Tag Archives: American

Bowery Lane, Sydney CBD

bowery (6)Somewhat hidden in the foyer of an office block, Bowery Lane was a welcome addition in 2014 to a part of the CBD which until recently was a little deficient in good casual dining options. The interior is an interfusion of textures – a little concrete, some wood, some leather, exposed bricks – and you can start to drown out the office block surrounds. bowery (3)

Like the venue, the menu is a bit of a mixture too – appropriate since Bowery Lane is named after a street in Manhattan, itself is a melding of cultures and cuisine. For instance there’s a little Italian (burrata, carpaccio); pure NY diner (Reuben on rye, fried pickle), and some Asia (salt and pepper squid, Asian slaw).

The burgers are very popular, in particular the New York cheeseburger with wagyu, bois bordran, Monterey jack, tomato, cos lettuce and onion, served with fries. Considering a lot of the new takeaway burger joints are selling burgers for $10 with $5-$6 for the fries, at $18 this is pretty good value for a sit down table service meal.bowery (5)

I also recommend the tempura soft shell crab burger with Asian slaw; it comes with a delicious miso mayonnaisebowery (4)

On their Summer menu I was fond of the duck confit salad with green beans and duck liver parfaitbowery (1)

The breakfast menu also offers plenty of tempting options. The hotcakes look good (next time) but I tried the poached eggs with smashed avocado, quinoa and feta which was nicely donebowery (2)

There is a little counter out the front for takeaway coffee and breakfast treats, and at the back of the restaurant, salads and hot food for takeaway lunchbowery (7)

For groups there are banquet menus for $55 and $65

Bowery Lane, 1 O’Connell Street, Sydney, Ph 02 9252 8017
http://www.bowerylane.com.au
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Bridge Street Garage Bar & Diner, Sydney

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I’ve been eyeing off this place every night driving home for the last few months. Its hard to miss the big neon sign, and the industrial type space through the big windows, reflecting its heritage as an actual garage once upon a time. With an Argentinian chef at the helm, its meant to be an American diner/South American cross. So it is no surprise that meat features heavily on the menu.

There are a few good value banquets which I’d seen on the website, $25, $40, and $60, so we opt for the $25 and order a few extra dishes we like the sound of. Our waitress is friendly and keen, but has no idea they even have banquet menus, and has to go ask someone about them.

We start with the guacamole. It is stock standard, probably slightly too acidic, certainly not as good as Mejico’s, lacking the texture and flavour of the latter.

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The empanadas on the other hand, which come with a beef or corn filling, are done well – a good pastry, a tender beef filling, and a great acidic sauce.

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Buffalo wings are next – Spicy chicken wings coated in a sticky BBQ sauce and served with fresh-cut vegetables and a blue cheese sauce.  I found the presentation of this dish particularly unappealing.  As for the taste, there was a good smokiness to it, but it tasted like sauce from a jar.

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Next off is the Garage Burger – Angus & Wagyu beef patty with lettuce, tomato, beetroot, pineapple, bacon, pickles and sauces in a toasted bun, and hand-cut chips on the side.  The burger combo is a good one, and I polish it off quickly.  The chips are underseasoned though and have no special quality to them, so I leave them.

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Deep fried southern crispy chicken, served with a coleslaw salad and Garage sauce. I didn’t try this so don’t know how it compares to Mary’s or Hartsyard, but my dining companions give it an “okay”.

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Sticky pork ribs. These are apparently slow roasted for over 4 hours, so I expect them to be meltingly tender.  And while the flavour is good, the ribs themselves are a little tough.

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The bill is presented in some part of a motor engine (don’t ask me what part, I’m a girl) and it’s a nice touch.

The CBD really needed something like Bridge Street Garage, but unfortunately I don’t think they quite have the formula right yet and won’t be hurrying back.

