Tag Archives: Surry Hills

Rainford Street Social, Surry Hills

26 Jan

I am subscribed to a few websites where if you sign up, book through the website, it provides you with access to discounts to quite a number of dining places in Sydney such as Manta, Spiedo, Macleay St Bistro, Neutral Bay Bar and Dining just to name a few. The best deals are mainly for mid-week dining which gives me an incentive to have a lazy day off cooking. Always wanting to try something new, I used www.fullsociety.com to make my booking for Rainford Street Social with 25% off the entire bill (BARGAIN). The booking process is simple, you need to subscribe to their website, choose number of diners, date and time and it will bring up a list of available restaurants for your chosen date. You pay a booking fee and no coupons or print outs are necessary for you to bring to the restaurant.

Located in the old Bird Cow Fish site is the neighbourhood new comer, Rainford Street Social. It is the latest baby from the team that delivered Tokonoma just next door, the restaurant focuses on Bistro grub instead of Asian fan fare. Upon entry, the restaurant has an open kitchen and a wrap around bar with heavy use of rustic timber for tables and chairs.

Whilst perusing the menu, we ordered some pork crackling and oysters from the “Bites” menu. If you are a regular of my blog, I wouldn’t have to say twice that I am an avid fan of pork crackling. The dish was like little strips of french fries, sprinkled with a touch of salt and ever so light, airy and crunchy.

Pork Crackling - $5

Pork Crackling – $5

The oysters were served with a “bleurre blanc”  type of sauce but due to the high concentration of butter, the sauce was simply “frozen” on top of the oyster. I tried one for good measure and it felt like I was chewing on a piece of butter along with my oyster. The subsequent oysters, I took off the sauce.

Oysters - $3.5 each

Oysters – $3.5 each

As the discount applies to drinks as well, I was able to try more of French Sauvignon Blanc. The wine was quite crisp with a sweet pink grapefruit undertone. I find the French Sauvignon Blanc more rounded and less tart than the New Zealand ones.

2010 Gerard Boulay Sancerre Tradition - $82

2010 Gerard Boulay Sancerre Tradition – $82

We decided on light seafood entrees so we could make room in our stomachs for sides. The salmon is house-cured on premises and the salmon skin is air-dried to make chips. The dish was simple and the freshness of the herbs makes me think of Christmas Family Lunch.

House Cured Salmon, capers, new potato salad - $14

House Cured Salmon, capers, new potato salad – $14

The tuna that we eat out are usually yellow fin or blue fin, I have never tried Albacore tuna before and keen to give it a go. Albacore tuna is known as white tuna for the lighter colour and milder flavour. The taste is definitely less meaty, if I could call it that. The contrast of textures of the potato crisps and the soft tuna, made it an indulgent version of chips and dips.


Yummy Crisps

Albacore Tuna Tartare, salted crisps, bloody mary granita - $18

Albacore Tuna Tartare, salted crisps, bloody mary granita – $18

Now onto the main affair, it was a cold and rainy day and when I saw fish pie, I couldn’t find a more perfect opportunity to try. The pie had a layer of mashed potato, finished by a layer of pecorino cheese melted on top. This is a truly a moorish dish with generous chunks of prawns, fish and mussels inside. I was glad Mr Dough didn’t order anything too big for himself so he could help me finish mine.

Classic Fish Pie - $19

Classic Fish Pie – $19

I love eating spatchcock because of the tenderness of the meat. Mr Dough gave it 2 thumbs up!

Special of the Day - Grilled Spatchcock

Special of the Day – Grilled Spatchcock

I couldn’t get away with no eating some sort of veggies with the fish pie. The crispness of the iceberg lettuce shaved finely with toppings of pecorino cheese and caesar dressing was like a semi healthy version of a caesar salad as the lettuce is not drowning in the caesar dressing. The pine nuts which replaced croutons, had me convinced it was healthy (although, I don’t know about the lashings of cheese)

Iceberg salad, pecorino, caesar dressing - $8

Iceberg salad, pecorino, caesar dressing – $8

All in all, I am glad there are various restaurant booking websites to enable you to try out different places. The test is whether or not you would be back again the second time. I most certainly went back a few months later and tried out a few other different things.

