Fusing a love of food with fantastic views at The Smoking Goat
With views looking out over the Parramatta River, the Smoking Goat is the newest restaurant in the Sydney Rowing Club complex. Greek-born restauranteur Con Dedes had decided that its predecessor, Dedes, needed a revamp. And after 20 years on the site, it closed to make way for this fusion of mod Oz and Greek cuisine. Enlisting the help of Executive Chef Paul Hamilton, the share menu reflects a selection of Dedes’s much-loved family recipes.
A large setting by any standard, the Smoking Goat sits 160 comfortably, and even more for weddings and special functions. It is a polished, open space with timber and leather furniture and a river-facing, glass facade that folds up in the warmer months. At sunset it is a charming view indeed.
We started our meal with tzatziki and pita bread ($14.50). The bread is hot, pillowy, and ripe for dunking. The tzatziki on the other hand could have used more cucumber.
Next up was the saganaki cheese with tomato, onion and cucumber relish, and oregano honey ($15). Very similar in taste and texture to haloumi, the saganaki included delicious chunks of panfried cheese. The relish was generous and hearty. However, it was the sweetness of the oregano honey that truly lifted the dish.
The mod Oz came through in the chilli prawns with garlic and lemon yoghurt ($16). Cooked and eaten whole, the prawns had extra crunch to them, biting through the shell. And with just the right amount of spice, it delicious.
As the name suggests, the Smoking Goat takes a lot of pride in its chargrilling and smoking techniques. This was on full display with the chargrilled swordfish steak served with spinach and rice pilaf ($26). The steak was tender, meaty and filling and pleasantly complemented by the lightly seasoned pilaf.
The quinoa, freekeh, almonds, leaf, pomegranate and goats curd salad ($12) was pretty as a picture. Everything balanced with each other, the biting crunch of the grains with the creamy softness of the goats curd, and the pepperiness of the leaves with the bursting sweetness of the pomegranate. A lovely little side dish.
Disappointing however was the slow roasted lamb shoulder on a bed of lazanki noodles and dollops with lemon Greek yoghurt. The lamb, though hot, lacked much in the way of flavour and the yoghurt quickly melted away. The noodles were served warm but dry, making them an odd inclusion to the dish. A drizzle of olive oil, perhaps infused with lemon, would have quickly remedied that.
Those with a sweet tooth will no be disappointed at The Smoking Goat with the chilled panna cotta served with warm donuts and sliced figs. It was a wonderful finish to the meal.
The Smoking Goat provides a relaxed dining experience with stunning water views and in a family-friendly atmosphere. It is a joy for the senses.
The Smoking Goat
Sydney Rowing Club
613 Great North Road
Ph: 02 9712 5503
Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday, lunch 12-3pm and dinner 5:30 – 9pm
For further information, visit smokinggoat.com.au
If you love Greek food check out our story on Zeus Street Kitchen.