Private school accents abound amidst the hubbub of polite conversation at this long established North Shore institution.
The food’s also unremittingly polite, with a fresh spring injection from recently appointed Head Chef Kevin Connors (Wildfire).
His Artichoke Salad with Kingfish, Wild Strawberries and Parmesan Cream ($17) reconceptualises artichokes enough to entice even a staunch opponent; it's possibly the most unique pairing I have seen in a while - and it worked!
Less successful was the Spanner Crab Soufflé ($20) landing a little set and eggy for my liking.
All was forgiven with the arrival of the Kobe Cuisine Rostbiff (400g) ($54) – a stunning piece of four hundred day grain fed Wagyu from the Darling Downs.
Damn my politics. Well informed staff were able to explain that they have no grass fed options because their supplier Anthony Puharich (Vic’s Meats) believes that Queensland produces our best beef and they’re presently in drought. Food for thought, but I’m still for grass, so I kept myself honest with a Crispy Skin Orange and Thyme Spatchcock with Radicchio, Blue Cheese and Walnut ($30) - well mostly honest... I stole bits of the steak, I just didn't order one for myself.
For sides it’d be hard to pass the excellent Tomato Salad ($11) full of lovely torn Buffalo Mozzarella.
Round off the palate and please all comers with a Dessert Tasting Plate ($30); or skip to the winner, a Summer Berry, Hazelnut Meringue Mille-Feuille ($16.50) and roll home. The honeycomb ice-cream (made in-house) is also superb; the only disappointment being the Blackberry and White Chocolate Parfait ($16.50) which read well but was hard and lacked definition in flavour.
118 Alexander Street, Crows Nest
Ph: (02) 9439 3707