Offering romantic jazz bar vibes, an incredible menu of exotic tasty dishes, and pages of fun cocktails.
Inner West Marrickville is fast becoming a go-to for multicultural dining with one of our favourite spots being Baba’s Place. Now there’s a New York-inspired bar and restaurant, The D’s Bar & Dining, to add to the eclectic mix.
The D’s Bar & Dining offers a contemporary Asian menu reflecting co-founder and executive chef Lucas Doan’s Vietnamese & Chinese heritage. Paying homage to his culture, he explains: “We’re here to embrace, recreate and infuse traditional Asian flavours (Vietnamese, Chinese, Cantonese, Thai, and Japanese) with Western techniques to create the next level of culinary experience.”
Growing up in the hospitality industry with his parents running a restaurant in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, it’s no surprise that Doan would become a chef. After completing his commercial chef training in Sydney, Doan started working for top Sydney restaurants like Merivale’s Mr. Wong, before moving to Vietnamese restaurant Hello Aunty, and then becoming head chef at upmarket Luna Lu on Sydney Harbour. Now he’s opened his first restaurant, The D’s Bar & Dining.
At The D’s Bar & Dining, every dish is designed to share using only the highest quality ingredients like Appellation oysters and Phoenix Wagyu with a minimum marbling score of 8. With so many appealing dishes to choose from, we went with the advice of our helpful and attentive waitress.
To start, we ordered the Beef Pho Tartar, made of Phoenix M8 Wagyu, broth jelly, basil, and eschalot served with a sesame rice cracker, and the ‘Chawanmushi’ Alaskan King Crab with freshly steamed soymilk custard. The presentation was well-considered and we were not let down in the taste department. The broth jelly in the Tartar had incredible flavour and the Chawanmushi was delicate and sweet.
For our mains, we tried the signature, The D’s Duck, which takes two whole days to make. It brines for 24 hours, is air-dried for another 24 hours and then roasted in-house ensuring it is tender and succulent. The D’s Duck is served two ways – Peking style with fresh fluffy baos instead of the traditional pancake, as well as duck salad. The Vietnamese-inspired salad was one to return for, featuring the previously mentioned house roast duck, plus banana blossom, seaweed, sesame and fresh Vietnamese mint.
Highly recommend the Crab Fried Rice consisting of Alaskan king crab, corn, egg, and supreme sauce, topped with a very liberal serving of trout roe, which delightfully pops in your mouth, providing subtle layers of joy in each mouthful. Each dish was a delight with incredibly diverse flavours.
Those with food intolerances can feel comfortable dining at The D’s. The majority of the menu is gluten-free and dairy-free with many options for vegans and vegetarians. Even the Beef Tartar is made with halal meat. Doan explains: “I care about every single customer coming to this venue.”
Now the cocktail menu is something to write home about – Think classic cocktails with a twist, presented in a fun way. The signature Déjà Vu consisted of Henessy, green tea plum umeshu, jasmine and Grand Marnier, while the Cane of the Crop was a refreshing mix of vodka, sugarcane, orange, ginger and fresh lychee. If you want something with a kick, order the Birds Eye Tango made with Birds-eye chilli infused tequila, lime, and yellow and green mango, served in a chilli-salt rimmed glass. Our cocktail experience could have easily continued and I will return for the Coco Phe Martini with vodka, Kahlua, coconut cream and Vietnamese coffee.
Service was excellent, staff were welcoming, helpful and attentive. Menu items are priced between $25 and $40. The restaurant has an $85 per-person minimum however portion sizes are generous and our favourite part… No times-up table seating rule!
The soft lighting and cherry blossom flowers create a welcoming atmosphere. There’s a big bar in the centre of the space offering high stool seating and for table dining, comfortable red and blue velvet lounges. Artwork covers the walls and Doan commissioned a captivating giant mural covering almost the entire wall, of a striking young Asian lady wearing traditional clothing, on a painted gold background.
With romantic jazz bar vibes, an incredible menu of exotic tasty dishes and pages of fun cocktails, this is the perfect date venue. You won’t get to taste everything but The D’s Bar & Dining is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So there’s plenty of opportunity for date number two.