There are too many new restaurants opening up in Sydney.
Seriously, it's ridiculous. Can't these people foresee the trouble they're in? How is anyone going to become a regular at your restaurant when there are approximately 62 new restaurants opened every day (Surry Hills figures only at this stage--waiting for more info from the Aus Bureau of Statistics)?
I've watched them, and the reaction is either laughter (you are so destined to go out of business it is not funny--but it is) or nervousness (I don't want you to fail, but there is a lot working against you, dude. District Dining falls into the latter category.
It's run by Warren Turnbull, you see. The same guy that does great work over at Assiette. But instead of fine dining, it's more of an upmarket bistro, with the focus on various meats and various offcuts.
Sounds good right? Right!
Looking at the menu, I want it all. I reckon I could probably eat it all before dying, too. If I eat fast enough.
We kick things off with the charcuterie plate and it's good, but the memory of Italian meat is still too fresh in my mind to say it's anything more than good.
They charge for bread here, which is odd, particularly because the charcuterie doesn't come with bread for free.
Next up the quail with chutney, brioche and pomegranate. Great dish. The quail is perfectly cooked. It reminds me of the other quails I've eaten, that are now poorly cooked in comparison. The rest of the ingredients only add more levels of excellent to the dish.
I ordered the lamb shoulder with cumin/honey/baby carrots because it's a bit of a yardstick. I've had some good lamb shoulders and if I'm being arrogant I can make a good lamb shoulder. A mean one, even. Turns out... Warren Turnbull makes a pretty good one too. Heavy on the fat, so, coupled with the honey, it's an oddly sweet dish. But nice.
Pork belly with kim chee? Very good. Smoked eel pate? Very good. Wine list? Good, if a bit pricey.
For an upmarket pub bistro, District Dining is nearly impossible to fault. I'll be back, because there is still so much goodness in that menu still to be found (pork head!).
RATING: Will return to [?]