare
touch in designing the new food hall…
…the chocolate-dipped strawberries. They smell amazing too.
There’s plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, beautifully
And weekends feature celebrity chefs and cookbook authors
offering tips and inspiration
The patisserie counter is beautiful and tempting
The larder includes a range of excellent teas, chocolates and
other dinner party treats
And if you’re looking for inspiration, a certain chef has plenty
of his cookbooks available for ideas…
And the petites four with coffee are easily sorted
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