Fall down the rabbit hole with the whimsical dishes of Tomislav Martinovic. At thirty-five he’s already cooked with Matt Moran, Guillaume Brahimi and Heston Blumenthal (The Fat Duck).
While his cooking is progressive, there’s still a foot firmly planted in the camp that allows good produce to shine. Your exercise in trust begins with the understated menu, best contemplated on the balcony with clever Smith’s Crisps inspired Rice Crackers ($6) and the 2006 Rymill Coonawarra Sparkling ($12/glass, $55/bottle). Follow the three squirt advice religiously.
Sydney Rock Oysters ($12/22) explode between contrasting layers of lemon sorbet and soy.
Service is in the capable and charming hands of Gavin Day, who possesses his own impressive pedigree (China Doll, Fratelli Fresh, The Light Brigade). The space is small and industrial, but the stellar Harbour Bridge and Coke sign views and great balcony give it class.
Roast Red Gate Farm Quail ($19) is teasingly Thai with chilli, coriander and roast pineapple.
The biodynamic Poached Comboyne Hen’s Egg ($18) with smoked potato cream and Kurobuta sausage is comfort anew.
With the restaurant pass on show, watch as Tomislav applies uniform beetroot smears with the speed and skill of a Japanese calligrapher; before you mop them up with surgical precision using the airy olive oil sponge with the Burrawong Duck Breast ($32).
The O’Connor Scotch Fillet ($30) with bone marrow and grilled mango puree is a strangely compelling collision.
Crinkle Cut Chips ($8) use the Heston Blumenthal method of multiple cooks and complete cools - I can tell because we use it at home too. They're a shade overdone on this occasion, but I can tell they'd be great otherwise.
Desserts are just fun, from the popping Dark Chocolate Mousse ($14) to...
...a cute little Caramel Pudding ($14) let down slightly by the yoghurt sorbet, finishing up with...
...the airy enchantment of a deconstructed Cheese Cake ($14) with the best rhubarb sorbet in Sydney.
By the time I leave, I already know that I will return to explore the rest of the compact menu. I really shouldn't tell you this, but the parking bays on William Street are a great, inexpensive secret Kings Cross multi-hour park. This is the view from my car to the restaurant. Please, leave one space for me?
2/13 Kirketon Road, Darlinghurst
Ph: (02) 9356 4535