4143 at the James Barnes, Alexandria
4143 at the James Barnes is part of the Dedes Group. Located in Alexandria, 4143 at the James is a newish funky bistro and bar. I can’t remember what was here before, but I was told that the site was originally the James Barnes linseed oil and meal mill and 4143 is actually the number of the building 41 – 43, and hence the name 4143 at the James Barnes (there are actually two address for this place, 2 Huntley Street or 41- 43 Bourke Road).
There is a simple relaxed outdoor bar, and inside, a stylish, stunning refurbished old warehouse. I love the wood panelling, high ceilings and glass windows. It makes the room quite bright and airy.
I have been here twice now, the first being the ‘social launch’, where diners had the opportunity to try canapes of entrees, mains, sides, desserts and tasty beverages ($25) and second a brunch hosted by Gourmet Rabbit.
The ‘social launch’ was a casual event and a fun one at that! To start with the entrees: rare peppered beef with tonnatoo, baby capers and crostini, tender rare peppered beef which just melted in my mouth, the creamy tonnatoo and baby capers a wonderful complement. Probably one of my favourites out of the canapes.
The caramelised onion tart with goats curd and balsamic was nice but probably my least favourite.
The perfectly seared scallops which was juicy and plump which sat on pea puree with chorizo was excellent.
Four different canapes for mains, but unfortunately I didn’t get to try all of it. Duck breast on du puy lentils, spinach, brussel sprouts – I love the tender and succulent duck breast. I thought the lentils were a little over powering and there were no spinach or brussel sprouts on the mini plate.
Fish of the day with tomato crust, new potato and Sicilian olives was excellent, it was a really small serving. Tender fish, I love the tomato crust and the Sicilian Olives.
The braised lamb shank en crepinette on parsnip puree and muscatel jus and spatchcock with proscuitto, savoy cabbage, radish and caper on romesco never made it our way.
The sides, roast baby beets and beans, buttered brussel sprouts with pancetta were both wonderful but my favourite would be the brussel sprouts.
Desserts tasting plate raspberry semifreddo with meringue sprinkles, chocolate and banana beignets with grand marnier ice cream, apple tart with mascarpone cream and duo of macarons. I didn’t really enjoy the raspberry semifreddo, it was just too sweet and sickly. I was a little puzzled by the chocolate and banana beignets as I was expecting something to ooze but alas no, but regardless, it was still quite tasty – soft and fluffy on the inside. I tried the green pistachio macarons, it had the right texture and sweetness, but I had serious sugar load and could not finish it.
It was a good choice of ‘spread’, although I must admit, it didn’t justify how good the food is until Denea from Gourmet Rabbit asked if I would like to join her and a couple of food bloggers for lunch! I had a better ‘taste’ of the dishes and I have to say, I am keen to come back!
The day started a little glum, dark skies, but it cleared and sun started streaming in which made photos even better!
We started with the not so ‘mini’ wagyu burgers with beer battered chips. WOW.
It looked amazing and was it as good as it tasted? Hell yes! Juicy and succulent wagyu pattie, triple cheese, pickles and beetroot relish all on a toasted brioche which is from Fuel Bakery. It was excellent, however, I do like my pattie on the ‘rare’ side. I love the generosity of the sweet beetroot relish and the pickles a wonderful complement. The chips, crunchy on the outside and deliciously fluffy and soft on the inside and dipped in aioli – yum! We were told that the burger is their best seller and I can see why.
Entree: caramelised onion tart with goats curd and balsamic tasted better than what I remembered it to be. Crispy flaky pastry, the onion was tender, sweet and vinegar-y and the goats curd silky gave it that extra nice touch.
Seared scallops on pea puree with chorizo was still my favourite. Perfectly cooked scallops which was moreish and succulent, which sat on a generous creamy pea puree topped with crispy fried capers. The bite size chorizo a wonderful complement.
Mains: duck breast on du puy lentils, spinach, and brussel sprouts is such a hearty and wintry dish. Tender, succulent duck which sat on a bed of cooked lentils and drizzled with caramelised juices.
I was quite surprised that I really enjoyed the braised lam shank en crepinette on parsnip puree with muscatel jus.
Deboned, the shanks was incredibly tender that it just fell apart. Upon cutting the juicy shank, parsnip puree oozed and I loved the creamy muscatel jus. Diners have the option of choosing a small ($16) or a large portion ($28) – I probably couldn’t finish a large but would definitely happy to eat a small (pictured above) – and this is coming from someone who is not a huge fan of lamb!
The buttered brussel sprouts with pancetta I loved!
The roast baby beets I thought could be a little more tender but the beans I enjoyed.
The roasted chats, garlic cloves and rosemary, excellent. Crispy on the outside and perfectly soft on the inside.
We started with the tiramisu, I love good tiramisu and I have to say, this was pretty darn good. It was smooth, and creamy and topped with cocoa was just too good to stop at just one mouthful!
The chocolate and orange mousse with hazelnut biscotti was deliciously rich and oh so chocolate-y. A little too rich for me unfortunately, one mouthful was just enough but we all enjoyed the pop rocks candy which was sprinkled on top.
My favourite dessert was the bread and butter pudding with rhubarb and macadamia ice cream! Why I have not come across this in the past I do not know. I love bread and butter pudding and you all know my obsession with rhubarb – the perfect combination.
It was creamy, smooth, and I love the generosity of the rhubarb topped with macadamia ice cream. It was just heavenly and TO DIE FOR! If I wasn’t so full, I would have easily demolished this dish. Definitely worth coming back just for this dessert!
We also had a serving of affogato which was served with frangelico. Unfortunately I was too full to have any but other diners certainly enjoyed it.
There are two menus at 4143, bar and bistro. The bar menu which is typically your ‘bar’ type food consisting of pizzas ($10), fish and chips, wagyu burger, chicken schnitzel, steak sandwich and lamb pie all for $14 which is quite reasonable. The other the ‘restaurant’ menu which gives diners the option of small or large.
I would have never found this place if it wasn’t for Gourmet Rabbit, Alexandria is not a place I would go for dinner but no doubt I will return to have my rhubarb bread and butter fix.
4143 has a wide range of drinks ranging for wines, beer and cocktails. Great for after work drinks, or even a boozie lunch on the weekend. Thanks Denea for the invite, I really had a fantastic time, and thanks to 4143 at the James Barnes for hosting and hospitality.
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
4145 at the James Barnes
2 Huntley St Building 9
Ph: +61 2 9690 8400