Casual dinners in Cremorne have a new home at Barrel Bar and Dining
A new restaurant has opened in Cremorne on Military Road, right near the Orpheum theatre, called Barrel Bar and Dining.
A long bar with dim lighting and hanging wine glasses captures your attention as soon as you enter the venue. On a casual Thursday night the front bar is busy with couples enjoying a bottle of wine seated at the bar or on high tables. Out the back is an open plan courtyard where a canopy of fake green vines creates a little indoors oasis away from surrounding offices.
The menu at Barrel Bar and Dining focuses on contemporary European influences, which is a refreshing break from the casual Asian eateries that line this popular strip. Owners Stephen Thompson and Tony Binning are experienced sommeliers having met years ago when they both worked for Gordan Ramsay and La Mola Club in Spain. The duo have since worked together at Public Dining Room in Balmoral and Aqua Dining in Milson’s Point.
Both Thompson and Binning reside north side and often found it hard to find local places to go for dinner after work or on their nights off. They’d often find themselves in Surry Hills and decided to open their own place OTB (over the bridge). They wanted somewhere they could utilise their experience in food and wine pairing and highlight a wide range of boutique wines both locally and internationally.
If you’re happy to just “go with it”, choose your dishes and let the guys match your wines. It’s safe to say you’re in very capable hands. If you’ve got a special bottle you’ve been saving, bring it in between Sunday to Thursday and the chefs can match your food to your wine. You can even call ahead to ensure the kitchen creates a more precise match.
Chefs Zac Stanning and Luke Davenport are at the helm of the kitchen creating a very produce driven menu with dishes being tweaked and changed daily. The menu starts with lighter snacks like candied walnuts and makes it’s way to heavier, more substaintial plates. Sharing a number of dishes between friends is the best way to dine at Barrel Bar and Dining.
Expect beautiful presentation and experimental flavours. For instance, the 12 hour cured Queensland king prawns that come served on vanilla and coffee bean jelly. It’s a strange and unexpected flavour combination certain to divide peoples opinion but it works and it’s always nice to see chefs trying new ideas.
For more classic flavours the seared Alaskan scallops are a winner but with dollops of edamame puree on the plate the chefs are still playing with your senses.
A stand out dish for us is the plate of 24 hour slow cooked carrots that come with smoked carrot puree, pickled heirloom carrot and little pieces of salted honeycomb. It could almost be a dessert dish it’s so sweet.
The slow cooked beef cheeks with confit leek, turnip, pureed parsnip and braising sauce is a delicious main choice, best shared as it’s very rich. It pairs well with the Domain Naturaliste by Bruce Dukes a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River.
For dessert we suggest ordering both the baked Batlow apple with candied apple crisp, coffee and walnut gelato, peach anglaise and pureed apple and the frozen dark chocolate parfait, chocolate shards, powdered strawberry with sweet lime gel. Have this with dessert wine or keep going with the Cab Sav from Margaret River.
Barrel Bar and Dining has been open for nearly two months and is already becoming a local hotspot. It’s great for a quick glass of wine and small plate before the movies or a trip OTB for a long, lazy meal.
Barrel Bar and Dining
362 Military Road, Cremorne NSW 2090
(02) 9904 5687 Open Monday – Saturday: 5pm to late Sunday: 5pm to 10pm