Friday, January 28, 2011

Catching Fire at Porteno, Surry Hills...

Che Guevara fought, and he stood. He stood for many things. The good man was all about standing. Standing up to - and standing up for. He even said it is better to die standing than to live on your knees - well it's certainly better for your kneecaps at the very least. Che. Brave, fearless and good. Who doesn't love the man? This Argentinian would-be-doctor, Marxist-Revolutionary who tore through history and inequity on a ramshackle motorcycle is still there, young and beautiful, frozen in the faded mists of our starry imaginations. Che was a good many noble things, I know, but by God, whatever else he was... the man was bloody Hot. I have to capitalize the H, that's how Hot he was. Not just sort of hot. I am talking damn fine. Drop-Dead Striking. Dreamy-Starry-Beret'd Beauty. Even my (straight) father can't talk about Che without alluding to his deep-eyed, bearded, revolutionary handsomeness and burning up somewhere in the confines of his heterosexual subconscious. It seems we are always, always (like a moth)...drawn to the flame.
And everything inspired by Argentina, like Che, seems to be born of the flames. Hotter-than-hot Surry Hills HotSpot - Porteno - sizzlingly continues this incendiary tradition from the hollows of its hallowed hearth to the cool, white world of the pristine plate. Word about Porteno has certainly been spreading like wild fire, and it was at 6pm with no booking on a Friday that Tats and I finally found our way into the Cleveland St foothills, ready to scale the culinary heights of a truly edible Andes. A huge Spanish style white-washed edifice with a dark interior leads to a light and rustic space where authentic Argentinian tiles, light fixtures and wrought iron transport us, to the sinuous strains of a tango, very, very far away...
...we couldn't possibly still be in Sydney, could we, not when the waiter looks like this. CakeKnifeAmigos, meet Eric (aka Eduardo). Styled, dappy-dappa-dapper (in blacker), with a quick, easy smile and a cavernous belly-laugh, he was every bit the charming-Che-esque part. I can't say whether it was the black bow-tie, the attentive service, the earring or the slicked back do in which I could've probably seen my own inner-awe reflected if I had ever cared to look - but both Tats and I were absolutely smitten. Under the groomed guidance of that epic mustache (which I think we should christen El Stacho), Eric deftly guided us through a menu as rustically charming as it was sufficiently lavish enough for el presidente. Hola! WhatHave. We. Here?
Sydney dining is finally enjoying a revolution. One comes to Porteno not to eat, but to feast - and no less. Marinated Olives and Spiced Eggplant have a Mexican Standoff with Fruit-Woodfired Sufolk Lamb and Blood Sausage w Red Peppers + Garlic. This is heady, sensuous, voluptuous food - fired, marinated and Argentiniated. And with all of the glorious aesthetics of unapologetic, Roman-Emperoresque carnivoredom. Food got too pretty for a while there. Too styled, too sterile, too White-Table-Cloth+Silver-Spoon. That's not how they roll at Porteno, not at all. This is the dark side. And delicious carnage goes a little something like this...
Splayed meat on metal contraptions burning like black-black sin within open woodfires, a startling apparition in flesh and flame and brick. If you watch closely enough, you might even be able to see Satan. Bones and skin and whole carcasses parade before your twinkling eyes. Porteno is medieval magic. The Restaurant/Bar is brilliantly conceived. It's a showcase of fire and skill - you watch the meat burning and being sliced and taken apart. The process draws you in and makes you feel welcome and warm and generous and relaxed. It's entirely sharp but not at all formal. There's a natural friendliness and ease that emanates from the quick footed, suave staff. The open dining hall is supposed to make you feel that even at a mere table for two, it's really a party with everyone else - laughing and drinking amidst the quick, silver glint of wooden-handled blades carving into succulent strips of ragingly roasted flesh. Good Restaurants should be theater as much as anything else, and this one's Evita.
Tats gets his merlot on while we plot the best way to line our bellies. So many courses. It all began with the ensalada palermo viejo, this dish might actually be the most fun you can have for fourteen bucks. 
Simple and Beautiful. This is what happens when BBQ eggplant, pearl barley, tahini and preserved lemon decide to hold cool, spicy tomato-spangled hands. Although it could have been just a little more burnt, the eggplant is soft and glisteningly oiled beneath the barley, parsley and tahini. Chilled and plump and salted, with a recurrent echo of preserved lemon punch and startling in red vs green. 
