Hot venue: The Governors Table

Spice takes a look inside The Governors Table Bar and Dining, Fresh Catering's hip new venue at the Museum of Sydney.


Fresh Catering has breathed new life into the former MOS café space at the Museum of Sydney with an extensive transformation into a modern bar and dining space, The Governors Table Bar and Dining.

Located on the site of first Government House in Australia, The Governors Table Bar and Dining was designed by inochi DesignLife Director Kristie Paul, who drew inspiration from the history and architecture of the site, creating a hospitable space within the sandstone façade at The Museum of Sydney.

Marco Adler is the Executive Chef, and worked closely with the heritage site’s colonial gastronomer to draw reverence to the produce and dining style from the days of Governors Arthur Phillip.

Following a stellar cooking career leading Fresh Catering with high profile events such as Paspaley Polo and the Sydney Harbour Opera, Adler also worked previously with high profile restaurants Rockpool in Sydney, Bayswater Brasserie and The Grand National in Paddington.

His background also extends to the prestigious kitchens in Lizard Island Great Barrier Reef, the Caicos Islands, as we as International cities London and Singapore.


A key feature in the restaurant is the quintessential Governors Table – an enormous 18-seat French oak banquet table placed underneath the room’s eight-meter high ceiling where patrons can enjoy communal dining or book the entire table and enjoy banquet dining just as Governor Phillip once did.

For exclusive groups, The Governors Room is a private dining space seating 12. With bronze mirrored walls, sheer curtains and copper and grey smoke glass lighting, The Governors Room offers a luxurious and intimate atmosphere.

For special events, the restaurant seats 150 guests with the option to extend the restaurant space into the Museum of Sydney’s heritage entrance where a further 100 people can be seated or accommodate 250 for stand-up cocktail events and can provide dining options for other intimate areas within the Museum.

“We’re thrilled to have designed, built and opened The Governors Table,” said Managing Director of Fresh Catering, Peter McCloskey.

“It’s been a wonderfully collaborative experience working with the management of Sydney Living Museums and our own great management team and consultants.

“We’re proud to be doing something genuinely innovative at The Governors Table. When you pare back the layers of the dining experience you’ll find a distinct connection to the culinary history of the site,” he said.


Expect a delicious line up of fine, modern Australian cuisine with a unique blend of history linked to the food.

Adler will be serving dishes like Grilled local asparagus, aged parmesan custard, nettles and shish dressing and for main course, Pan-roasted Mull way, sweet onion purée, purple cauliflower and hazelnut brown butter. He is passionate about contemporary Australian gastronomy drawing inspiration from the historic site.

When it comes to the wine, expect one of the best lists in Sydney that’s been curated by one of Australia’s hottest sommeliers, Samantha Payne.

The list is totally committed to Australian wine and her focus is on local, young producers who are trying new and exciting techniques using old-world growing methods and organic philosophies.

Must try wines include the Nick O’Leary 2013 Riesling from Canberra District, NSW and Athletes of Wine ‘Vine Athletic’ 2004 Pinot Noir from Macedon Ranges, VIC to name a few.
In addition signature cocktails include the Waratah with Tanqueray Gin, St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Lime and Cucumber and Year 1788 with Chivas Regal, Glenmorangie 10YO, Lemon, Honey, Ginger and Lemongrass the perfect cocktails to enjoy on a summer night on the terrace.

GOVERNORS TABLE BAR AND DINING Potato Gnocci Wild Mushroom, Rocket Sauce and Pecorino

Restaurant Manager, Zelka Pierce, brings a wealth of experience and professionalism gained at popular CBD establishments Wildfire and The Bridge Room to this high profile team.

The Governors Table Bar and Dining is a modern interpretation of its foundations capturing significant and historic Australian design elements sympathetic to the site, like the use of stone, timber and steel which were the materials used to build “The Edge of the Trees” installation in the museum’s forecourt, a forest of 29 massive pillars which represent 29 Aboriginal clans from around Sydney.

Australian native plants are used extensively throughout with stag horn and green wall installations breathing life atop the original sandstone walls.

Fresh Catering’s in-house stylist Andrew Birley tends to the tables floral touches, styling arrangements of Australian natives fresh from the market. Scandinavian influences have modernized the interiors with bronze and copper mirrors adorning the walls, modern timber overlaying the driftwood used throughout the dining space.

Featuring both indoor and outdoor seating, The Governors Table offers guests several ways to enjoy their dining experience with a versatile furniture layout which can be seamlessly morphed into summer, winter, lunch and dinner layouts while still maintaining an intimate, warm and hospitable dining space.

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