Grain Bar, The Rocks

  29 October 2012

Yep, it’s a branch. So like, I’ve been counting down the days until I could visit the newest bar to hit Sydney- Grain Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel (199 George St, Sydney). After spying this post I was eagerly awaiting the Red Claw Yabbies and had all these plans to write about Pinchy and gorging on sweet yabbie meat but alas! They have been pulled from the menu! Devastated but still hungry, we order a round of beers and sette back into the comfy leather banquette seating at the edge of the room to people watch. The food menu is by consulting chef Hamish Ingham from Bar H so I was pretty damn excited about what was to come.

The Old Man’s Fried Salt Bush ($12) is one giant plate of fried awesomeness that is ridiculously addictive. The leaves are coated in a light tempura batter that is crunchy, salty and just freaking moorish. Wash it down with a cold one and it’s the best bar snack ever!

I couldn’t resist the Steamed Brioche with Smoked Trout Roe ($6 each), the brioche was so incredibly light and cloud-like and topped with a generous amount of trout roe that popped with briny goodness. Noods of course takes one look and shoves the whole thing in his mouth before giving it a thumbs up.

At first glance, I wasn’t sure if the Lardo on Toast ($14) was burnt but it was in fact a caramelised layer of sweet black garlic paste. Not too sure why the slices were propped up on itself as half the toppings were starting to tumble down but we made sure to eat every last morsel. The ribbons of pork back fat was creamy and oh so delicious and I couldn’t help but close my eyes when the fat just melted on my tongue. Noods had never eaten or heard of lardo before and started chanting MMM FAT SANDWICH. I tuned him out but yes that was one tasty fat sandwich.

The Wild Kingfish Tartare ($19) was a smash hit, the perfectly uniform cubes of kingfish with the paper thin shavings of pickled beetroot made for a flavour explosion on the deep fried seaweed crackers.

Aaaand then there was the Grain Burger and Fries ($21). Oh em gee. The pulled beef short rib? AMAZING. I could eat a bowlful of the stuff with a spoon and be so freaking happy. The pickled slices of radish were at first mouth puckeringly tart but proved to be a refreshing crunch in this super rich burger. The fries were golden and delicious too but oh those juicy shreds of short rib! I will return for you!

But hey now we couldn’t leave without trying some dessert! The Custard Tart Cream ($10) arrives in a bowl with 3 buttery shortbread biscuits beside it. I think I was expecting an actual tart filled with a custard cream so was a little disappointed but Noods loved it because he is fanatical about anything that resembles a creme caramel. The custard is smooth and has a layer of a slightly bitter but sweet caramel and topped with a sprinkle of heady cinnamon. We have reached near explodey point and while still saddened about the lack of Pinchy in our lives I know I’ll be back for that burger!

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