Poly, Surry Hills
Poly restaurant in Surry Hills is part of the Paramount Hotel with a much more casual wine bar vibe than sister restaurant Ester but equally as delicious
Poly in Surry Hills is part of the Paramount Hotel with a much more casual wine bar vibe than sister restaurant Ester but is equally as delicious. I’ve been a few times- once for the amazing Scarlet prawn dish and the light comte donut but both times I’d forgotten my camera so a birthday dinner with Isaac rectifies this!
We start with the Fried potato, salted egg yolk ($14), which I’d bookmarked on Instagram and thought about since their first inception in early May. The golden cubes are made up of layers of tender potato- it was like eating the most perfect hashbrown! While the salted egg yolk topping was delicious I kinda expected a more intense salted egg yolk flavour? Although I think I have become spoilt by eating many bags of Irvins that maybe my tastebuds have become immune to salted egg yolk flavour that doesn’t punch you in the face.
The Raw beef, fried cheese ($24) is a mound of hand chopped steak tartare hiding under a parmesan wafer.
We were instructed to break up the wafer and mix but I chose to break off bits and scoopsies the tartare and woah it totally tasted like a cheeseburger! The tartare was perfectly seasoned and I loved the sharpness of the cheese.
The only word to describe the Cheese dumplings with cheese rind and grilled onion soup ($24) is: DEEEEELIGHTFUL. This whole plate was perfection, the dumplings tender pasta skin held pockets of liquid cheese and together with a spoonful of the onion soup it just tasted like a warm hug for the soul.
Instead of getting the Steak sandwich we decide to go all out and order the Short rib, burnt honey, sugarloaf cabbage salad ($60). It is a very generous portion of tender, juicy meat with a perfect medium rare centre and deliciously charred edges. We started getting the meat sweats towards the end but it’s so worth it!
Sadly the Comte donut has disappeared from the menu but there’s a Sticky date donut ($15) for dessert that is absolutely lip smackingly delicious! The donut is more a crisp cruller/churros style than a fluffy donut but oh boy that sauce! That beautiful rich, butterscotch sauce! I wanted to bathe in it but instead settled for scraping every last schmear off the plate.
74-76 Commonwealth St,
Monday – Friday: 5pm – 12am
Saturday: 3pm – 12am
Sunday: 3pm – 10pm
The Old Fitzroy Hotel, Woolloomooloo
Nicholas Hill (ex Sepia) has breathed new life into the Old Fitzroy Hotel in Woolloomooloo with British influenced bistro food and a rotating specials menu featuring a pie of the day
When you mention pub food I immediately think of salt and pepper calamari, Thai food or a stodgy parmie. None of these are available at the Old Fitzroy Hotel in Woolloomooloo now with Nicholas Hill (ex Sepia) at the helm in the kitchen which is a relief in a town with the same ol same ol on the menu. Instead, the menu is British influenced bistro food with a rotating specials menu featuring a pie of the day. Order at the bar and grab a pint before making your way past the kitchen to the mezzanine area which also connects to the theatre- warning, the place gets packed with pre theatre guests and staff will ring a bell when a show is about to start.
We start with the Hot chip butty ($10), which is only available at lunch with optional upgrades of beef dripping gravy ($4) and curried egg ($4) and trust me, get them. It arrives deconstructed style so you can sneak a chip or two while slathering your devils white bread with butter. A less OCD person would dump all the chips onto the bread but well, I wanted to ensure even chip coverage and so carefully jenga stacked the fat golden chips before adding the curried egg layer and then smothering in the rich gravy.
Carb on carb perfection! There’s also bottles of HP, Worcestershire, vinegar and hot sauce available to customise your sammich to your liking.
There’s quite a few snacks on the menu and we cannot pass up the Scotch egg($8) which is picture perfect.
Inside the crispy, golden breadcrumbed shell is a deliciously peppery sausage meat layer around firm egg white and a gloriously golden and gooey yolky center.
We score a complimentary Chicken and lardo terrine ($16) from the kitchen, a tile of chilled, pressed chicken with ribbons of creamy rich lardo on top that I may have carefully peeled off to eat separately. I quite liked the tarragon mustard which provided a nice heat to the terrine.
The Raw beef on dripping toast($14) is basically a steak tartare on toast and it’s one tasty dish! The meat is nicely seasoned and the sprinkle of finely chopped chives providing a pleasant crunch and brightness against the rich umami laden toast.
The Tripe and chicken nuggets ($8) only comes 2 for the portion which made me a bit sad because I reckon the scotch egg would be more value buuuuut they were delicious and I’d totally order them again.
If you’re a fan of the textural elements of tripe you might be disappointed with how they’re reduced to nubbins and vying for center of attention against the chicken but there’s just something about these nuggets that explode with flavour and make you wish there were 20 more.
I’ve never eaten a rissole before so was curious about the Rissole sandwich with fries ($17) and was pleasantly surprised about how soft and tender the rissole was! I would definitely return for this and loved the melty cheddar against the sweetness of the beetroot. A special mention to the fries, they were covered in some crazy addictive salt that we would gladly buy to sprinkle on absolutely everything.
Pie fillings (and sizes) rotate daily so check out their grams for what’s on. On one visit our group shared the Roast chicken and artichoke pie for two ($45) and ohhh boy the pie was spectacular and so fricken massive! I reckon it would’ve been enough for 3-4 people for mains! The chicken fat and yellow wine sauce was velvety smooth and just so delicious that I wanted to bathe in it but settled for drowning the very juicy pieces of chicken dug up from the cavernous pie. And of course the puff pastry was amazing, golden with many flaky layers.
On another visit the pie of the day was Pigs head with grilled onion and cheddar ($22). I loved the juicy meat and tiny cubes of fat that melted on the tongue with the rich gravy.
While smaller in size the pie was no less tasty and in fact I actually preferred this pie as it felt like there was a higher puff pastry to innards ratio.
The Old Fitzroy Hotel
129 Dowling St,
Monday – Friday: 11am – 12am
Saturday: 12pm – 12am
Sunday: 12pm – 10pm