The outside is of this restaurant will not win any awards. It's located at the busy end of a reasonably quiet street in Crows Nest. Parking was easy, and free for a change (well for no change actually). As we approached the building I had no idea what a wonderful experience was in store for us. It had already been a good day because we got to meet our new kitten a few hours earlier.
The Burlington is a restaurant FOR the people. In a comfortable bistro-style setting you style your own experience. It’s hard to know what to laud first – the superb wine list compiled by Manager Louise Ward and Sommelier Guy Collins - or the exceptional cooking. Ah no, it's not hard, for the first time ever (especially in a good food restaurant) the wine actually impressed me the most.
Firstly, the wine list allows consumption by glass, carafe (250ml/375ml) or bottle, so expect to see four prices behind each wine I mention. For a small list, it reads like a directory of great global wine regions. I started with a 2007 Pallio San Floriano Verdicchio ($8/$13/$20/$44) which was lovely, but my dining companion trumped me with what was to end up as my favourite wine of the evening, a complex 2007 Daniel Dampt Chablis ($12/$20/$30/$60) from Burgundy. Think green apples and strong minerality in a crispy in a well balanced wine, and you wouldn't be far wrong.
The menu makes choosing hard because there weren't that many dishes I would not have been keen to try. Lucky for people like me, most dishes come in two sizes, so you can choose to eat tapas style and try more dishes. That said, sharing the Chicken Liver Parfait ($15) may lead to fights - each bite smeared on toasted brioche with spicy pear chutney was a true pleasure. I enjoyed it with a lovely, restrained glass of 2006 Domaines Schlumberger 'Les Princes Abbes' Pinot Blanc ($9/$14/$21/$42) from Alsace, France.
The Wagyu Brisket ‘Spring Rolls’ ($12/$18) are the best dang spring rolls I’ve ever had. From the crunchy onion rings to the truffled cauliflower puree, but especially the slow cooked wagyu and the crunchy pastry, it's all excellent.
In fact meat is beautifully handled across the menu; take the ‘Moussaka’ of Braised Lamb Neck ($26) as a case in point. It’s served up nicely in a clay pot for one beside a baby Greek Salad with exceptional fetta. My accompanying 2007 Capcanes Mas Donis Garnacha ($9/$15/$22/$44) from Montsant, Spain had a complex, sexy nose.
The Confit Pork Belly with Grilled Peaches ($28) perhaps begs for a carb but frankly, I was absurdly happy just smelling my wine. We didn't even need to try a dessert, I was so satisfied with my meal. Besides, it gives me an excuse for a return visit. I am secretly planning it already.
6 Burlington Street, Crows Nest
Ph: (02) 9439 7888