The taste of Australia: a locals guide

Photography, Destination NSW

In Sydney, pockets of nature abound in unexpected places. Did you know in the heart of harbourside precinct Barangaroo, you’ll find an indoor farm supplying fresh produce to restaurants across the city? We chat to Noah Verin, founder of Urban Green Sydney, about microgreens and his favourite things to do in Sydney. 

You’re passionate about coaxing nature into the urban landscape. Sydney has many places of natural beauty – what do you love most about Sydney city and Barangaroo?  

Sydney is one of the most unique cities in the world. The amazing thing is that for many Sydneysiders, you’re never more than 15 minutes from the beach, 25 minutes from the CBD, and five minutes from somewhere green. 

Barangaroo epitomises this mixture of lifestyle and business with some of the country’s best restaurants, along with a host of other businesses, nestled next to the waterfront.  

The streets and promenade of Barangaroo are buzzing with delightful cafes, tempting pastry shops, elegant wine and tea bars, and a delicious range of restaurants. Where is your go-to for a coffee and what’s your favourite dining experience?  

Vessel Dining & Bar because they’ve got great coffee, friendly staff and make awesome muffins with different flavours every day. 

My favourite dining experience is Woodcut Restaurant at Crown. It has three kitchens showcasing different styles of cooking: wood, charcoal and steam. The food is simple, but this allows the bold flavours of the fantastic produce they use to really shine. 

Urban Green in Barangaroo is Sydney’s first commercial indoor farm – a vertical city-bound farm specialising in microgreens and sprouts. Tell us about your farming methods and how people can buy your sustainable, locally grown plants. 

Indoor farming aims to replicate how plants are grown outdoors, minus the variability of climate and pests.

The plants at Urban Green start their journey in the planting room where seeds are sown on top of an organic medium, then placed on mobile shelves and wheeled inside to germination areas. 

They are then moved to growing shelves where they spend anywhere from four days for the fastest grower (spicy radish), or up to six weeks for the longest (micro mint). We grow more than 40 varieties of microgreens and customers can order produce online for delivery within a 20-kilometre radius of Sydney CBD or click and collect from the farm.  

Urban farming is an emerging trend with venues starting to source local produce from inner-city farms – tell us some of the restaurant that plate up with your plants? 

We supply many restaurants throughout Sydney, including Bentley Restaurant & BarMejicoInduKid KyotoWoodcut Restaurant at CrownO Bar & Dining and Manta Restaurant.  

What are your top three must-dos in Sydney that you would recommend to visitors? 

  • Taronga Zoo- While most cities have zoos, most of them don’t have one of the most incredible views in the world. 

  • Spend a day at the Royal National Park — there’s so much to do there including one of my favourite spots, Wattamolla

  • Eat breakfast at one of Sydney’s trendy cafes such as Porch & Parlour in Bondi or Bel and Brio in Barangaroo. 

Describe your ultimate day out in Sydney. 

Start off with a coffee and breakfast at The Depot Bondi, followed by a wander through the Bondi Farmers Market across the road.

Continue onto Watsons Bay via the lighthouse near Vaucluse and grab some fish and chips from Doyles. After lunch, take a leisurely afternoon stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

In the evening, head to the Henry Deane rooftop bar at Millers Point for a late afternoon cocktail while enjoying the magnificent Sydney sunset. Finish the day off with a spectacular meal at any of the world class eateries found within the Barangaroo precinct.

And if you’ve got your dancing shoes on, head over to Marble Bar at Hilton Sydney to dance the night away. 

Do you have a favourite secret Sydney experience you can reveal?  

Starting in 2022, you’ll be able to take a tour at Sydney’s first commercial vertical farm, Urban Green Sydney in Barangaroo.  

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