Spoons and forks easily slip into the eggplantiness, dollop it with some of the rich tahini and the smoothness of it all contrasts wonderfully with the little shards of gentle, pearl barley. Tomato and onion for crunch, a little chili powder like fairy dust, parsley for GreenFresh and it's a chilled, creamy beauty, alive and rich and full, but, like a tawdry romance before the love of your life: soon forgotten in all that ensued...
The bonito w palm heart, avocado + pickled celery is probably the reason that the human throat even learnt to gasp. Gasp. Do it. Actually practice your gasp before you come to Porteno and lay claim on this little wonder, you want to be able to say you got it just right. Anyone who knows you were lucky enough to sample this dish will not cry for you, Argentina. The plate is a perfect mess of glistening greens and crunchy-whites and pale-fish pink - drowning in a tarrying tangle of dizzying dill. It is infusion gone decidedly and delectably: bonkers.
Cross my heart and hope to die, this was a paranormal phenomenon. Different fish. The gorgeous flesh of the silky-striped bonito is yet to gain the acclaim in Australia that it has overseas (kind of like Tania Zaetta). Bonito is the protagonist in any good dashi and you've probably eaten it in Japanese food without knowing it is wonderful in its own fleshy right. It's oily without being as overpoweringly fishy as salmon or trout, it is subtle and smooth and salty and deep. And at Porteno, it is cooked to Wow. 
These little slivers of smoked bonito were swathed in dreamy-tart sauce into which the bountiful dill blended into and out of seamlessly. The fish had such a crazy, delicious smokiness to it that you tasted as much as you felt. 
The Palm heart and pickled celery were just about the best garnish I think I have ever had. The celery was tart, crunchy and North-Shore cold and the palm heart so subtle and smooth with a vegetabley denseness that was almost unthinkable. Each bite was so varied, it was more collage that food. To you I must hiss that this is the most original fish dish for which you could ever wish. Salty-flaky-oiled-fish-dallying-in-dill-smart-tart-smack-prickle-tongue-lip-fresh-pickled-celery-palm scream. Go on, let it out. It's not healthy to keep it in. If El Stacho was a meal, he would definitely be this.
Knife up, kids. Gets your blades sharp and your forks poised, chanchito a la cruz (the woodfired suckling pig) is about to get crackling, and I know you don't want to miss out...
Hey pig, yeah you, hey pig piggy pig pig pig
All of my fears came true...
Nothing can stop me now
I just don't care...
Hey pig, nothing's turning out the way I planned
Hey pig, there's a lot of things I thought you could help me understand
What am I supposed to do, 
I lost my shit because of you...
Okay, I know Reznor wasn't talking about Porteno's suckling pig when he penned those lyrics, but they perfectly describe my feelings towards this poor, sumptuous porker that suckled on its mothers milk and wouldn't have lived to see 7 weeks of life in this pork-frenzied world. Eating baby animals is like eating nutella from the jar: wrong and so, so good.
Porteno's woodfired piggy is something else. It's definitely one piggy to get into your middle sometime soon. Putting a wee pause on pescetarianism, I had to try a bite, I couldn't help it. It was divine: subtle, flaky, smoky pork, so flavoursome and salty I almost oink'ed. I couldn't bring myself to try the crackling, but Tatsu (with his Japanese Metabolism) was in double-crisped-salty-pig-sizzle-skin-fat heaven. So rustic and beautiful and vividly piggy. It comes on a no-nonsense slab of wood with and a pot of green-hot-oiled Argentinian sauce to spoon all over.
If suckling pig isn't your thing, there's no going wrong with Coorong Angus sirloin and beef short ribs. There's even a beef inside skirt you might do well to look up.
Sides sparkle in antioxidant islands alongside ample mounds of sumptuous meat. There's the Crispy fried brussel sprouts with lentils + mint. If your mum knew how to cook sprouts like this then she never would have had a hard time getting you to eat them. The Roasted beetroot w blood orange, witlof and radish speckled with walnuts made an appearance at the table next to us. Despite how beguiling it looked, we were definitely Too Full. 
But when someone like Eric suggests a sweet finish in the form of the peanut smashed postre chaja - what's a gal to do? Think desconstructed LatinoPavlova w peanuts, sticky-tricky-pretty-dirty dulce del leche and shards of meringue spiked sponge with hidden pockets of custardly cream.
Caramel white-spiked-sugar-crunch-nut mess in sticky OhMyGod. If you're currently single/celibate this is definitely a viable substitute. It's light and fun and brassy caking, with luscious creaminess and poached fruit softness slipping into dry-crunch, crumbling into soft, silken, spongey-cream.
