After working for nearly a year in a high-end hotel in New York City’s Financial District, Rob Teitzel needed a break. The Australian found the sanctuary he was seeking in the Lowcountry, a feeling he’s looking to re-create for guests of his new Sydney restaurant, The Charleston.
“We loved the culture, we loved the change of pace,” Teitzel says of his short 2010 stay.
Because Teitzel and his girlfriend were on a limited budget, they didn’t visit Charleston’s ritziest dining rooms. “We weren’t dining at the Charleston Grill or anything like that,” he says. But they feasted on seafood, which is a defining theme of the brand-new restaurant, along with the pastel colors that soothed Teitzel’s Manhattan-jangled nerves.
“We’re on a busy street in Sydney, so we wanted to build a bit of an oasis,” he says.
As a press release puts it, “Dusty pink walls, periwinkle seating and exposed brickwork are reminiscent of Charleston’s historic waterfront.” The menu, which “takes inspiration from the shorelines of South Carolina from coastal Charleston to the Old South Plantations,” includes a lobster roll, baby octopus with minted pea puree, pulled pork tacos and brioche doughnuts with bourbon glaze.
According to Teitzel, very few Sydney diners have personal experience with Charleston, “but everyone who has been there is very fond of it.” While the South Coast of New South Wales, where Sydney is located, has its share of charming towns and oceanic beauty, Teitzel says Australians are always impressed by American buildings which date back centuries.
“You guys have been there for a while,” he says.
Although Teitzel doesn’t have a direct connection to Charleston, he adds, “We have managed to employ someone who grew up in Hilton Head.”