In Short: Eastside Kitchen + Bar does the impossible task of creating a playful, experimental menu with sophisticated flavours. Come to be surprised, and delighted, with incredible dishes that are never the same, no matter how many times you come!
Eastside Kitchen & Bar – Kensington St. Sydney
I love a good adventure, especially one that begins and ends with food! And, my food adventures aren’t just restricted to the well-trodden streets of Sydney, but the tantalising temptation of the next experience in all my travels in so many different places around the world. Some of my most treasured food and travel memories exist in my absolute favourite cities, like New York, Tokyo and Milan. I know it sounds a bit cliché, but there’s just something about these cities that are quintessentially exciting, adventuresome, meccas of the urban explorer, that keep me coming back over, and over again. Now, when I’m craving to re-live those experiences, but my bank account has different plans, I can take the short adventure over to Eastside Kitchen + Bar in Kensington Street in Chippendale.
It was such a treat to meet and chat with the incredible Executive Chef Stanley Wong, and the impressive Head Chef, Angie Ford on their approaches to the menu and food at Eastside. Yes, for them both it was about local, sustainable produce, and quality ingredients, but what stood out was their passion for experimentation, and the influence their experiences have on their creations. You could say the style of menu here is fusion, but I don’t know, it seems too clumsy, too pedestrian, to call it that. Its more sophisticated, subtler, with a dedication to the art of food.
Now, I could go on and on; the more you get to know the team the more you realise the detail, the discriminating influence the whole team has here to the experience that is Eastside Kitchen & Bar. And it is an experience – from the cocktails and flair of Italian head bartender Davide, to every dish that lands on the table from the eclectic kitchen– no two nights are the same! So, let’s talk about that amazing food…
We tried a fantastic array of dishes, many of which were cooked over the Binchō-tan grill, an odourless and flame-less white charcoal that infuses an incredible flavour into whatever is being cooked on it. We tried the grilled peach & heirloom tomato salad that was served with a melt-in-your-mouth stracciatella di bufala, kale and hazelnut pesto. Flavours were robust, and the mix of sweetness of the peach with the creaminess of the fresh cheese is heavenly.
We complement our starter with a selection from the raw menu. The citrus-cured alpine king trout was a perfect accompaniment to the salad with fresh, beautiful flavours of this wonderfully prepared raw fish accented by smoked horseradish sour cream, and nori.
Don’t skip past the beef tartare topped with tuna aioli, garlic chives, elderflower jelly and crushed prawn crackers, this is tartare that is out-of-this-world delicious! The flavours are robust and burst across the palate with each mouthful.
From the Binchō-tan grill, how could we say no to whiskey-brined pork?! I mean, I would have said yes merely at the mention of whiskey (my latest obsession), but this caramelised Berkshire pork cutlet, perfectly grilled and topped with next level macadamia and coffee (my other favourite obsession), relish and pickles on a bed of Israeli cous cous. Now we’re just being spoilt!
The grilled baby octopus is outstanding. This Tasmanian sourced octopus, is simple, yet bursting with flavour with the black pepper reduction sauce and the pickled, spicy pineapple.
Now, how do I even start to describe the playful grand finale that is the fire & ice dessert presentation? Watch our video to get a visual taste of this delectable, sugar experience but do yourself a favour and end all your meals (or even start them!) with this platter. With the liquid nitrogen meringue pieces creating the smoky backdrop, take your tastebuds on a sweet adventure from the crème brulee, to the flowerpot earl grey infused tiramisu, the sugar dusted berries, candied orange, chocolate brownies and panna cotta. And no platters are ever the same, so you can just enjoy this over and over, with anticipation of what desserts will be included!
There are very few places that take you, and your tastebuds, on this kind of experience that appeals to the whimsical, playful side of food creation, and can also execute on sophisticated flavours and dishes. Go on, transport yourself through the looking-glass to discover what awaits you at Eastside Kitchen + Bar. What are you waiting for?!