This well-liked Surry Hills eatery has a great go-with-a-group appeal, a vibe that has carried over from the temporarily closed fire-damaged Nomad (down the road and around the corner).
But the banquet menu (a suite of mostly vegetable-focused dishes) is aimed at all comers, from couples to crowds. Chef Jacqui Challinor has a way with Middle Eastern flavours, with a Med/ Italian note here and there. So a velvety ring of cannellini bean hummus comes puddled with cumin burnt butter; eggplant chunks are pinged with pomegranate and nutty olive seeds (from inside olive pits); and battered zucchini flowers are dredged with parma snow and truffled honey.
Pickled peppers bring welcome acidity to chermoula-spiced spatchcock with whipped labne. The former Longrain site is light and airy with a semi-open kitchen. Well worth the walk up the road.
85 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills; (02) 9280 3395; open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner.