Sign in


Forgotten your Password?

Enter your email address below and we'll send instructions and link to reset your password


Unlock Sydney's hidden gems

All the latest and greatest places to eat, drink, stay and play in your city.

By signing up, you agree to periodic email marketing from Sitchu to the email address you provided. Terms and Conditions. Privacy Policy.
  • Sydney
  • Restaurants
  • Jonathon Barthelmess Reveals His Favourite Lunch Haunts and How Much Cheese The Apollo Sells Each Week

Jonathon Barthelmess Reveals His Favourite Lunch Haunts and How Much Cheese The Apollo Sells Each Week

With three restaurants under his belt and a recent expansion to Japan, Jonathan Barthelmess is a busy man. Chef and co-owner of The Apollo, one of the hottest restaurants in Potts Point


, Barthelmess believes he may have just opened the first greek restaurant in Japan when he took The Apollo to Tokyo’s Ginza district this year.

Back on home soil, The Apollo was recently nominated seventh best restaurant in the world in The Monocle Restaurant Awards. While his Japanese establishment, Cho Cho San - which Barthelmess and restaurateur Sam Christie launched in 2014 just down the road on Macleay Street - was rated fifth in Monocle’s 2015 awards.

Originally drawn to the hospitality business as it granted him the freedom to surf in the morning, the adrenalin from service now trumps the waves more often. We caught up with the leading chef to find out the establishments he frequents when he’s not working at The Apollo and Cho Cho San. He lives in a Potts Point apartment not far from his businesses.

Jonathon Barthelmess. Photo credit- Nikki To
Jonathon Barthelmess. Photo credit- Nikki To
Your restaurants are Potts Point establishments. What drew your business to Potts Point?

I love to hang out in Potts Point. It has a great local vibe; the mix of people and the great energy.

Other than your own restaurants, of course, where do you enjoy dining out in Sydney for dinner?

Sean’s Panorama in Bondi and Fratelli Fresh across the road from The Apollo in Potts Point.

The dish The Apollo is particularly well known for is that saganaki cheese. How did you perfect such a dish?

It is just the way you need to eat the cheese - nothing less, nothing more.

*For those who haven’t experienced The Apollo’s saganaki cheese, it is served in a small frying pan with salt, oregano and honey.

On average, how many saganaki cheese dishes do you serve a week?

We sell about 100 kilograms of cheese per week.

What are your favourite brunch haunts in Sydney?

I can’t remember the last time I had brunch! But I love a long lunch at The Boathouse in Palm BeachPilu at Freshwater, Seans Panorama in Bondi again and at the bar a Bondi’s Icebergs.

When you're not working, how is your ideal weekend in Sydney spent?

In the Northern Beaches with friends.

Cho Cho San. Photo credit- Nikki To
Cho Cho San. Photo credit- Nikki To
When you have visitors in the city, where do you take them to eat, drink and sight see?

I always take them to Icebergs in BondiOpera Bar for that Sydney Harbour Bridge view and 10 William Street in Paddington for a drink (or drinks).

Lastly, what drew you to becoming a chef? And how enjoyable has it been to go back to your roots creating Greek dishes?

I was attracted to the buzz from service and the fact there is always something to learn. The Apollo is the first time I have cooked Greek food. I really relate to it.