Pork on your fork? We find a whole hunk at the end of ours, a pit-roasted pork neck at The Forresters in Surry Hills.
The Forresters now falls under the Drink and Dine Group with a menu designed by executive chef Jamie Thomas. He's the culinary mastermind behind sibling hotels The Norfolk, The Abercrombie and The Carrington - a playground of tastes that allows him to serve kingfish pastrami in one venue and deep-fried Gaytimes in another.
Hawaiian corn $8
with tabasco mayonnaise, pineapple, bacon, chives and parmesan
There's a mixed crowd that file in after work, from mates, couples, families to tourists. The restaurant upstairs offers a more formal dining experience, but we're happiest on the first floor section, which offers booth seating and a view into the bar below.
The menu is split up into snacks, burgers, pizzas, mains, pastas and salads but on our second visit we zero in on the snack section. The Hawaiian corn is pimped up with parmesan cheese, bacon, pineapple, chives, tabasco mayonnaise and kernels of popcorn.
It's the popcorn that proves the most entertaining, an odd amplification of both the flavour and contrasting textures in each. There's a glorious char to the corn and the bacon provides a satisfying saltiness - the only disappointment is the temperature of the corn, which is room-temperature cold.
Popcorn squid $14
with green peppercorn mayonnaise
Popcorn also makes an appearance in the popcorn squid - I'd foolishly thought this meant the squid would be coated in a crunchier batter, rather than realise the popcorn reference was literal.
A dusting of furikake - that addictive Japanese mix of seaweed, sesame seeds and ground fish more commonly sprinkled onto rice - offers on an intriguing twist on the standard salt and pepper seasoning. And we're pretty keen on the green peppercorn mayonnaise too.
Spaghetti with meatballs $10 on Tuesdays (normally $18)
I'm a sucker for meatballs so we take advantage of the $10 pasta special on Tuesdays. The meatballs are monster-sized but finding a liberal amount of grated carrot inside makes me feel like a seven-year-old kid tricked into eating their veggies.
BBQ pork from the pit $30
with buttered rolls, Korean salad, bbq sauce and parmesan fries
We've eaten the BBQ pork from the pit twice now, unable to resist the DIY carnage of pulled pork, chips and salad. It's the kind of dish that gets heads swivelling whenever it's delivered to a table. The menu recommends this dish be served between two - believe them on this one.
I'd originally wanted to get a photo of the pork held aloft on a fork, but the meat is so tender, it falls apart at the first prod. The cuts of pork will vary (our first one was fattily delicious, whereas the second time it was definitely leaner) but the drill is the same: cram as much pork as you can on your bun and drown it in lashings of barbecue sauce.
The Korean salad offers palate-cleansing respite, a collision of kimchee and coleslaw spiked with a potentially hair-raising amount of chilli. The chips seem to evolve each time too - the latest seemed to be a mix of parmesan and jalapeno chiles.
Deep-fried cauliflower cheese $8
with smoked cheese sauce
And finally, from the man that brought you deep-fried pizza and deep-fried pickles, I give you deep-fried cauliflower cheese.
Deep-fried cauliflower cheese
The nutty florets of cauliflower are even better encased in a bread crumb coating and fried until golden brown. More veggies? Yes please!
View Larger Map
336 Riley Street, Surry Hills, Sydney
Tel +61 (02) 9212 3035
Monday to Wednesday 12pm-12am
Thursday to Saturday 12pm-1am
Food available until 10pm daily
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Chippendale - The Abercrombie
Surry Hills - The Carrington
Surry Hills - The Norfolk
14 comments - Add some comment love
8/13/2012 12:34:00 a.m.