Simple, satisfying, home-style food is at the heart of Arthur, a new neighbourhood restaurant located in a leafy nook of Surry Hills.
First to impress is the setting – a gorgeous 1880s Victorian Art Deco house, with textured walls, high ceilings and vast arched windows that drench the elegant dining room in natural light. Chef Tristan Rosier and partner/front-of-house Rebecca Fanning want diners to feel like they’re at a friend’s home for dinner, and the interiors nail that mood. A striking floor-to-ceiling bar dominates what would have once been the heritage-listed property’s living room; blond timber tables and black bentwood chairs fill the rest of the space; while a large bench top, where kitchen staff assemble the courses in full view of the patrons, takes care of the theatrics.
Next comes the food – a procession of 11 dishes, brought to the table in five installments. Dietary requirements are, of course, diligently noted, but the menu is set. Remember, you’re at a friend’s home; you get what they cook!
Rosier has a borderline obsession for home-style cooking so almost everything is made from scratch on site, including the crusty sourdough, cultured butter and pickled radishes that comprise the first lot of items to hit your table. (Leftover sourdough loaves, by the way, are sold for $10 at the end of the day. And the word on the street is: they’re giving Bourke Street Bakery, across the road, a run for its money.)
Rosier is also passionate about seasonal produce, evident in dishes like kangaroo tartare paired with pickled cucumber; pork loin drenched in white wine butter; and a sensational potato mille-feuille with lashings of white onion purée.
Ably supporting the food is a cast of about 30 Australian wines – from Clare Valley rieslings to Adelaide Hills chardonnays – plus a concise menu of cocktails, spirits and beers to make you feel right at home.
Atmosphere: Homely with a dash of contemporary cool
Best for: Relaxed fine-dining for couples or small groups of friends
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Standout dish: Potato stack
Open: Wednesday-Sunday for dinner and Saturday-Sunday for lunch
Address: 544 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, Sydney
Phone number: 0468 991 088