Rainford Street Social

500 Crown Street

Surry Hills NSW

T: +612 9357 2573


The Forresters, Surry Hills

19 May

There is a trend whereby you take a local pub and breathe new life into it by revamping the dining options and adding in funky cocktail options. What is the result? You get local watering holes with awesome, honest food (see the likes of The Carrington, El Loco). Tonight, we are here at The Forresters with our ex-Sydney siders couple visiting for the weekend from Canberra and every time we catch up we try something different to which they can’t experience back home. I didn’t make a booking as we were planning to meet up and have an early dinner. We arrived at the pub at 6pm and there were scores of patrons at the bottom floor, looking like they have settled in since the afternoon and have not left. Mr Dough was worried that there was no spots for us but he spotted signage for upstairs dining area.

The restaurant has an old Italian rustic vibe and we were informed that we could have the table only if we could vacate by 8pm for another booking. That was fine by us as we could then venture downstairs to the watering hole. The place had a few early diners and it was quite enjoyable having the place largely to ourselves. Having scanned the menu before I knew precisely what I wanted but when I got there, I became indecisive again! Luckily, our waitress for the evening informed us of the Feed Me option of $40 per head where we get the Chef’s selection of starters, pizza, pasta, pizza and rotisserie.

Crumbed cauliflower with aoli

These little morsels were addictive. They weren’t overly oily and the crumb had a really nice crunch to it. Another bar food to keep in mind for next time!

White Anchovies & White Bean Dip

I was expecting the white bean dip to have a powdery consistency but it was really smooth. For those who don’t like anchovies never fear as there is only a slight hint of anchovy through the dip.

Bucatini Vongole

I could happily eat all this plate to myself. The pasta was cooked al dente with generous chunks of flat head, diamond clams, mussels & prawns. It was tossed through just the right amount of seasoning of parsley, chilli and garlic.

Mac n Cheese

Much to my delight, the other pasta of the night was mac n cheese. I was really looking forward to this as I luuurrrve mac n cheese!! Everytime I see it on the menus of restaurants, I have to order it and see which one has the best one. So far, Rockpool Bar & Grill tops the list. This was a little bland for me as I prefered a more rich, cheesy filling with the sprinkling of breadcrumbs on top providing a really nice texture. What was bland for me was good for Mr Dough as he doesn’t share the same fascination of cheese as I do.

Pizza: Nduja, Tallegio & Mashed Potato

Our waitress described this pizza as carb on carb and rightly so.  The toppings consist of nduja (a spicy spreadable sausage), Tallegio cheese and a layer of mash potato to seal in the naughtiness!! With all the toppings it was nearly thicker than the base. This pizza is a hangover cure in a slice! The pizza base was thin, springy and crispy all rolled into one. I thought Naremburn pizzeria had the best pizza but I think I have found a winner! I chewed through my first slice and wanted another but I had to save stomach space for the next pizza.

Gorgonzola, Walnut, Balsamic, Rocket

By this stage we were running out of room on our table and had to place the next pizza behind us. Not everyone is a fan of gorgonzola (especially Mr Dough), so I wasn’t sure how we would finish this. The gorgonzola did not over take the pizza which Mr Dough approved of. The sweetness of the balsamic helped cut through what you could taste of the gorgonzola and Mr Dough was pleasantly surprised how much he enjoyed it.

Slow roasted lamb shoulder with italian slaw and potatoes

We weren’t expecting to have each portion to be so big and when the roast came, we all looked at each other telepathically saying, it’s yours. The lamb was a little on the dry side and at the risk of sounding like Manu on My Kitchen Rules: more sauce!! A rocket and parmesan salad also accompanied the roast.

Rocket & Parmesan Salad

The dinner ended up lasting for more than 3 hours, purely because we were trying to eat everything off the table before the next dish came. They didn’t try to rush us to get the table back which I thought was really nice of them. Since there was no rush of giving back the table, we ordered a few post-dinner drinks and sat around for a real nice chat. We ended up being one of the last ones to leave and the staff was starting their end of night clean up.

I found it to be great value for money with uber friendly service. All in all, I really love this place and wished they would come over to my side of the bridge so I can eat there every night. In the meantime, I would just have to find more and more excuses to eat there. I think I just found the perfect place for Mr Dough’s up coming birthday dinner.

The Forresters

336 Riley St

Surry Hills NSW 2010

P: +612 9212 3035

W: http://www.forresters.com.au