Ben + Elvis...thank god you didn't leave the foodie building with Bodega. Porteno is punk-rock BBQ for people who know good food, by people who know good food. Sweet, sweet Sarah of the ethereal flaxen-40's curls, runs the floor with such an amiable sincerity that you know no matter how smart they run the shop, it's all food, love and family behind the scenes. 
If you don't get in early you can hang ten (x 4) in the soon to be relaunched bar upstairs, dusky and in black with deep-dark-blood-red and finished with paintings of Argentinian football players. There's even an antique foosball machine in the upstairs nook - perfect for anti-social boyfriends who wouldn't mind burning off some crackling indued calories with all of that swift, cardiovascular wrist action. 
Porteno happens at 358 Cleveland St, Surry Hills. Ph 8399 1440, Website here.

Sarah and Eric, you are walking testimonials to the food, the fun and to your hairdresser. Thanks for a rollicking night x, we'll be back. To Tats, I think you're going to miss me when you're gone.

Porteno: real, roasted and rocking, and not just another brick in the Sydney-restaurant wall. Get your hair oiled, get your suits pressed, get every friend you ever had and head in for an experience that is made for a hungry, happy crowd. The hype is completely justified. Porteno is freedom fighting as food, it's a revolution on flames, it's a slaying of the beast and it's edible Che - all of the way. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Single + Fabulous (Exclamation Point)...aka Single Origin Cafe, Surry Hills.

Punctuation. It changes everything. You know what I mean! You know what I mean? Every now and then something comes along in life that can only be expressed in proper punctuation: Johnny Cash! Shane Warne? Lethal body odour on public transport on a hot day... Earl Grey Chocolate!? Life; Garish. Prominent. Breast. Implants. On. 50. Year. Old. Women. Who. Could. Be. Your. Grandmother. Punctuation: where would we be without it?/. I first came across the Single Origin brand on a 2008 stint to Perth. All the way across the other side of this sunburnt country was where I was lucky enough to fall mouth first into a gasp-worthy little latte in an inner-city cafe. I was promptly informed, after promptly inquiring, that it was the beany, caffeinated brain-child of a boutique roaster in Surry Hills: Single Origin. And Being Single really is better, especially when any roasters worth their grind no longer merely bean, they toastie and bircher, as well - and to very, very delicious effect. Single Origin Cafe has been a happy and welcome part of my life ever since I dropped in, there's no question (mark) about it...
Single Origin Cafe is Single + Fabulous, exclamation point. A bit like our good friend Tats. Not only is it rocking an eponymous beatific-brew of consummately warm, nuttied full-bodieded bean, but it has a breakfast and lunch lineup that it is as thoughtful as it is scrummy. At the S.O cafe, poise meets punch: the food is equal part discerning, equal part ballsy. Different and delicious. A little bit cafe, a little bit fine dining, like a ballerina in a white tutu donning worn out black cons and some smudged mascara. It's perfect and it's punk, but it's all grown up. 
The lunch menu is something of a seasonal celebration. Keeping ourselves cool and calm in a lavishly minted iced tea, we sussed out a menu that offered way too many delectable paths diverging in what was an extremely yellow wood. Options options options. Beauty really is the beginning of terror: a duck liver parfait with stone fruit chutney and pulled bread...smoked wagyu beef burger w green apple, daikon + wasabi cream? Or a late January Christmas turkey sanga w cranberry stuffing + gravy? We definitely aren't in Kansas any more, Toto. Lunch is a brave affair at Single Origin, and like it or not...you will try something different - and love it.
Tatsu settles on the Watermelon Gazpacho w Cucumber Sorbet, Jalapeno + Prawn. Cooler than the recent offspring of the Kerr-Bloom's, this is a crimson-frozen wonder waltzing in winsome watermelon. The little globs of studded prawn are fresh and salty and succulent, and perfectly puncture the chilli and cucumber sorbet. This is delightful and surprising and so welcome on a Summers day. Icy and spicy and nicey in a pale red-green puddle with specks of crunchy purple - so seamlessly sensory.
My curiosity was not going to shut up until it got it's fill of the Kooky CoconuttedLimed Kingfish Tartar w Betel Leaves. This dish is a wee, dainty little lunch-world all unto its own salubrious self. It arrives on a wooden chopping board, sectioned up in disparate elements for you to compose into exotic little betel-wrapped, munch-worthy morsels. It looks precious and pretty. 
