Categories
Fine Dining Italian Middle Eastern

Bart Jr. – Redfern NSW Restaurant Review

Our recently dog-positive Redfern based friend took us to one of Redfern’s many dog-positive night time venues. We had the $65 per person feed me tasting menu, with the addition of a round of raw beef toast for the table.

I’m not very well versed in olive culture, but these green Sicilian olives were pleasantly crisp and only lightly salted. Not bad, but not something I’d willingly order from the a la carte menu for $5.

The ricotta, potato & leek fritter with smoked tomato sago and aioli was the first non-olive dish of the night, and also the start of what was essentially an abuse of shaved pecorino. Whilst I’m usually quite anti-fritter, these frittery balls were coated in a nice tomato sauce, with good internal texture and flavour. Not bad.

This visually interesting dish is Bart Jr’s kingfish & scallop crudo with yuzu kosho, buttermilk, cucumber, poppy seeds, and dill. I’m pretty sure there’s some salmon and pomegranate snuck in as well. This was a fresh tasting sashimi based dish, and whilst many of the ingredients – for example buttermilk and poppy seed didn’t make a huge difference in flavour, the dill really shone through. Dill generally pairs quite well with seafood, and this was no exception. Well liked around the table. Pretty good.

The raw beef toast with duck dripping, chives, pecorino di fossa, and crispy onion atop grilled garlicky sourdough ($9 supplement each) was not included in our tasting menu but probably the best morsel of the night, and a must get. Each bite of these juicy, thickly topped slices of sourdough was extremely decadent, with the cheeses, sauces, and raw meat all melting together in the mouth. A nice hit of umami that I wish there were more of. A really elevated snack.

The sheep’s halloumi in rosemary butter with burnt honey, verjuice, currants and hazelnuts is the rare sweet halloumi dish. Despite the multiple sources of sweetness and the contrasting innate saltiness of the halloumi this dish was able to avoid being over-flavoured. It was pretty nice, but I think a bit of bread served with it would’ve gone a long way.

Speaking of bread, the next dish on the menu was the rosemary and garlic focaccia with fermented chilli butter and olive oil. My feelings towards this bread dish are not as fond as some of our friends. I think that the fermented chilli butter, whilst good, was wasted on the focaccia which was already quite adequately flavoured and salted on its own. I would’ve preferred to have the chilli butter (as well as the preceding halloumi) with some more plain bread so that it could’ve been enjoyed more on its own merit. The combination of bread and chilli butter was, in my opinion, the combination of two strong and non-complimentary flavours.

The pasta formosa with lamb shoulder ragu, green peas, pecorino and pangrattato was the third appearance of Bart Jr’s overreliance on pecorino. The pasta was quite al dente, moreso than I normally like, but still pretty good. The serving of beef was generous, and while the ragu flavours were good, they were no more special than any other ragu at any other restaurant we’ve been to recently.

The salad dish was made of baby gem leaves, eschallot vinaigrette, pecorino, and fennel seed pangrattato. Are you starting to see a trend? Maybe pecorino was on sale at the supplier.

Whilst I didn’t really enjoy the roasted hasselback potatoes with creme fraiche and aleppo pepper, thinking to be a bit too dry even with the sauce, my potato-positive partner thought that it was “a fine potato”

The charred ocean trout skewer with caramelised fennel, harissa, yoghurt, and mint was NYL’s least favourite dish, and in my opinion probably the weaker of the two options for mains. It is a 200 gram skewer of trout cooked in a Middle Eastern style. The fish is well cooked, to a safe degree whilst still retaining a semi-rare moist inside. I wasn’t a big fan of the fennel, however, and I thought the harrisa-heavy flavour, though not bad on its own, was a bit incongruous with the tone set by the rest of the meal.

I get highly anxious about driving after any quantity of alcohol, so this Heiwa Shuzo ‘Tsuruume’ Yuzushu was perfect as an inclusion on Bart Jr’s tasting menu. It was pretty tasty and refreshing (tart, not too sweet), but takes this somewhat disordered journey from Italy, to the Middle East, and now Japan.

VERDICT
Bart Jr’s was generally pretty good, with the major standout being the raw beef toast. They have a minimum spend of $60 per head, so you might have to get some other food and drinks unless you want 7 pieces.

Bart Jr.
92 Pitt St, Redfern NSW 2016
0401 899 845

Dog tax, mid-corkscrew vs giraffe toy

Diners: JW, PX, NYL and dog, LH

Categories
Asian Fusion Café Italian Vietnamese

Mentmore and Morley – Rosebery NSW Cafe Review

Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar? 

Memento Mori is one of the spookiest cafes in all of Rosebery. The constant reminder of our impending deaths is something I usually only experience while hanging out with one of my senior intensive care colleagues. I never thought that such a feeling could be distilled into a cafe, but the wizards behind Mentmore and Morley named their restaurant just so.

Wow. Let me tell you about these textured plates. They’re from IKEA, but I couldn’t identify them on IKEA’s online store. Again wow.

While I cannot quite tell you the name of this veal scaloppine style dish with assorted vegetables, I can tell you that it was quite good. I especially enjoyed the tomatoes.

The seasonal special, pork knuckle with Vietnamese slaw was around $30. It was a whole pork knuckle, slow roasted with skin on. The skin was quite crispy and delicious, and the meat tender. I was initially skeptical of the Vietnamese slaw, but the acidic flavours helped cut through the fat perfectly. A good pairing.

Coffee was no better or worse than standard.

While the name of Memento Mori was spooky, this did not extend to the food, which was a mixture of Italian and Vietnamese cuisines. I can recommend going to get spooked.

4 out of 5 Yoricks.

