The restaurant formerly known as Bishop Sessa is making a come back.
Now called The Bishop, the Surry Hills fine-diner has been reimagined as a moody, lamplit wine bar that's absolutely ideal for date night or a chill catch up with your mates.
While things at The Bishop are a tonne more casual than before, the quality of the wine you'll sip and share plates on the reworked menu are still sky high. In the kitchen is chef Troy Spencer, co-founder and one half of Spencer Gutherie in Newtown and most recently, executive chef at TarraWarra estate in the Yarra Valley (he earned the venue a coveted chef's hat during his tenure).
On Spencer's menu are sophisticated but hearty things like beef cheeks with whipped cashew and burnt butter, and chopped rose veal with anchovy butter. Lighter items include a cured Petuna ocean trout (the wagyu of the sea, apparently) with yuzu curd, smoked jelly and soybeans, and roasted beetroot with goats curd and pickled shallots.
Other must-tries are the duck and pistachio terrine with caramelised onion bread, and the braised pork jowl with boudin noir, butternut, brussels sprouts and macadamia. So, yes. It may be a wine bar but Spencer has ensured wine is not the only main event here folks.
As for the wine, you'll find 30 varieties by the glass, and over 200 by the bottle. Cocktails to definitely drink include a 'Salty Dog Martini', a twist on the classic made dirty with a freshly shucked oyster. The cherry-based 'Wolf' is served on the rocks and will have you howling at the moon after one bite. Locking that one in for Halloween.
The interior has been updated too—big, comfortable leather stools flank bar tables downstairs under low-lit lamps, and upstairs a wine-coloured velvet banquette runs around the edge of the room.
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Image credit: Bob Barrett.