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Longshore: Fine dining with a conscience

Longshore: Fine dining with a conscience

When I heard that Longshore were interested in doing an episode of Beyond The Pass, I got goosebumps.

This is a fine dining restaurant, a recipient of a Chef’s Hat in their first year of operation, and a venue that was owned and run by a pair of hospo heavyweights in Jarrod Walsh and Dot Lee. But that’s not all that they are.

Longshore is a fine dining restaurant with a difference.

And whilst it is not a new story for hatted restaurants to source the finest ingredients for their menus, not too many are able to stretch these ingredients as far as Longshore do.

Wastage is a dirty word within the industry, but at Longshore it’s downright filthy! 

And it’s there that you see not only a verbal commitment to sustainability, but the physical acts to back it up, and in ways that make their menus truly unique because there’s no finer dining than that with a clear conscience, something Longshore provides in spades.

I made the short trip across Cleveland Street to talk to Dot and Jarrod about their hospitality journeys.

Different paths

She knew I couldn’t do anything else!

Hospitality isn’t always everybody’s first choice. It is an industry littered with dreamers, struggling artists and part-timers—a stopgap to something seemingly greater.

But when somebody is committed to hospitality from the start, such greatness can show itself and stand toe-to-toe with the most grandiose of dreams imaginable.

One such person is Jarrod, Longshore’s Executive Chef and Co-owner. For Jarrod, there was no bigger dream than the life he is living right now.

Jarrod: “I was pretty not good at school, except for food technology. The teacher said I should probably leave school, which I more than happily did. And then after that, I was straight into hospo and didn’t stop. She knew I couldn’t do anything else!”

On behalf of Sydney’s dining public, I would like to thank that teacher for their foresight and guidance.

Dot, Longshore’s General Manager and Co-owner, took the more-travelled road, the industry beginning as a temporary thing igniting a spark within you and suddenly you can’t imagine yourself anywhere else.

Dot: “I actually wanted to be in fashion or a yoga teacher, but I just really liked people, and I got pretty lucky with a lot of mentors and stuff, so I just kind of stayed in hospo.”

The fashion and yoga industry’s losses are our gain.

Comfort zones

“That was a situation where we felt uncomfortable again, so that was really, really fun.”

This isn’t Jarrod and Dot’s first foray into hospitality ownership.

After working together at Newtown favourite Hartsyard, they were presented with an opportunity to buy the business from then-owner Greg Llewellyn—an opportunity they took with gusto.

It was there that they experimented with the ideas that would, one day, form the foundations for a venue like Longshore. They won over seasoned regulars with a new approach to the menu—a seafood-forward, sustainable offering that spoke more truly to the values they wanted to share with the dining public.

Jarrod: “We learned, taking over a Hartsyard, how challenging it is to break into your own.” 

Dot: “That was a situation where we felt uncomfortable again, so that was really, really fun.”

Thankfully, with a menu as good as one Jarrod and Dot can produce, the public didn’t take long at all to warm to this new direction. It was with this experience and the learnings they took from their time at Hartsyard, that they ended up opening Longshore in familiar surroundings, for Jarrod at least.

Housed in the former Automata space, where Jarrod manned the tools before his Hartsyard days, Longshore was born.

Jarrod: “Coming into (Longshore), we were a bit more comfortable being able to know exactly how to distinguish ourselves from the current place, straight away.”

The ghosts of restaurants past still linger in the curved ceilings and commanding communal tables, but they are completely refreshed and a new life has been breathed into the space.


“I get full really easily.”

Now that the story of how Longshore came to be has been told, onto what makes it really tick: sustainability.

As mentioned earlier, Longshore walks the walk when it comes to backing up its sustainability, and it walks it with a swagger that very few can come close to. You see, almost every aspect of how they operate is angled towards zero wastage, even in ways that may not seem so obvious at first glance.

One such place is their snack flights.

Where one person might see a selection of small plates at face value, they are anything but.

Dot: “I just really like to go out and snack, and I never want to just dine at one restaurant if I have time, and I realise that I have to commit fully to a lot of things and I get full really easily, so I can visit two places, max. But I also want to jump into different (places), bar hop, restaurant hops, that kind of thing.”

By offering smaller plates, Longshore not only gives their diners an opportunity to try multiple dishes, but the smaller servings mean that less food ends up left on the plate in the end.

It’s a subtle yet brilliant way to cut down on wastage whilst still making it worth their while and it’s something I wish more places realised and took Longshore’s lead on.


But it’s with their ingredients, and the genius ways they manage to stretch them, where Longshore truly excels.

Leftovers do not exist here. Wastage is taboo. If it can be used for one dish, whatever remains can be used somewhere else. Everything has a place on the menu and it will be delicious. I can attest to this. The XO at Longshore is made from offcuts and leftover seafood and is so delicious I would drop to my knees and scoop it into my mouth as though I were Augustus Gloop and the XO was a chocolate river.

And that’s just one, albeit graphic, example of the sheer sorcery at play here. No area of Longshore’s offering is left untouched by this most important of values.

Jarrod: “We run on minimal waste with our menus. (We don’t) throw anything in the bin, like with the XO, we use the offcuts and leftover seafood for that. And any leftover like fruit or vegetables we give to the bar and they go into our cocktails.”

I can already hear you asking, ‘what about us mere mortals who don’t have the expertise to make life-changing condiments from scraps? What about us?’

Fear not, there are many ways to live a life more sustainable, if you only know where to look.

Jarrod: “Yeah, as customers when you go to purchase things to cook at home, looking for Australian products that have actually been sustainably sourced is a small thing you can do. Go in and see, like with seafood, it’s MSA sustainable seafood and buying from smaller Australian suppliers that have those practices in place.”

So, whether you’re in the mood for a few smaller bites, or you’ve got a hunger that needs greater satisfaction, there are few better places for your stomach, or your conscience, than Longshore.

Learn more about Longshore and their sustainable approach to fine dining, as well as learning how Graeme was trusted with a whole fish (again).

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More of this topic: Beyond The Pass