This oily, chillied relish is deep and firey and tomatoish. It adds the necessary heaviness to ground the cool, wet kingfish in. Diced and delectable, like a sashimi bruschetta, the textured pocket of slippery fish is herbed and dressed to perfection. The texture is beautiful, creamy and smooth with little islands of toothsome crunch. Dolloping cloudy spoonfuls of mesmerizing fish onto a stunned betel leaf, rolling it up like a dark, pretty secret and dipping it into a little of the chilli adds a whimsical touch of exotic ritual, redolent of distant palm trees and paradises, to an inner-city lane way lunch. Being warned that this was one of the smaller dishes on the menu provided the perfect pretext for doing a very naughty thing...
The breakfast menu was sitting there, all lonesome and wallflowerish at 1pm. They'd stopped serving it over an hour ago. Poor Little Breakfast. You shouldn't be restrained to a particular time of day. Your roasted-muesli-beguiling-bircher-bouncing-toasted-handmade-nutella-sandwich-with-banana beauty should be available all the good, burning day long. What is high noon, what is a clock and time and all of God's whirring history when there are homestyle beans, curried kedgeree, hollandaise and slow roasted tomato to be had? Time, you fickle bugger. You might wrinkle me, paint me grey and take away everyone I know and love, but you'll never get in the way of a good lunch. Nu uh. Not on my clock. I'll take whatever breakfast I can get, even at 1pm.
The Four Cheese Toastie probably wasn't the wisest thing for someone who really hasn't been sticking to her gym schedule with quite the vigour and consistency she should be to order. But hey, I tried ordering the Bircher and they couldn't do it after 11.45, so the four cheese toastie seemed the only way to go. I could've asked for one cheese, but that would have been so lost and lonely, just one cheese between two slabs of enveloping sourdough. Two cheeses is more Romeo + Juliet, but whereforeartthou, Mercutio? And then three is an odd number, so I may as well let them add another. Four Cheese Toastie: you dirty, delicious sticky-salty-mustard-licked-little-cheese-filled, grilled transgression. Sin as Sandwich. Tangy and creamy and with thick-crunchy OldSchool bread - and with an inch of token green on the side. Cholesterol honestly never tasted so damn good. You must try this sandwich. Go onnn...do it! Your gallbladder can pick up the pieces later. That's what it's there for!
A sublime, milky latte - beguiling of bean, and you have everything you ever came into this wonderful life for: a good brew, a killer sandwich and some great company. You simply can't put a fussy taste-bud wrong at Single Origin. The food is so intelligent it probably has a higher IQ than you, but don't take that personally. Single Origin, we love you and everything you touch turns to yum.
Alas, as if they were actually taunting us, they only open weekdays. I guess when you're this good, it's definitely your pretty, little prerogative to call (and brew) the shots. Single Origin is a great Sydney story, from humble (single) origins into the oft fickle heights of Starry-Sydney-Foodie-Heaven. An ethical, solid stellar. Lovely, attentive staff mean that you shouldn't be deterred by the inevitable crowds you'll probably run into at peak lunch and brekkie times. It's worth an itsy bitsy wait.
Single Origin Cafe happens at 60-64 Reservoir St, Surry Hills. Ph: 9211 0665, Website here.

Great Coffee + Epic Food. Exclamation Point! 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

All Stations to Central (aka District Dining, Surry Hills)...

A good thing happened to me the other day near Central Station. I know what you're thinking, and no: I didn't closely escape a mugging, manage to get spared the spasmodically random invective of a drunk, teetering hobo. I didn't narrowly miss hitting a pissed post-punk, poisonous pedestrian coming out of the Gaelic Club, or manage not to stack it on the Devonshire St Side Steps trying to race passed everyone else in my hapless havaianas. No, when I say a good thing happened, I don't mean just not-a-bad-thing, I mean a nice, yummy thing - finished with very-vanilla cream and fluffy-pink strawberry swirls. What the..? Central Station, you've changed, man! Well it had to happen sometime, and the time is now. All our slummy pre-conceptions about the vicinity around Central Station had better be on the move: District Dining is deliciously in town, and it's not even a drunk man's empty-beer-bottle throw away from Central Station. 
