Eat, drink and be social, at the CBD’s plush and refurbished Social at Verandah.
Corporate by day, classy by night. After undergoing a sleek rejuvenation, Social at Verandah has reopened with an on-trend yet inspired jungle-esque fit-out that would make Don Draper’s heart flutter.
Nestled amongst the high-flying world of Martin Place, the clue is in the name as this refined venue encourages city dwellers to be Social. Linked by a balcony, Social at Verandah sprawls across an expansive bar area, and an intimate dining room.
Co-owners Nick Wills and Simon Tilley have spent north of $9million in refurbishing the Elizabeth Street venue. Drawing inspiration from Latin America, the duo have enlisted the help of former AHA NSW Chef of the Year 2012, Brad Sloane from The Riverview Hotel.
Beneath the calm of over 150 hanging plants, and a funky but tasteful painted wall mural, diners are encouraged to take a seat at the cocktail bar in the centre of the dining room. Stirring a combination of classics and nuanced creations, Social at Verandah’s bartenders provide a step-by-step intimate experience through cocktail curation.
Served with dried fruits worthy of their own spot on the menu, the cocktail list is an inspired list curated by bar manager Cameron Pascoe. Opt for the Pickled Pirate ($19) with Captain Morgan, All Spice, apple and bitters or the cheekily named Trophy Wife ($19) with pink peppercorn infused Ketel One with apricot.
One could quite easily pick away at the bar eats. However, the relaxed booths beckon diners to taste the a la carte offerings.
As with the candle-lit decor, Social at Verandah’s drinks list is inspired by the 50s fascination with gin and whisky. Mixing cocktails and serving tumblers, the selection is ideal for an end-of-day cap. Nonetheless, the predominately Australian sourced wine list has been especially matched to the eclectic menu.
Suitable to share or personalise, the food selection offers an innovative array of powerful yet familiar flavours, all stunningly presented.
Starting with small plates, it is best to share. Swimming in a gorgeous lemon and chive oil that combines spiced bisque and peas, yabby tails bath next to succulent shells of handcrafted pumpkin tortellini ($19).
Served with a side of fries and saltbush crackling reminiscent of take-away “pigs ears”, the kangaroo tartare ($18) epitomises Social at Verandah’s desire to insert modern flair into classic dishes. For a final starter, the heirloom beetroot salad ($16) is a visual delight. Melt-in-mouth root vegetables are paired with a creamy fennel curd, given a zesty kick by sweetened orange segments and candied pine nuts.
When dining with a large group it would be hard to bypass grovelling over the $750 whole suckling pork porchetta, with matching wines and sides. However, for smaller get-togethers, the mains list includes a variety of produce-driven statement pieces.
The nettle gnocchi ($32) is drizzled with snowflakes of gremolata, divine mushroom pieces and broad beans. The hearty vegetarian dish is topped with a dominant and aromatic pecorino foam.
Aided by seared kipflers, sunchokes and creamy blobs of mustard emulsion, the Tasmanian Trumpeter ($36) carelessly falls apart with every slice.
Feeling heavy, Social at Verandah’s subtle dessert menu goes down a treat (potentially with a night cap). Surrounded by strawberries and grapefruit granita, the yoghurt cream glazed with strawberry jelly ($16) provides a smooth ended to a filling dining experience.
From the moment you escape the frivolity and fun of the main bar next door, Social at Verandah’s personable staff ensure every diner is taken on a journey. From paddock to plate, from vineyard to glass. The knowledge and passion of all staff is endearing and engaging, making the eating and drinking experience all the more fulfilling.
Socialising is at the heart of any memorable dining experience. And at Social at Verandah, the venue’s intention to draw upon dining’s ability to bring people together palpitates across every cocktail and share dish.
Social at Verandah
55 – 65 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW 2000, 02 9239 5888
For more information you can check out Social at Verandah’s official website here