How Hinchcliff House weaved a modern commercial kitchen fitout into an 1800s Woolshed

Hinchcliff House in Sydney’s historic Circular Quay is the perfect combination of colonial Sydney charm and modern technology. Set on four floors of an 1860s woolshed, the original raw sandstone and brickwork have been preserved while seamlessly incorporating modern commercial kitchen technology.

Hinchcliff House seats 455 customers, with 40 chefs in the three kitchens. The three floors house Lana, Grana, Sweet Grana and the bakery, with the Italian ‘Godfather’ styled bar, Apollonia in the basement.

Enjoy crispy king prawn “samosa”, salsa di noce with curry leaf amongst the sandstone and wooden beams of Lana. Otherwise, head to Grana for truffled goat’s curd on toast. They even mill their own flour.


The challenges of designing a commercial kitchen fitout in a heritage listed building

Low ceilings, columns and the lack of utilities were just some of the problems the architects had to overcome in the kitchens.

The biggest challenge, because we have three kitchens on top of each other, was to balance the gas and electricity loadings of the building,” says Scott Brown, owner of Hinchcliff House.

The architects decided the best way to hide the services while featuring the beams and historical aspects of the building was to stack the kitchens and toilets on top of each other across the four levels.

The choice of commercial kitchen appliances for the fitout was crucial to their success.


The modular Mareno units from Italy were custom made to fit the irregular spaces. The griddle, chargrill, pasta cookers and deep fryers were seamlessly integrated into the 1860s building.

We were able to custom make each of those sections as well as doing a colour combination. The architects were really happy,” says Scott.


They also decided on a blast chiller so food can be prepared well beforehand, reducing stress in the kitchen. Tecnomac blast chillers preserve the flavour, texture, colour and nutrients of the food, ready to be placed in the RATIONAL iCombi oven.

We use the Tecnomac blast chiller just to increase our food length and time of production.  We’re using the RATIONAL combi oven. We can use the Technomac blast chiller in conjunction with that.”

The RATIONAL iCombi Pro ovens are an ideal choice when space is at a premium. In approximately 1m2 the unit can bake, grill, pan fry and poach how, and when, the chefs need it.

The chefs are loving it.”


The iCombi intelligently controls temperature, air circulation and humidity. The oven generates 50 percent more productivity with around 10 percent shorter cooking times, compared to previous models of combi ovens.

The RATIONAL iCombi ovens are by far the best piece of equipment we have installed here. They’re such a time saving piece of equipment.”

The durable Garland grill concentrates heat to where it’s needed, saving energy and reducing the heat in the kitchen. The usable surface area is greater than conventional models, making the most of the usable space in the tight area available in their kitchen.

It’s able to hold fantastic heat and push through a lot of meals in a very quick time. The Garland range was perfect for that situation.”


Fitting out three commercial kitchens in an 1860s woolshed required expert advice and experience. For appliances, Hinchcliff House turned to the team at Comcater.

In this tight labour market, it’s important as a business owner that I give the chefs the right tools to work,” says Scott.

If you’re thinking of revamping your restaurant equipment, call Comcater. We can discuss your staffing, guest capacity and what you want to achieve with your menu. Our chefs can guide you through the best appliances for your food. Call 1300 309 262


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