358 Cleveland Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 8399 1440
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 8399 1440
Category: Just got paid ($50 - $100)
Amidst all the hype, expectation and marvel that surrounds this new restaurant, I must say I had some fairly large expectations. However I left a little… well, I am not sure… It was not bad, but it just was not great.
Initially, getting a table is a challenge. Not quite as difficult as say Tetsuya’s however for groups 8 or more one must go with a set menu which is $70 per head, and if one of your guests do NOT arrive its $50 as compensation to the restaurant, and on top of this they only have 2 sittings. After this phone call I felt like I had booked an airflight. Here’s what time you need to be here, and if you don’t arrive we charge you anyway. I understand restaurants need to protect themselves but for me this was over the top.
When we actually arrive the décor is actually quite nice. However it gave the feel that we should have been smoking cigars and playing poker rather than having a friendly meal. This may be contributed to the 1920s style dresses and the black and whites from the waiters/waitresses combined with the furniture to create a mafia-esque feel about the place.
Moving onto the food, let’s begin with the so called stars. The suckling pig was… well, I did not like it. Considering what I have been lucky enough to savour in the past, including the Chinese roast version and even the German version it was just not as spectacular. Especially at $42 for a plate (not even that big a plate too). The main reason we were here for however was the lamb. Whilst everyone raves about the lamb, and some critics have described it as ‘f*cking amazing,’ I again thought I was well… ok. Yes, the skin was crispy, well cooked and salted too however, it was just not that amazing, and again at $42 a hit it would be in fact the other dishes that would make me return more than the lamb or suckling pig that critics praise most.
The ‘non-franchise’ items saved this place for me. The blood sausages were full of flavour and bold, something you could really sink your teeth into. TheB bread with pate was quite superb and the quesadilla were soft and fluffy too. The salad’s and vegetarian options are ok, not amazing (they felt a little like what you would get served if you were going to a friend’s for a casual dinner, not restaurant quality), and the Empanadas look more like curry puffs however they lacked real flavour, filling and punch.
I personally loved the deserts (whilst having a minimal selection). The caramel and chocolate fondant was a clear winner being rich, elegant and powerful. It was done perfectly with the decadent chocolate sauce oozing out upon breaking the fondant. A strong wine list helps and they have some good local and international numbers.
The service is good, however probably not tentative enough for my liking and there seems to be a couple of issues with real understanding of the menu. In addition, I could not help but feel an air of slight arrogance about the place…
All in all, not a bad experience, but just not the heights I was expecting. The upstairs bar is definitely worth a visit as is the open fire place where the lamb is slow roasted for hours and hours. The initial booking did put me off, and the stars failed to live up to expectation... Will I return however? Maybe with my friends… teetering no… off my own accord? Sorry... no...
You should find yourself with little change from your $100 and including drinks (depending how many) may need to fork out more.
Décor etc 2/3