Have to do a quick review of Hartsyard. The new restaurant in Newtown, Sydney, that all the foodie blogosphere is talking about, and that everyone has reviewed ahead of me! But never too late to say good things about somewhere/one, and Hartsyard certainly deserves a heaping helping of compliments.
Food of the American South (and parts East, West, North and in between...) - don't let this put you off!!
I'd read the great review in the SMH and in other blogs around town, and was keen to try this place. With an open mind,too. It is open on Sundays, which as some of you know is a big plus in our household. So the 4 of us trooped in for a very early dinner tonight: I rang at 5, was told we could be in at 5.30 if we were out by 7, so off we all went for nursery school dinner hour. But it was worth it! (Tho dessert will have to wait for the next visit...)
(I only took photos of the food, not the place, so you will have to look at other bloggers to see the decor. Oh, and I only had my phone...)
Hartsyard has taken over the old Viking restaurant in Enmore road, down from that Bondi chicken place. It is a warm and welcoming space, with 2 tables near the front (4 chairs each) for wanderers, on a first come first served basis. The rest is reservation space, and by 7, when we left, it was chockers. And on a Sunday night too!
We started with cocktails, well, 2 of us did, the others had juices. I had the Enmore Collins - Tanqueray gin, ginger syrup, lemon juice and mint,
what a beautiful colour it was too, from the sweet vermouth and the bitters. A strip of bacon as the garnish!
Food at Hartsyard is made to share, and comes in 2 sizes - medium-ish (Seed) and a little bigger than that (Feed). We started with 2 choices from the Seed menu - Radishes
Which was brown rye toast covered in radish slices and poached baby radishes and tiny onion rings and the most fabulous smoked butter. It was a fantastic combination and did just what any entree should do - left you wanting moremoremore!
Our next selection was Broad Beans cooked over charcoal, with Romesco sauce and lemon jam.
the smoky flavour of the charring came through very delicately to the beans inside the pods. There was a fine grating of parmesan over all, and this was very tasty with the beans. The lemon jam was amazing, tangy without being overpowering, and a sensational complement to the taste of the beans. Romesco is such a tasty sauce it couldn't fail to please as an accompaniment to the beans. It was hard to pick which was the better mouthful.
We then moved on to Feed (and a lovely Pinot Noir and a Shiraz. Great and interesting wine list here, people).
Plates usually come one at a time from the kitchen, tho once we had a plate delivered whilst we were still licking up the previous one. First up - the Poutine. This was the slimming dish of the night - Oxtail gravy, fried potatoes, crispy beef threads, cheddar and beer sauce. Yummmmmmmmmmmmm.....
Potatoes were soft, as you'd expect when they were literally swimming for their lives in gravy, and the gravy and the potatoes were covered in shredded beef, some soft and melting, other bits crunchy and dryish. Beautiful ale sauce, but sadly no spoon was served with this, a serious omission!
Next up - Winter vegetables - chestnut, porcini, walnut, cookin’ juices. As well as carrots, swedes, parsnips, radishes and other vegetables we couldn't recognise but which were all wonderful. As was the brown sauce that accompanied it, the 'cookin' juices'. I'm not sure this was totally vegetarian - we aren't so we didn't ask. I'd have this again and again. Oh, and that crumbly stuff was butter powder!
Next course was Roast Pork - Vadouvan, sorrel, black-pepper maple bacon. A large pork chop, beautifully cooked to just the right side of medium-well, and a little bit of crackling on top. Thick and generous, and the tangy dryish sauce was great with it. Vadouvan is a blend of spices that is an Indian curry blend with a French influence. A variant of a masala with added spices such as shallots and garlic. Most of this interesting sauce is hiding under the chop, but a little bit has crept out on the lower left.
Last dish was the rather famous one - the Cold-smoked Fried Chicken - Buttermilk biscuit (scone to us), low country sausage gravy. It is justifiably famous. The chicken is juicy and not overcooked at all, the coating of nuts? crumbs? is wonderfully crunchy. The scone was light and fluffy, and the sausage gravy tasty and creamy. It came with a jar of orange-red sauce, rather like a mild tabasco - tangy and spicy but no heat. It was a surprising but extremely tasty accompaniment to the chicken.
But it was time to leave so we will have to return another time for dessert.
33 Enmore Road
02 8068 1473
Wed-Sun 5.30 till late