Following an afternoon of mingling with food bloggers, eating too much food (including the "world's biggest box of pork crackling" courtesy of Mr Crackles), and unwrapping and stealing each others presents at the Sydney Food Bloggers Xmas Picnic 2013, I thought it would be a good excuse to check out a new restaurant in Woollahra, Pinbone.
|World's biggest box of pork crackling at the Sydney Food Blogger's Xmas Picnic 2013|
|Another group shot at the Sydney Food Blogger's Xmas Picnic 2013|
|Bar and kitchen at Pinbone|
|Dining area at Pinbone|
Pinbone is a smallish restaurant with seating for about 40 or 50 diners in the bar area, and dining areas upstairs and downstairs. I was seated at the bar area which had a direct view of the kitchen, so I could see Mike Eggert cooking and plating up my dishes :)
The menu at Pinbone consists of a number of snacks and plates that are designed to be shared (I have attached the menu below for your reference). The food here is uncomplicated, driven by seasonal produce and draws on flavour combinations from a number of different cuisines. The menu is set out like a shopping list, however you can ask Berri Eggert or any of the other friendly waitstaff to explain any dish.
|Chocolate crackle, parfait ($4)|
|Crab stick ($4)|
|Pork and pineapple ($28)|
Berri explained to me that this dish is designed to be eaten with hands. The idea is to pick up a chunk of pork belly, dip it into the powdered mixture of nori, kombu and licorice root for a umami hit. Then have a piece of grilled pineapple, which cuts through the richness and fattiness of the pork belly. And then finish off with a bit of the herb salad to cleanse and refresh the palate for the next round of pork.
The combinations of flavour and texture here are really quite amazing. The pork belly consisted of precise layers of mouth-melting, tender meat, fat and crispy as pork crackling. All the other elements on the plate just work harmoniously with the pork belly; it was like a party in the mouth. The only problem with this dish is that the pork crackling does get stuck to your teeth.
|Smoked eel, salsify, nameko|
|Corn, pannacotta and malt ($12)|
Everything in the dessert tasted of... corn (duh). It was like they extracted every last ounce of flavour from all parts of the corn. The corn flavour is quite prominent, which I enjoyed. At the base is a corn marshmallow. The texture is not really like a soft, fluffy marshmallow as there was a slight resistance as you cut through it. Then there is a corn pannacotta, which I thought was amazing! Just so wonderfully soft, smooth and creamy. On top were crispy bits of malt and corn kernels for textural contrast to the pannacotta and marshmallow. The dessert was finished off with corn syrup made from corn cobs and husks. The corn syrup was delicious, something that I would pick up the plate and lick clean!
So all in all, I really like what Pinbone are doing. The food is no-fuss, seasonally focused and just tastes good. I am a fan of the relaxed and casual setting. And the waitstaff working here are friendly, and attentive, so what's not to like about Pinbone. Pinbone also offers an all-day brunch menu on Sunday, so I hope to come back soon to try that.
Highlight: Amazing pork belly served in a different way that was just mouth-watering!
Lowlight: “World’s biggest box of pork crackling” followed by pork belly is the ultimate gut bomb.
Overall: Pinbone delivers plates of interesting and tasty food. It's certainly a great venue to grab some friends to enjoy some great snacks and sharing plates. 7/10 (Great)
Address: 3 Jersey Road, Woollahra, NSW 2025
Contact no: 02 9328 1600