Tucked within the confines of the geometrically confused tangle of lanes that comprises the wedge around Randle St, District dining is a bit of a proverbial fish out of cheap-greasy-I-think-it-might-still-be-possibly-alive-kebab-sandwich-takeaway-cheap-sushi-8-dollar-steak-pub-food water. I would never put it passed the Surry Hills crowd to make slumming it chic, and that's probably why it's taken me about three weeks to get a sort of last minute-ish booking on a Friday night. District Dining! Don't you know who I am? A bloody hungry Lebanese girl who keeps hearing about how good your food is and can't get her social-calender together, that's who. With the soon-to-be-disappearing Tatsuit in hand, it was a 6.30 (had to be out by 8.15) Friday night dinner date.
The menu, a culinary grid of sorts, is your first sign that you're onto something different. It's a slap in the face to Descartes, convention and linear reasoning. Laid out, side by side, entrees, mains and desserts aren't really the focus. The lighter meals sit on the top horizontal line of the menu, and as you go down it gets heavier (kinda like my physique lately). Upside down, you know you turn me...inside out... The heaviest meals are at the bottom and you're advised to mix and match between rows. It sort of put me off in the beginning, I kept getting uncomfortable flashbacks to simple harmonic motion (specifically), 3 unit maths (generally), the parking station at Westfield Bondi Junction, Ikea furniture assembling instructions and Tetris (which I never really got the hang of). I persevered through confusion and resisted the urge to look at my waitress, point to my belly and say Fill This Now...
Because beyond space and time, lies the most important dimension of them all: flavour. Kervella goats curd, steak tartare, chicken nuggets w coleslaw, truffled pecorino, dill mayonnaise, green harissa and red onion compote, salted yoghurt, rockmelon sorbet, ricotta gnocchi, pumpkin hummus and honey feta, chicken liver parfait, crispy quail eggs, pork belly and pickled daikon and seared foie gras with peach chutney and pomegranate. Novel, curious combinations, a little bit classic with a lot new-wave. It's sort of traditional French-European-Modern-Australian-Mediterranean, on a skateboard. The smoked eel pate with cucumber and green onion flatbread is an amiable marriage of pale pink, muted-eel smooshiness, crisp bread and cool, calm and collected cucumber. The pate isn't too heavy, it is thick and textured and the eel doesn't come off as it often can: too overpoweringly oily. The crispy courgette flowers, a little too crumbed, shone over a creamy and rich goats curd with the very subtle sweetness of a faint truffled honey coming through. And then we entered the realms of pescetarian heaven: 
No, not the deep sea floor, but the wide open plate. Pescetarianism means I eat a hell of a lot of fish lately. I don't mind that at all, I love good fish. In fact, my alimentary canal is currently in talks with David Attenborough to do a new series: Blue Planet - Amanda's Bioluminescent Belly. I think there could be some undiscovered species rocking it out in there. Well, anyway. Into this inner ocean I was happy to welcome the Cone Bay Barramundi, Crushed Pea, Herbed Sourcream w Parmesan Crisp. Ooh, parmesan crisp! I'm always sold on the little things.
A succulent salty stunner, light and with the sweet-gentleness I only find in barramundi, blends perfectly with the pea, cream and crisp. The combination has a beautiful, dreamy moistness to it. The fish is salty and smooth and the peas add a shock of welcome green and some soft-roughness to the overall texture. Taking forkfulls of fish and swirling it into the herbed sourcream was wonderfully indulgent. It gave the fish a beautiful heaviness and flavour. The parmesan crisp was just plain fun to bite into. Kind of like pressing a red button that says don't press me.
Tats loved the Baby Snapper w King Crab, Sweetcorn Congee. So unusual and inspired! The Snapper was lovely, crisp where it should be and soft underneath. Its little coral-congee was even better. A soft, salty-warm bed of rice that gave much more nuance to the fish - and a faint, crunchy corn-spangled sweetness.
A gentle scattering of some black sesame seed rounds out the texture and the colour of this charming little fish. It is lighter than the barramundi and more playful for those of you who don't just expect dinner to fill you up, but to dazzle you while it does. The serving sizes of both fish were a little on the smaller side, that could be because I didn't pay attention to the menu-grid. They were only on the second last line. Jesus.
My humour has always been a little bit cheesy, and now my palate is joining in on the act. Without any say in the matter at all, Tats was informed that my dessert choices were the daily cheese selection and the strawberry + raspberry meringue 1 vanilla cream. After reading the cheese specials and having no clue what they were, I knew I had to have them: Brillat Savarin, Fourme Dambert, Pyengana. They sounded like the names of Parisian Madams with ample bosoms from the 19th Century, no way I was going to miss out on such eponymously ridiculous morsels.
