Song Kitchen, Sydney’s Restaurant With A Cause
All profits from this restaurant fund essential services for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.
This once humdrum breakfast hangout for guests residing upstairs at the Y Hotel (now the Song Hotel) spans two levels and is home to a main dining area, cocktail bar and breakfast nook.
Owned by YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association), Song Kitchen is far more than just a good place to eat. As one of YWCA NSW’s profit-for-purpose businesses, the venue gives back 100 per cent of its proceeds to programs and services supporting domestic violence victims.
“YWCA NSW is one of the state’s oldest charities, and has been helping women since it was founded in 1880. Under Anna Bligh’s tenure as CEO, the YWCA NSW refined its broad focus to concentrate on domestic violence,” says current CEO, Vanessa Beggs.
“As part of the restructure, we committed to extending our innovative profit-for-purpose operations beyond our two Sydney hotels. The first step in this was partnering with Mirvac to establish a Song Kitchen café in the lobby of their CBD offices. The next step was to rebrand and update the hotels, and the final step was to set up a stand-alone café, bar and restaurant.”
Raised in Gabon in central Africa, French Head Chef, Charlotte Gonzales helms the team, and for her, being able cook for a cause that is making a difference is what drew her to the project.
“We’re really proud of our mission and the fact that every meal at Song Kitchen can make a difference, and it’s exciting for me as a chef to cook with that intention. That said, my ultimate mission is for customers to leave having eaten beautiful, delicious food, having drunk some lovely wine and had a good time,” says Gonzales.
With her experience at Merivale’s Uccello and Fred’s in Sydney, and prior to that with Jean-Luc Rabanel in France, Gonzales has created a menu of authentic Mediterranean-inspired bistro classics. On the menu you’ll find rabbit and pork terrine with apricot and pistachio, duck croquettes and crisp-skinned salmon with beetroot. There is fresh pasta made in house daily, and Gonzales changes the menu seasonally and boasts additional daily specials.
Ex-wine director at Rockpool, Sophie Otton has carefully curated a wine list focusing on artisanal producers with an emphasis on NSW labels and a balance between quality and value. Half the list is comprised of female winemakers or estate owners, including Billy Button Wines, reflecting the support Song Kitchen has for the YWCA.
The idea was part of the brief supplied by Anna Bligh (now YWCA NSW Ambassador) and Operations Director, Jon Ackary who suggested strong female representation and wines from NSW might be particularly appropriate. “As the list developed, the concept of a 50 per cent female winemaker/estate owner rule just seemed a logical standard, a quiet statement that reflected the core principles of the YWCA,” says Otton
“People want to make a difference and support a cause and Song Kitchen leads the way in allowing you to do exactly that. Guests at Song Kitchen can enjoy speciality coffee, delicious food, wine and service and know they are making a difference,” says Bligh.