Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Duke Bistro Darlinghurst

I am not a hipster.I've never been one of the cool kids and I've never been one of the uncool kids who are so uncool they're really cool either. 

Irony has never been a strong point, I like pop music (I know all the words to Katy Perry's California Girls- on purpose) I can't wear flannel and I can't use four square either- me as a hipster= fail.

So when I started hearing about the Duke Bistro from all my(verified) Hipster sources, I was a little intimidated.

"The chefs are so hot right now" they all said with all the knowing of the "in" crowd.

Hot indeed they are, working the pots and pans at the Duke Bistro is Thomas Lim ex-Tetsuya's and  Mitch Orr 2010 Young Chef of the Year and a list of other cool young talented peeps.

Surprisingly for me though the restaurant, which is above the Flinders Hotel in Darlinghurst, wasn't bursting at the seams with trendy folk. The clientele was a mish mash of friends, work dinners, family tables, young couples. Not one overt advertising agency bred Hipster in sight. Hoorah.

The menu certainly reflects the talent in the kitchen. Fresh, unaffected and original.

First up we went for the fried chicken wings, coleslaw milk and hot sauce. $10

No more KFC for me, these wings were unreal. Crunchy, light and so moorish.

Next up the beautifully presented Egg, Seasonal Mushroom, Almonds $15 

Ooh there is nothing better then a gooey poach egg bursting all over you plate. And this certainly delivers all the running, goey crunchy, mushroomy wickedness I like.

Our waitress stops to apologise and check with us, "Tonight the Tomato Strawberry Burratla Shiso comes with regular mozzarella, is that ok?"

Um yes we think so!

If it wasn't suppose to taste as unreal as it did we weren't going to tell anyone to change it.

The crumbed lamb belly, heirloom carots and caraway was good. But to be honest a little fatty for me. The vegies were delicious but the lamb was a little too much. But I was getting full.

At this point Sim and I were experiencing such food pleasure, we didn't notice that my camera was blinking and had run of battery.

So there is no evidence of how we demolished our desserts unfortunately.

We ordered three as we couldn't decide on two:

Knickerbocker Glory ($12): Oh wow this dessert was sensational, I was worried because I know the tradition British dessert of the same name is ice cream and smashed meringue- not my favourite.

But Duke's version is not as Nana as a bit of Meringue smashed is some ice cream. The Meringue is of the beetroot persuasion, the ice cream is of panacotta. And hiding down below under all that sweet goodness is mange puree. Win

Peaches and Cream ($12): For a girl who usually isn't meringue's biggest fan. I may as well of swam in it at Duke.

The dessert is by far my favourite, poached pears smothered in Italian Meringue with bits of caramel pop corn tasting chunks. Unreal! And I didn't want to share.

and finally Banana White Chocolate, Curry and Coconut ($12). Yes we did order it because it sounded funny. And yep it tasted funny too. Funny interesting, not funny bad. Would I get it again, probably not, but I am glad I got to try a banana with a Keen's curry kick.

Go to Duke Bistro and try it for yourself, your stomach will feel all full, hip and cool.

Duke Bistro
Phone. 02 9332 3180
65 Flinders St. Darlinghurst
Sydney, NSW 2010

Faheem Fast Food: A curry huff

I've almost eaten at Faheem Fast Food twice.

The first time, I ordered take way and when I got home my Aloo Matar (vegetarian curry of peas, potato and tomatoes) had a hair in it and I suddenly wasn't hungry anymore.

After that experience, I wasn't actually going to head back to give Faheem's another shot. But I'd read some really great reviews and the sign out the front says its Sydney's best tandoori and I thought maybe my Aloo Hair was just an unfortunate accident.

It was 9.30pm when we arrived and the Faheem's was pumping full of people, which is always a great sign at a restaurant right?

Considering the sign out the front says, "Sydney's Best Tandoori" The Chief and I settled on trying the Tandoori Chicken.

We also ordered the Okra Lamb ($13.00), Naan ($2.00) and to compensate for last time, I choose to order the Aloo Matar ($11.00)

Once ordered the Tandoori Chicken came out fast and hot! And by hot I mean do mean "can I have some extra yogurt my mouth is on fire hot."

It was good, but because it was only an entree serving, there was only a piece each for The Chief and I, so when we demolished our share we were hungry for the rest of our dishes to arrive.

So we waited

Took some photos

Checked where our order was (on its way apparently)

Drank some super sweet soft drink


Got cranky

And when I went in to check on our order the second time, the guys behind the counter looked sheepish. Apparently our order was on the floor and they'd only just realised.

"Its coming in two mins max" they promised.

He wasn't making our food

But it was around 11pm and we'd be there for an hour and a half. No apology no offer to comp us, nothing. I was more than a little miffed and not to mention hungry.

We paid for our Tandoori and four soft drinks and left in an unsatisfied and hungry huff.

That's a 0-2 for Faheem's and I don't think I'll be heading back. Such a shame because I've heard they do really great food, its just that I've never had any of it.

Faheem Fast Food 194-196 Enmore Rd, Enmore, NSW 2042
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