Pub dining has a new meaning in Sydney. Gone were the days of $10 steak and chips and it’s now replaced by new era of Chefs who appreciate good food and drinks. This can be witness with the explosion of pubs with likes of Norfolk, Flinders Inn and Excelsior.
Taking bookings for minimum of 8 people only for 6:30pm or 9pm, otherwise it’s walk in bookings only for tables less than that, I muster up 8 other friends to try this recently opened restaurant. The Carrington serves up Spanish pinxtos and share plates with quirky cocktails like Single Mother – red wine, southern comfort, nutmeg sugar, topped with ginger beer.
A few snacks to accompany our drinks whilst we wait for the rest of our party of 9.
When everyone had arrived, I had begun ordering and I got a little carried away as I wanted to try a bit of everything! (Warning this post contains too many dishes!)
The empanadas arrived in perfectly formed parcels and inside contained braised ox tail with slithers of meat covered in rich sauce.
There’s a list of specials written on the blackboard everyday. I had forgotten the name of this dish but it is essentially char grilled pepper stuffed with salt cod. The sweetness of the pepper was bursting through the salt cod.
Another special we ordered was deep-fried quail egg with chorizo. The delicately crumbed quail eggs burst in your mouth with the egg yolk oozing out. There is no lady like way to eat this except to pop the whole thing, chilli and all at once.
The chicken wings were grilled and covered in spicy pepper hot sauce, perfect accompaniment to beer! I personally prefer my chicken wing with slightly more char. None the less, you can’t stop at one.
The meat balls or albondigas as it is called on the menu (sounds slightly rude) was tender and not dry in the middle and I was searching for bread to mop up the tomato sauce.
Patatas Bravas, need I say more? Crunchy potato pieces in hot sauce.
Gurnard is a bony flat head type fish with a small thin body. The fish is poached and marinated in lemon and olive oil. This was my least favourite dish of the night as there wasn’t much flavour to the fish.
I almost lost it over the next dish. This is the ultimate hang over food. As I was taking bites into the sandwich, I kept on saying to Mr Dough we need to eat this after a big night out. The media noche, literally meaning the midnight, is a sandwich which is eaten in Havana, Cuba after a big night out, like our midnight kebab on our way home. 3 layers of cheese, jamon, mustard held together with thin slices of bread and toasted into melty goey goodness.
Ok just a few more large plates to go and we are at the end!
I didn’t find the Ibiza pork skewers to be interesting.
I was skeptical of what the blood sausage would taste like as I don’t really like the powdering texture, but this dish converted me. The blood sausage had more like a cous cous type texture in this dish and the calamari had masked the taste of the blood sausage.
We were clutching our stomachs but we must soldier on.
The Fabada is a rich bean stew with pork belly, ham hock and chorizo. It came out looking like an apple crumble and was a really filling dish. Great winter warmer.
The skirt steak was cooked to perfection and has kept tender but quick flash char grilling. The steak is accompanied with mojo verde which is parsley, oregano blended with sherry vinegar.
We finished the meal at 9:00pm and vacated our table ready for the next round of hungry diners. I look out to the front bar and it was teeming with people, having drinks and waiting for their name to be called to be seated no doubt.
565 Bourke St, Surry Hills
P: 02 9260 4714
12pm – 10pm Daily