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The Norfolk, Surry Hills

M and I have talked about going to the Norfolk for dinner for a while now. It’s the new-ish venture for Thomas Lim, ex Tetsuya’s who is now at Duke Bistro, The Flinders Hotel. To be honest, I didn’t even know this pub existed – don’t know where I have been hiding! However, I have heard that it has been refurbished, and is a lot nicer.

M and I managed to pick the busiest Saturday, it was the Surry Hills Festival and the beginning of the races and the place was packed! Thankfully, ‘The Mother’ and I got there a little early, there were no tables in the courtyard but got a table just near the door which suited us fine.

We started with a few drinks, bloody mary – served in the tomato can which I assume is where the tomato juice is from, was absolutely delicious. I love how it was served in a can. M thought it wasn’t spicy enough and claimed the one at Porteno was infinitely better. Now I haven’t had a bloody mary for such a long time, I thought it was wonderful! I loved the spicy kick at the end, although I have to admit, it could have been a little bit spicier.

‘The Mother’ and Y had beers – typical boys.

The menu is very Mexican, we were quite impressed with the bar snacks and thought we would share to start with. They have specials every single day of the week – $10 schnitzel night on Monday nighst sounds good, so does $12 rib night on Thursday nights, and as much as I love the sound of Tequilla nights, I think that could get extremely messy and ugly!

I couldn’t go pass the fried chicken wings with hot sauce and red eye mayo ($12.50). Tender, juicy and finger licking good, the chicken wings were too good to stop at just one! The coating was light and a little spicy but not mouth burning sensation and the red eye mayo were a wonderful complement. The ‘hot sauce’ weren’t exactly hot but they were definitely satisfying and absolutely delicious.

We shared the pork belly and slaw roll ($7.50) which were served with chips. I thought it was a rather small serving.

The bun was disappointing, and the pork belly was succulent but there were no crackle. It was nice but nothing special I thought.

The spiced Norfolk fries ($7.50) were delicious. They were crispy on the outside and soft mushy on the inside with a nice spicy flavour. It really went well with the beers and bloody Mary.

That was just entree! ‘The Mother’ and I weren’t super hungry, however, were keen to try the bbq’d sweet corn with chipotle mayo, queso and lime ($5.50). I love chipotle mayo and have been meaning to make it at home. Two pieces of corn smothered with lots of mayo and topped with grated queso. The corn was deliciously sweet, the mayo gave it that spicy kick and the cheese which was mild really complemented each other. It was wonderful and probably the highlight for me that evening.

We also shared the salt n pepa squid with jalapeno aioli ($14) – it had me at aioli. The jalapeno aioli was creamy and the jalapeno gave it that extra flavouring and spice. Unfortunately the coat of the squid had too much salt and not enough ‘pepa’. They were tender, just way too salty.

M couldn’t go pass the burger with wagyu beef patty, pickle, cheese, big M M M Sauce, bacon and fries ($17). She shared this with Y – unfortunately I didn’t have any of this, it looked amazing though.

She did say that it was almost as good as that of the lotus burger – we both LOVE the lotus burger. Damn – I should have said ‘yes’ when she asked! It looked messy, juicy, and frigging awesome!

We were going to order a side of the deep fried pickles with ranch dipping sauce ($7.50) but M and I thought it would be the same as the event we wen too, Half Baked Stoner Degustation, so gave it a miss. The soft shell tacos looked a little unappealing though. However, in saying that, I prefer my tacos to be crunchy and not soft.

The crowd that evening was a lot older than I had anticipated. Both M and I thought there would be younger, not sure why. The atmosphere was good and lively. I did enjoy the music – it had a mix of everything. The service was good and friendly. ‘The Mother’ thought it was good to have snack food, but wouldn’t go there for a meal. The mains he thought were pricey. Overall, the bar food looked more appealing than the mains.

We sat there talking, laughing and drinking – it certainly was a wonderful evening with friends and let’s do it again shortly!

GA’s rating: 7 / 10

‘The Mother’s’ rating: 7 / 10

The Norfolk

305 Cleveland Street

Surry Hills 2010

Ph: +61 2 9699 3177

The Norfolk on Urbanspoon

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Quick dinner at Bavarian Bier Cafe, Sydney

The relatives are slowly coming for the big event, my brother’s wedding. One by one, they are all coming, and my dear cousin, Ir, have been here for a few days now. He has heard about the Bavarian Bier Café from his friends and was dying to try out the beers. Mind you, he is not really big on beers so I was interested to see how much he can drink! I for one am not fan of beers, it just makes me feel bloated and surprisingly, I get drunk a lot quicker!

I met Ir after work one evening, he was pretty relaxed, as he should be on holidays! We rocked up at Bavarian Bier Café on York Street and were seated immediately. It was a busy evening, the place was buzzing with people in suits having a quick drink with friends and dinner.

After much perusing, Ir decided to have the Paulaner Premium Pils. I was trying to convince him to get the 1 litre beer, and thankfully he didn’t listen to my stupid idea! He would have made me drink it and well, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it. I am no expert on beer, but this was seriously bitter. Ir seems to have enjoyed it though, but he did say that he still prefers to drink wine – how can you not? No comparison really!

Ir opted for the mixed char-grilled sausages – a selection of gourmet Bavarian sausages served with Sebago mash and sauerkraut. It was a huge serving, five delicious looking char-grilled sausages. I didn’t have any, but he devoured this and absolutely enjoyed it. He wasn’t a huge fan of the sauerkraut though, but demolished the mash and the sauces.

I was torn between the crackling roast belly served with granny smith apple compote and sautéed potatoes and Bavarian tasting platter – succulent pork belly, sausages and schnitzel all served with Traditional Bavarian Condiments. I wanted variety, so tasting platter it was. It was also a big serving, but I was looking forward to it – a mix of things to try.

The sausages were absolutely tasty, mini-size and char-grilled served with sauerkraut. The sausages were tender, succulent, three different types, and my favourite was of course the pork!

Two small pieces of juicy, luscious and scrumptiously good, chicken schnitzel! The accompanying sauce was just perfect, with the tenderly chicken schnitzel. The roast pork belly was good but not the best I have eaten. The meat was not as tender as I had hope. The crackling though, was divine. It was crunchy, gooey, crispy and deliciously satisfying! The crackling was definitely the best part. It was a ‘good’ size, I think any bigger I would have been sick.

The tasting platter was definitely a great choice – a taste of everything. I gave Ir a taste of the schnitzel and he certainly enjoyed it.

It certainly has been a while since I last visited the Bavarian Bier Cafe. The food is not too bad for ‘pub’-like, bit on the expensive side, but the tasting platter was absolutely tasty! It has great atmosphere and service is really friendly. Very modern, and relaxing, great décor and well if you like beer and would like to try different types then this is the place for you.

We sat there catching up about life in general. It has only been 3 months since I last saw him, but I have certainly missed him. In fact, talking to him made me realize how I miss everyone back home.

It was a great evening catching up with my dear cousin – I have missed you!

GA’s rating: 7.5 / 10

24 York Street

Sydney 2000

Bavarian Bier Cafe York on Urbanspoon

Categories: Bavarian, Beer, Pub, Sydney Tags: , , ,