Sydney Social 101 was invited to review Duke Bistro on Tuesday this week, Duke Bistro has become renowned for its innovative, witty menu since opening in 2010, being awarded a hat by Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide in 2011, pretty impressive!
Suffice to say we were expecting big things! When we went upstairs it reminded me of old English pubs from back home with bottle green walls and tit bits hanging on the walls and shelves – I have to be honest is saying that it didn’t strike me as a ‘hat’ restaurant on first impressions! It has been described previously as progressive & playful in spirit, I awaited the menu with baited breath.
We were invited to sample the tasting menu, which is served every Tuesday, as we were informed that head chef Nik Hill keeps things interesting in the kitchen, where he experiments with ingredients at their very best and trailing seven new dishes each week, some of which end up on the constantly evolving menu.
It was unfortunate that on this occasion, the menu didn’t appeal to Sydney Social 101, the main dish that stood out was the Shoulder of Lamb. We decided that rather than pay $60 per head for the tasting menu, we’d order a main that left us salivating for less than half of the cost (Note: Sydney Social 101 paid full price for the meal, all views expressed are always our own and honest, irrespective of whether the food is paid for or comped).
Joining Hill in the kitchen is Billy Hannigan, who worked with Hill at The Ledbury for two years. During their stint at the restaurant, it was awarded its second Michelin star (one of only five restaurants to do so in the UK) and its impressive ranking in the San Pellegrino Top 50 list. In great company and a high track record 🙂
The food that we had was absolutely wonderful! No complaints what-so-ever! I took the liberty of taking some pictures, just to make you extra jealous! For two courses, a shared desert and a glass of wine, it was $75 – Not too bad at all!
Hill started his career at Bather’s Pavillion under Serge Dansereau, followed by two years at Philip Johnson’s E’cco where he was sous chef at age 21 and became a finalist in Lexus Young Chef of the Year in 2007, before starting at The Ledbury in 2008.
Duke Bistro is also one of the rare Sydney restaurants operating a late night kitchen, with food served until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
Wine consultant, winemaker and sometime DJ Joel Amos is responsible for a wine list that is eclectic and adventurous with a natural empathy for the food it matches. The varied wine list takes diners from Duke’s moody small bar and snack menu to a long matched dinner, from champagnes and sherrys to sakes, whites and reds.
Duke Bistro at The Flinders Hotel- 65 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst
Open Tuesday to Saturday 6pm until late
Tuesday Tastings- $60 for 7 courses
For reservations call 93323180