I haven’t been to Claude’s for a while now and have wanted to go ever since the refurbishment. They have shifted the fine dining area upstairs and opened a casual, affordable eatery / wine bar downstairs. Downstairs was still tiny, it was cosy and not as loud as I had anticipated. I was having a girl’s night with one of my dear friend, M. She has been here a couple of times and knew exactly what to order!
We started with the Pig’s face roll (2 for $12) – delicious slow braised pork cheek and black fungus relish on a toasted buttery milk bun! Oh my, the pork was extremely tender and the black fungus was a wonderful complement. Could definitely have eaten two on my own!
The double-baked gruyere cheese soufflé ($22) was to die for! OH MY!!!! It smelt absolutely amazing and was incredibly delicious. The outer layer was a little crispy and the inside is full of cheesy goodness! It was absolutely tasty.
Fried chicken, cashew and curry leaf ($18) is a must order – without the cashew of course. The chicken was tender and I loved the crunchiness of the skin.
Last but not least, pork belly, parsnip puree and onion ($33). Melt in your mouth pork belly with the amount of fat to meat ratio, and creamy parsnip puree. I would have preferred the skin to be a little crispier though.
Dessert was brown sugar soufflé – soft, fluffy and not ultra-sweet which was nice.
It was a lovely dinner with friends, we probably over ordered but it was good to try the simpler dishes of Claude’s. Service was lovely and tentative and would definitely love to come back to try their other dishes. I really like what they have done to Claude’s, especially the bar area downstairs. Its very relaxing and you can even have dinner at the bar which is nice.
As always, it was lovely catching up with M! I certainly have missed our dinners together.
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
10 Oxford Street
Ph: +61 2 9331 2325
I have wanted to try 121 BC for a while now, the sister restaurant of both Vini and Berta which is discreetly tucked away in Surry Hills, a few steps away from Vini. 121 BC can be found on Gladstone Street, tiny bar, glass door marked with Cantina and Enoteca.
I was catching up with S, we rocked at 6.30pm and still had a 20 minute wait. The place was TINY (and uber dark!), a long narrow table which can sit about 25 people. The menu changes daily and it is a small menu, probably a dozen or so choices. The wine lists are in Italian, with white wines on the left, and reds on the right – it was a little confusing but thankfully the staff were well informed and knew exactly what S wanted.
We started with Arancini Balls ($3 each), which was served on a rustic wooden platter. The arancini balls were tiny but it was delicious, creamy risotto coated in a light batter which was golden and crunchy!
The pork ribs ($11) were deliciously tender, succulent and incredibly tasty. S was a little sceptical as she thought it might have been too fatty but it was delish. It was probably one of my favourites dish that evening.
The buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomato ($9) was not what I expected. Large dollops of buffalo mozzarella with surrounded by different types of cherry tomatoes, they were refreshing light and delicious.
Hanger steak, capsicum chili ($12) was also another hit. It was served quite rare, but I did ask for it to be cooked a little longer. It was still incredibly succulent and the capsicum chili a wonderful complement.
We ordered dessert, tiramisu, four cute little fingers which was dipped in coffee and then slathered with mascarpone and flavoured with liquor and cocoa. It was different but good.
The place can get a little loud and rowdy when it’s busy. It’s definitely a cool wine bar although food very limited but what we ordered we really enjoyed.
121 BC does not take reservations so come early if you don’t want to wait long. Definitely a great addition to the Vini, Berta family!
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
50 Holt Street (enter via Gladstone Street)
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 9699 1582