Thursday, November 16, 2006

Four In Hand

Last night Airport Guy and I caught up for the first time since I decided single is the way to go, for dinner at the Four In Hand pub and restaurant in Paddington. I've always wanted to come here, and for good reason: this is a great, cosy bistro that makes me feel good as soon as I step through the door; tiny, one waiter, dark wood, specials scribbled on the mirror, and a pub with pokies on the other side.

The food is Sydney bistro with prices we fell in love with when this trend kicked off years ago: $18 entrees, $29 mains, $13 desserts. I wasn't expecting an amuse-bouche but loved the Peruvian gazpacho, a smokey tomato shot topped with a drop of grassy oil. Then, how could I resist the petit dejeuner irlandais? As the cute waiter explained, it was a twist on the traditional Irish breakfast - cannelini beans instead of baked beans (the only slightly disappointing element as they were a bit hard, would have preferred a more cassoulet-type flavour); sausage replaced with a circle of flakey quail, then a slice of earthy black pudding, and topped with a quail egg and strip of crunchy, very smokey bacon. Clever! My main of roast mulloway was a delight, the seasoned, crispy skin of the fish better than any side of fries, resting on smoked tomato and around the plate the accompaniments of thyme gnocchi, oxtail and pearls of heavenly marrow bone. Luckily we both wanted the same dessert, chocolate delice with malted icecream, the delice perfectly soft and warm on the inside and the icecream, well, I love malt so it was a winner. The bitter chocolate wafer wasn't great and the coffee didn't push my buttons, but the shiraz was really nice and it was just a lovely meal.


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