CakeKnifeSirs, meet Madam B.S, a tantalizing tale in triple-triple-triple cream. Smooth and fresh and semi molten. You had to knife this beauty with all of the caution that a trembling hand could muster. If you tried to dislodge a sliver too quickly or heavy handedly, the blade would drown into a gorgeous inner-mooshiness that no pulling back could dislodge. It stuck to the knife like a hopeless man does to a bad idea. This was a beguiling, dreamy, milky mess of a cheese.
Gorgeous to daintily daub onto ephemeral slices of dry, crispy lavosh and wafer thin-fruit spiced bread. I painted the triple cream with scarlet smatterings of pithy, sweet quince jelly and just descended into an exasperated mania of smooth cream-crunch-sweet-rich splendour. 
Madam Fourme Dambert was a little sharp and a little blue, that day. But when you gave her a glistening shard of honeyed walnut to hold in her hand, why, she positively came alive. So powerful and mouldily luscious. Decadent and death-defying cheese. Just forget its mouldy and keep-a-munchin.
Cheeseplate ordering is a definitely a sign I am maturing. Maturing like a good cheese. I feel so bloody grown up ordering the cheese. It's the menu equivalent of a mortgage or a torrid affair. Edible Adultery. When I was a kid (last year) I could never really understand how one could possibly have had it within them to myopically eschew chocolate-sticky-toffeed slabs of glorious gum-gala to opt for something that wasn't sweet. But old age makes one wise, old age reveals that the pleasures of life are not only loud and intense - they can be subtle and demure, as well. Old age has taught me many things, it has taught me that I can have whatever the hell I want because I am paying. Don't put cheese in the way of cake, let them learn to live together, in harmony, in every dessert fantasy you ever had...
This is District Dining's Eaton-Messesque Thing. I decided to merely pine over the Chocolate Parfait w Banana Cream + Peanut Brittle. I decided to leave the Buttermilk Pannacotta w Spiced Peaches + Mint for another, sultry life. I decided now was not the time to bank on the Coconut Financier in White Chocolate Ice Cream + Caramelised Pineapple. No. 
It was time to Think Pink. Pretty in Pink. Pale and Tart and Shocking ScarletBlindPink. Beautiful ballerina in a cream tutu pirouetting pink! Ladies and Gentlemen, if someone made Barbie into a real person, murdered her, cremated her remains and dessertified them and put a raspberry on top, you would have this gorgeous, charming, dainty-painted Strawberries/Raspberries Meringue w Vanilla Cream. It's pleasant and pretty and perfect, it's like a girl in a bowl blushing furiously.
Amorphous sweetness floating in vanilla cream. This is a messy, cheerful bowl of every shade of pink and cream. Tart slabs of ragingly ruby-berry fruit are adrift in a thick, whipped-luscious-floating subconscious of vanilla-ed-crazy cream. It is tart and sweet and lively and vibrant. Delicious summer dessert. It dances and laughs and twinkles at you with all of the brightness of colour and youth. A wayward spoon delving into the white-pinkitypink knows not what it will come up against. Surprising turns of spoon revealed cream with a tart burst-shock in raspberry-red-cool-spurt. Others told a toothsome tale of meringue hide and seek: beautifully crunchy shards of breakable white like confectionary-fins-of-candied-sharks looming deep and deliciously dangerously within swirled-strawberried cream - all dying inside of your very own Jaws. Rose petals and the smeared trails of bloodied-berries in the snow. Beautiful and enigmatic - with not too much sweetness. The bowl was beautiful to get lost in and so uplifting to eye and mouth and being. So cheerful to taste and so refreshing to linger upon.
All of this gentle, vulnerable beauty - and remember...Central Station - just across the roadkill-speckled street! Oh yes. District Dining is a place to try at least once. It has some menu options that won't be found easily in other places. Don't believe me? Well you just try getting Veal Tongue, Pickled Turnip w Salsa Verde + Almonds at Maccas Drive Through, then.
District Dining happens at 17 Randle St, Surry Hills. Ph 9211 7798, Website here. Tea Tonic teas are surprising and excellent to spy on a Sydney menu (the Berry Green is beautiful). Organic Allpress coffee is up for grabs, as is a hole range of pleasant, liver-teasing plonk. 

District Dining and Central Station! The strawberry/meringue madness alone means you'd probably better make your ticket a return. Peace Out!