Mentmore & Morley Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Categories
Italian

Bistro on the Greens – South Coogee NSW Pizza Review

This is a quick DoorDash review of pizza ordered from Bistro on the Greens before a night shift.

I enjoyed the Diavola ($21), which had a good spicy flavour to it. It was not as special as Da Mario‘s diavola, however, which is still the best I’ve ever had.

I found the The Henning Calzone ($20) to be a bit difficult to eat. It was not pre-cut and I tried to eat it like a sandwich but had much difficulty. In this regard I would rate my previous calzone from Beretta in Ramsgate higher.

The San Remo Linguine (not pictured – $25) I could have lived without. I enjoyed the prawns but not the pasta, which I thought was not sauced enough. I put it into the fridge after a couple of mouthfulls. My partner took this to work and enjoyed it, apart from the prawns which she doesn’t normally like. She threw the prawns away and I didn’t get to eat the rest.

Bistro on the Greens Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Categories
Italian

Arthur’s Pizza – Rosebery NSW Restaurant Review

Everyday when you’re walking down the street,
Every pizza that you eat,
Has an original point of view.

The first thing of note about Arthur’s Pizza is the rectangular boxes that they use to store and transport circular pizzas. These boxes are constructed in a way where they open as a bit of an envelope, with the exterior flap opening superiorly and an inferior flap opening inferiory, both held together by carboard tabs.

I took advantage of Arthur’s Pizza’s $12 medium pizza takeaway deal, which is available daily until 7PM.


Arthur’s (Pepperoni, Roma Tomato, Capsicum, Mushroom)

Arthur’s eponymous pizza, named after a rascally aardvark, features Pepperoni, Roma Tomato, Capsicum, Mushroom atop a tomato-sauced thin crispy base. It’s a very fresh pizza, loaded with large tomato slices, that delivers a juiciness with each bite. This fresh tomato-y juiciness is supplemented well by the slight spiciness of the pepperoni, creating a very well composed pizza overall. I liked this so much that I had the entire pizza in one day, bar one slice which I saved for my partner. Unfortunately my orange cat got to the slice before she could, and dragged it onto the floor. My partner will never know the joy that I know.

Randwick (Olives, Anchovies, Capers, Semi-Dried Tomato, Basil)

The Randwick pizza features Olives, Anchovies, Capers, Semi-Dried Tomato, Basil – a flavour apparently developed to appease Eastern Suburbs Prince of Wales types. I found it, from my traditional Western Sydney frame of reference, not to my taste. I keep trying to force myself to eat anchovies with the thought that maybe if I eat enough I will find an anchovy I like. While I didn’t hate the anchovies on this pizza, I did not like how it was just covered in olives. The combination of salty fish and salty olives did not do well at creating a balanced pizza. Unlike Arthur’s namesake pizza, each bite of the Randwick was more and more of the same. While I’m normally an olive fan I ended up just picking off the olives and eating the pizza without them.

VERDICT

Arthur’s Pizza, at the bargain basement price of $12 for a medium, provides a good feed with a thin, crispy crust. Get what you like, don’t get what you don’t like in the hope that you will like it.

4/5

Arthur’s Pizza Rosebery
1/3 Dunning Ave, Rosebery NSW 2018
(02) 9313 8100

Arthur's Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Categories
Asian Fusion Italian Japanese

Casoni – Darlinghurst NSW Restaurant Review

Casoni is one of the nicest meals I’ve had in some time. The menu was described to us as “Modern Italian”, with a selection of Italian staples fused with some Japanese inspiration.

We started with the Wattle Seed Flatbread ($6). Originally our choice of topping was going to be the salmon roe, however as they were out of stock we had to improvise. After the reassurance of our host that the serving of bread would be “quite generous” and suited to having two sides/toppings, I chose the ortiz anchovies ($6) and green garlic burrata ($10). While the bread was warm, soft, fragrant and delicious, it turns out that “quite generous” was a straight out lie. I would not characterise the bread as being suited to having two toppings. One was more than enough, so much so that we weighed up whether or not we should order a second serving of flatbread to mop up voluminous sides.

The ortiz anchovies ($6) were salty. I think they always are. I’m yet to develop a taste for them. My partner straight up refused to try it (she’s a bit of a fish-o-phobe).

The garlic green burrata ($10) was quite delicious. The inside of the burrata was very wet. It was a great dish to spread on the bread.

Black garlic bread

The Black Garlic Bread ($8) is a must try. It is more of a dessert than a garlic bread, with a sweet glaze and sauce. The topping of miso butter was divine. It is a house specialty for a reason and I would recommend no one leave this restaurant without trying it (cats and other people who can’t have garlic aside).

Tuna Carpaccio

The yellowfin tuna carpaccio with wasabi cream and burnt mandarin dressing ($18) was quite good but straddled the line towards being too tasty. I thought that the wasabi cream and burnt mandarin dressing overpowered the fish to the extent where I couldn’t really taste the star ingredient. While the flavours were good I wonder if a bit of tweaking is in order to highlight the tuna a bit better. Wasabi-phobes need not worry, the wasabi itself isn’t too strong.

Sausage and pecorino pappardelle

The sausage and pecorino pappardelle ($?26) was delicious. The serving size was large enough to share between two. The pappardelle was fresh and soft and tasty – not too al dente for me. The serving of sausage was extremely and unexpectedly generous, there was enough for each bite, and the pecorino added a great sharp flavour to the dish. While I’ve read from other reviews that pasta isn’t Casoni’s strong point, my experience with this pasta would lead me to disagree. It was just fantastic.

Comfortable seats

VERDICT

As I’m sure you can tell by now we really enjoyed our meal at Casoni. We can’t wait to go back.

5 stars.

Casoni
371-373 Bourke St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
0449 516 798

Casoni Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato