Jack & Knife, Darlinghurst Review

Eat, Restaurants, Sydney / 15 August 2018

Be gone the remnants of the Italian restaurant veneer, Jack & Knife has arrived in Darlinghurst.

Stanley Street is known for vibrant eateries, pushing the boundaries of normality and it’s new addition Jack & Knife is no exception. Opening in July 2018, the husband and wife run restaurant has stripped bare the space that housed Trovata, replacing it with an intimate, rustic interior.
Drawing on their own memorable food and dining experiences from the world over, owner Leesa, and her husband and Head Chef Chris have crafted menu with heart. At Jack & Knife the focus is on uniting plates, bottles and stories in a seamless symphony of pleasure.
From South Australia to Chris’ home country, Canada, the menu is a heart-warming love letter to the couple’s passion for the industry.
The venue’s set-up is familiar: simple timber tables and comfortable couches lining the wall. One almighty wine rack looms behind the bar, beckoning diners to trial one of the many varieties of wine on offer.
Plate sizes range from small bites to larger plates, Jack & Knife blends the in vouge share plate demands, with cheeky flavour combinations and reimagining’s of childhood favourites. Open for lunch and dinner, Jack & Knife encourages parties to leisurely graze at a long table of food.
Drizzled in a jalapeno and lime butter sauce, the bucket of popcorn ($5) is an easy start to an evening of eating. Pair it with the roasted brussel sprouts ($14) with cheddar and bacon, and your wine filled stomach will be amply lined.
The larger dishes are an interesting assortment of time-honoured, mouth watering meats and woodfired and smoked flavours. The inventive gin-cured salmon ($17) combines a zesty pickled fennel and crème fraiche on bread. Meanwhile, the Mac ‘n’ cheese ($23), will have you reminiscing about youthful nights on the couch. Given a gooey tang thanks to honeyed pecans, the wood-fired pumpkin ($12) is an early favourite thanks to a devilish sticky sauce worthy of its own place on the dessert list.
Loosen your belt for the large dishes as Jack & Knife spares no expense. Beef short ribs are braised over eight-hours and served with a punchy blue cheese and cornbread madeleines ($32). Meanwhile, the buttery whole rainbow trout ($32) arrives with pops of bacon and Jack & Knife’s favourite thing: alcohol. This time in the form of a whisky glaze.
Leave room for the sweet offerings. Cheesecake ($9) is given a welcome rebrand, thanks to the cookies and cream additions. It comes as nothing short of a creative blend of comfort food and childish dreams.
Located on a bustling strip of well-known food institutions, Jack & Knife is hedging it bets. While other venues fight to stay on trend, thanks to its affectionately curated menu, Jack & Knife is providing diners with a wholesome dining experience