Head upstairs at Darlinghurst's Flinders Hotel for Duke Bistro, late-night dining with a sense of humour in a landmark Sydney pub.
An all star food and drinks crew featuring ex-Tetsuyas chef Thomas Lim are on hand, putting a modern twist on classic bistro fare. Enjoy food packed with seasonal produce, presented with a unique style and taste in share plates and individual meals that are great to share amongst friends and family.
So, where to start... This restaurant is above the flinders which from the outside is dodgy and very 'feral'.., but stumbling inside this venue to find the said restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised. With a funky interior and a cool staff, they promptly gave directions to get upstairs to the bustling restaurant. I met some friends which were seated in a private room, with their own iPod music pumping through. The seating and table setup was very nice and the staff in the restaurant were even more pleasant. The menu though left me a bit puzzled. "Grilled Watermelon with herbs"? Hmmm what type of cuisine is this... Lard, pork belly, hmm not my thing. I didn't eat here, but when the food did come out it was presented beautifully. Whilst I won't go there because of their current menu, someone else, just might.
Went to check out Duke on the weekend with some friends, looking for some good food, good wine and a good setting to enjoy those in, and Duke Bistro scored highly on all counts. Duke is upstairs from the late night drinking venue that is The Flinders. It's cosy, casual, dark, noisy and quirky (the massive boar head which seemed to roam around the room being the focus of my attention, at least until the food started arriving) - very indicative of how Sydney dining is evolving. The menu is based around small sharing dishes, some are very much bite size, some are a bit more substantial. We tried about 8 dishes (not including desserts) and all but one were absolutely delicious, the highlights included: 'Tomato, Strawberry, Burrata, Shiso' - a great update on the classic Insalata Caprese, Burrata being the 'in' dish at the moment. Absolutely delicious, if a bit difficult to split between 4! 'Fried Chicken Wings, Coleslaw Milk, Hot Sauce' - yes yes, it's just fried chicken, butread more