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Sydney restaurant hosts energy-free dining experience

Sydney restaurant hosts energy-free dining experience

To celebrate Earth Hour happening on Saturday 28th March, Isabel Bondi will be hosting an 'energy free' dining experience for Sydneysiders. 

Sydney restaurant hosts energy-free dining experience

For this year’s Earth Hour, Sydney restaurant Isabel will be shutting down their lights, turning off the music, cutting off the aircon and disconnecting all ovens and electric cooktops. Lighting up the restaurant with only candles, Isabel is putting on a completely energy-free dining experience.

All food and beverage will be produced in the lead up, not using any electronic devices or technology – with much of the food being cooked over bushfire, fermented, brined and even sun dried.

We sat down with Isabel GM Kate McGraw to find out more.

Isabel Bondi’s owners (from left to right) Mitchell Slattery, Kate McGraw, Michael Riley and Geraint Coles

What inspired you to host an ‘energy free’ dinner event?

I love the idea of reducing our carbon footprint, and pulling the plug on all of our electricity for the night is a great way to make an impact.

It forces us to be creative with how we get drinks in glasses and food on the table, which I love. It also helps us to create awareness and open the lines of communication around reducing carbon footprint so people become more conscious.

With all the food being cooked without electrical devices or technology, how long will it take to prepare everything?

I don’t anticipate food taking any longer than it does with the power on. We’re doing a lot by way of fermenting, brining and pickling beforehand so we can keep everything running quickly.

What do you want guests to experience and takeaway from the event?

I’d love if people maybe looked at their own kitchen habits and be introduced to some tasty alternatives. Everything that we’re doing is stuff that people have been doing for thousands of years and those methods of preparation have gone by the wayside because of convenience culture. If one person walked out of there and went home to cure some veggies, I think that’s a success!

Aside from Earth Hour, what other measures do you take as a restaurant to reduce your environmental impact?

We try and do as much as we can to reduce our impact on the world. We forage a lot of our produce and there’s some sustainability measures we have in place there. We don’t use any single use plastic – including garbage bags! We only use Aussie grown produce, and try and limit what we get to what is grown in NSW. We are also in the process of setting up a farm to supply the bar with fresh produce which will have a huge impact on our footprint.

How would you describe the menu at Isabel? Is there a food philosophy that runs through it?

A celebration of Australian produce through the lens of Japanese technique.

Visit to book. 

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