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Darren Templeman started his culinary journey at the tender age of 15, working at 1 michelin star restaurant in his home town of Plymouth (UK).

Then moving to London to broaden his experience at fine establishments in the city; the high-flying Crockford Casino and Rules Restaurant, known as the ‘Oldest Restaurant in London’ specialising in English wild game and fish. After several stints with well known chefs, such as Gordon Ramsey, Marco Pierre White, he settled to work with Bruno Loubet, the celebrated French-born chef known for conjuring extraordinary dishes from plain ingredients and to maximise the best out of all produce. Whilst recognising the roots of the producers working the land.

After six-years as sous chef with Loubet, he came to Australia and established Restaurant Atelier in small premises at the unfashionable end of Newtown’s King Street. This restaurant then relocated to Glebe Point Road, Glebe, trading for an impressive 10 years and well renowned for fresh flavours, lightness of dishes and quality of produce. During which time he worked up a close relationship with many farmers around Australia.

After the restaurant closed, Darren spent some time in Singapore to cook alongside 3 michelin star chef “ Narisawa” and to cook at the Asia best 50 awards.

Darren then joined the owner of O Bar and Dining, Michael Moore, who said “Templeman’s ‘farm to table’ philosophy and light, fresh cooking style is a perfect match to the O Bar and Dining offering” which in turn elevated O Bar to a 16.5/20 score in the Gault & Millau guide with a national ranking inside the top 50.

With 6 years under his belt at O Bar it was time for a new challenge and helped steady the ship after a tough re-opening of Infinity restaurant and Bar 83 at Sydney Tower with Trippas White Group, which entailed the construction of tasting menus, implementation of full Ala carte menus and bar menus and placed a head chef to run the Kitchen after a successful turn around.

He then found himself cooking over fire with Botswana butchery, having been approached by the Good Group (NZ) to oversee the pre-opening, staff recruitment (34 chefs) for the project, which entailed 3 levels, raw & oyster bar, full ala carte dining room with a focus on wood grilled proteins along with a rooftop bar, with full bar menu and snacks.

Once this was up and running Darren decided to travel around Japan to follow his culinary heart, sampling some of the best hidden gems he could find. From Tokyo to Niigata back to Osaka, looking for the best Yakitori and yakiniku he could find. Now looking to replicate this at his new Premises at Sydneys The Rocks with Izy.Aki, a modest 20 seat Izakaya, serving a kappo Omakase with a focus on yakitori and yakiniku…. The culinary adventure continues…..


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Restaurant info

Open: Wednesday-Saturday from 6pm

Address: 106 George St, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia

Washoku Lovers Booking benefit: Coming soon

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