Bridge St Garage, 17-19 Bridge Street, Ph (02) 9251 9392
http://bridgestgarage.com.au/

Bridge Street Garage Bar & Diner on Urbanspoon

Hartsyard, Newtown

005 (2)“Theirs is a typical New York hospitality story. He was the chef. She was the hostess”, proclaims the website, and goes on to describe a blossoming romance. Too cute. After dragging her man back to Australia, it was time to start their own restaurant. Fortunately though, owners Naomi Hart and Greg Llewellyn did not go the Bennifer or Brangelina route, or the place could have been called Nareg or Graomi. Naomi landed naming rights while Greg worked the hotplates.

They go on to describe it as an “inner city homestead” and certainly you feel comfortable as you walk in the door and take a seat – its small and cosy, simple wooden tables, a few pieces of art on the walls, and nothing too fussy . But it’s a homestead with surprises, part American soul food and part wild re-invention, with plenty of plating artistry thrown in. There were seven of us that night and we had a good crack at most of the menu, and ate way more than was good for us, but we couldn’t help it.

Note to dieters: go away.

The menu is divided into a “Seed” and “Feed” section rather than your standard entrée and main monikers, but the Seeds were pretty generous and you could make a great meal out of those alone. Actually, make that an excellent meal, because the Seeds were all fantastic. You could devour a bowl of those potato skins, which go beautifully with that tender octopus. And who would of thought of duck rillettes in a jaffle – bought back memories of the Breville Snack ‘n Sandwich maker my mother has hiding in the cupboard somewhere – with a devine cherry concoction plus a great hazelnut crunch. The Po’ Boys – a deep fried oyster with coleslaw and mayo on a delicious muffin – well, they are as good as everyone says. Short of time? Duck in, grab a seat at the bar, have a couple of them with a clever cocktail (such as the Hartyard Manhatten with bacon infused Jack Daniels) and be on your merry way. And how good could a Saturday night at the movies be with a bag of prawn popcorn?

Oyster Po’ Boy on an English muffin, Old Bay mayo, coleslaw
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Fremantle Octopus with potato skins, white corn, piquillo peppers
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Duck Rillettes Jaffle with cherry, foie gras, hazelnut praline
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School Prawn Popcorn with espelette pepper, sour cream, lemon
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We then moved onto the Feeds. My pick of these was undoubtedly the pulled pork which pulled in all the right ways. The cauliflower was also a surprise, cleverly served slab style rather than the usual florets. The fried chicken, while crispy and not at all greasy, didn’t have the punch of flavour I expected but the accompanying glorious country sausage gravy took it where it was supposed to go.

Pulled Pork with maple bacon, yoghurt, apple
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Cauliflower with Smoked raisin, porcini marmalade, queso fresco, pecan
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Fried Chicken with buttermilk biscuit, low country sausage gravy
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Smoked Brisket with pastrami spice, special sauce, sauerkraut, rye
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Ricotta Gnudi with roasted broccoli, pecorino tartufo, chanterelles
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The deserts are charmingly called “Out to Pasture” and I tell you if there was a pasture at the back of the restaurant, at that point, we probably would have gone to lie down in it. But in for a penny, in for a pound. There were four desserts, so of course we thought we would try them all. If you want something more traditional looking, go the Peanut Butter and Banana Sundae; the other desserts took a more deconstructed format and were gorgeously presented. The crowd favourite, and an unexpected one at that, was the pumpkin pie, where the pumpkin took the form of paper thin wafers and the whisky flavoured ice cream provided a great lift.

Peanut Butter + Banana Sundae with pretzel ice-cream, banana doughnut, salted fudge & Pumpkin Pie with rice custard, Jack Daniels ice-cream, spiced pear, pecan praline
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Chocolate and Honey chocolate ganache, dehydrated mousse, sorrel sorbet, crispy quinoa, pomegranate & Vanilla Cheesecake with raspberry cookie dough, lemon ice-cream, raspberry meringue hartsyard dessert2

Greg and Naomi’s love story is undoubtedly one that worked well. Head on over to Newtown and witness the romance yourself.

Hartsyard, 33 Enmore Road Newtown, ph 02 8068 1473
http://www.hartsyard.com.au

Hartsyard on Urbanspoon