With a new season, comes the inevitable influx of fresh seasonal menus around Sydney and we aren’t complaining since it’s going a long way towards easing our winter blues. To make sure you don’t get into a cold weather funk either, we have put together some of our favourite restaurants in Sydney for this weekend that are worth braving the cold for.
There is still time for you to take advantage of the sensory dining experience that is Wood, Fire and Smoke month at Sokyo at The Star (available until 31st June). The dinner menu has three courses on offer, each complete with paired wines designed to complement the smoked dishes perfectly. The first course is a hay-smoked bonito served with raw mountain potato “Yamaimo”, ume, yuzukosho and ponzu, followed by the binchotan duck, served alongside beetroot, smoked bone marrow and tosazu. By the time you’ve downed the first two courses, it would be silly to refuse dessert, especially since it’s a smoked ice cream with persimmon and walnut crumble.
O Bar & Dining
At O Bar and Dining they are all about engaging the senses, leaving you just on the right side of over-stimulated in the way of beautiful views, contemporary dining and killer cocktails. Drawing inspiration from chef and owner Michael Moore’s healthy-eating cookbook, the menu is inspired by this season’s market offerings. Think house made silken tofu with baby beetroot, puffed grains, wasabi and goma dressing, pickled beetroot purée, wild picked leaves or Rangers Valley dry aged dry aged beef with Amsterdam carrots and radish, fermented wheatberries, roasted pecan miso. The cocktail list embraces the seasonal nature of the food menu and the sting and tonic (Titos vodka, bianco, orange blossom and bee pollen) is calling our name.
Consistently delivering a delicious seasonal menu, Pocket Bar is an intimate small bar in Darlinghurst that has just changed up their menu and it’s an absolute winner. You can keep it simple with their truffled oxheart tomato with burnt garlic toast or step outside your comfort zone by ordering the sorrel wrapped garfish stuffed with peppers and raison. Also worth a mention is the black figs served with goat’s curd and vincotto and sturgeon caviar served Chang style (that’s David Chang, in case you didn’t know). We weren’t kidding when we said you would be spoilt for choice. Once you’re done sampling all of the bar snacks (and we mean all of the bar snacks), nibble on some raspberry jubes and wash it all down with a penicillin cocktail (Monkey Shoulder scotch, lemon, honey, ginger and an Ardbeg floater).
CBD & Miranda
We can always count on Mejico for a good Mexican feast to brighten up our day. Their new menu is packed with the mixture of old-faithfuls and dishes with a distinctly modern flair that we have come to expect from Mejico. Drawing from a variety of regional flavours and taking advantage of our local seasonal produce, the new menu highlights beetroot and tequila-cured salmon on the lighter side or the ancho and coffee crusted six-hour slow roasted beef brisket if you’re in the mood for a true winter warmer. For dessert it has to be their signature margarita cheesecake tostadas, which is exactly what you think; bite sized citrus and tequila cheesecakes with tajin salt, dehydrated lime and coconut tostadas. Or churros. Because it’s always a good time for churros.
Executive Chef Justin North has done it yet again, with the launch of his new winter menu this month at Hotel Centennial. By ‘it’ we obviously mean that he has nailed it. The new additions will warm you up, whether it’s because of the rich and hearty beef Bourgognone or the fresh and carby Skull Island prawn pasta. But the fun doesn’t stop at the mains, because the steamed ginger brioche pudding is everything we want in a steamy, sweet dessert.
The menu is available for both lunch and dinner, so there are no excuses to not go.
Charing Cross Hotel
Since upgrading their digs two years ago, the Charing Cross Hotel has been churning out some seriously delicious eats in their dining room. The menu is entirely seasonal and constantly changing, but we’ll give you a taster of what you can expect at the Charo, starting with the duck parfait with fresh figs, courgette chutney and grilled bread for entrée. Move quickly along to the parmesan gnocchi with field mushrooms, asparagus, celeriac and truffle puree with a side of cooks co-op vegetables with toasted almonds to even things out. Round out the night with Matt’s bread and butter pudding served with vanilla bean ice cream or cut your losses and give your full belly a break by ordering an espresso martini instead. There is no wrong answer here.
Image credit: Nikki To at Hotel Centennial