What's Hot in Sydney
Pat Nourse's new review on Bar H in Gourmet Traveller lists some of the "casual" places that are hot in Sydney at the moment:
* Bar H
* District Dining
* Love, Tilly Devine
* Fratelli Paradiso (Paddington)
* Eathouse Diner (Redfern)
* Bloodwood (Newtown)
* Ms G's
No news for Sydney readers, but if you add Porteno (their veal sweetbreads just got #1 dish of 2010 in TimeOut magazine), this would be a pretty good list for out-of-towners to look up and check out.
District is brilliant; but Duke is better (write up soon) . Fratelli has always been cool but never hot, is the new place a restaurant or simply a bar? Same for Love, Tilly Divine. MsG's is (IMO) style over substance - I think Dan is a great chef hidden under an less than ideal restaurant format. My waiter at Duke tonight recommended Eathouse - it is on the list for next year.
The sweetbreads at Porteno are their weakest dish IMO. Is the high ranking because sweetbreads are such a rarity in Sydney and therefore there are few to judge them by? For me they lacked the delicacy and finesse that is needed for such a fantastic ingredient and is demonstrated in places like Robuchon. Porteno is a great place but try the fish dishes to balance the meat - these are where there is some true talent.
The great news is that Sydney does have a really strong and dynamic middle ground of edgy places to eat, where talented chefs again push the boundaries creating really exciting food. After a couple of years in the UK this food is both refreshing and stimulating. Thank god for our talent!