Ok, so we all know about that good old exercise known as the pub crawl. Most of us have done it, right? Meet a bunch of mates at a pub, have a drink or two, then move on to the next venue for a repeat of the drinking actions. And then it’s time to move onto the another pub, et cetera et cetera. The more places you try, the more pissed you get and the more “You’ve had enough” you get from the door-bitches or bouncers. Yup, it’s all fun and games.
Well then how about swapping schooners for food, vino and cocktails and strutting about the back-streets of Surry Hills from restaurant to restaurant? Boozing at the pub is a lot of fun, if you ask me, but having entree’s at one restaurant, mains at another and dessert at yet another makes for a great night of food debauchery.
It may not be a new concept, but there’s a bit of a food crawl happening in The Hills at the moment. It all kicks off down on Reservoir Street near Central, at Sugarcane, a small place tucked behind frosted glass that brings modern Asian flavours to the table. What are we here for? Entree’s, remember? Three choices are up for consideration, two of which are actually from the main course menu, but we unexpectedly get a couple of tasty mouthfuls before rest of the food arrives. Prawn on rice cake with caramelised sugarcane, coriander, lime leaf, lemongrass, chilli and ginger. Not a bad start, as we sip the dregs of our first glasses of NZ savvie.
More wine is re-ordered just before the first of the main-sized-entree’s arrives. Pork belly, peanut & green papaya salad. Whilst the salad was more about the papaya than the pork belly, it’s still a decent rendition of a Thai som tum or Vietnamese goi du du. Some chilli would have been even more fab.
Speaking of fab, it didn’t take long for the crispy skin chicken to get my attention with its juicy flesh and crunchy crust. I know it was theoretically an entree, but there was a crap-load to get through. Especially with the bowl of steamed rice.
With entree’s done & dusted, it was time to make way for venue number two. Bar H takes corner possie on Campbell and Forster and I can’t help but conjure sweaty memories from two years ago when we sat in its open windows, noshing on fine sandwiches in 42°C temperatures. Two more glasses of vino. Two more meals.
The lighting here is of the wine bar variety; i.e. very dim. The digs are intimate, cosy, yet a little noisy if you so happen to have a gaggle of 20-something year old females 2 metres away, as we did.
Absolutely loving the steamed snapper fillet with ginger and shallots. Seriously loving. The light soy and sesame oil broth was good enough on its own.
It may have been a step away from the traditional red-braised dong-po pork I’ve tried in the past, but the Bar H version was still quite good. Big fatty chunks of pork belly, pumpkin and a very light shaoxing wine broth. Chuffed with the scattering of fresh Aussie saltbush leaves. And yes, you do get another glass of vino or beer with these.
I’m not quite sure why I ordered it, but at the final venue, Longrain, I chose myself a dirty martini to have with dessert. Rather than being lugged onto the communal table, something I was very grateful of, dessert for this particular Dinner On The Run takes place down in the Bunker Bar beneath the main restaurant. It was quiet, relatively empty, and the perfect wind-down spot to kick back and relax. Martini’s usually tip me over the edge when I’ve been on the vino, but this one didn’t seem all that rocket-fuelled. Probably a good thing. The other half had a cocktail I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention to, but it did contain ginger and lychee.
Down to the dessert, it was the Longrain special. Vanilla tapioca, fruit salad, young coconut jelly and black sticky rice. On top there’s roasted coconut and a foamy squirt of green-tinted coconut cream. That’s it, I’ve had enough food!
Join in for yourself here.
hnf & co dined courtesy of Lime & Tonic