In a hip strip like Reservoir Street, home to Single Origin Roasters, Bang Bang Café, and half the cutting-edge design agencies in Sydney, it pays to stay relevant.
That’s the main impetus behind turning Sugarcane Restaurant, a six-year stalwart, into a South East Asian hawker style canteen.
The fit out by Giant (responsible for Red Lantern and Chow Eating House) featuring stripped-back walls with Thai street-style graffiti and posters, and a colourful, fabric-rich roof of hanging silk handbags, provides a welcoming, warm respite from a rain-drenched evening.
Now if you’re a staunch loyalist, never fear, while the menu has been updated to reflect Sydney’s current obsession with smaller, sharing portions, favourites like Crispy Chicken, Blood Plum ($17) remain.
Bite-sized Prawn, Rice Cake, Caramelised Sugarcane ($4/each) suit smart cocktails, including my favourite, a delicate Jasmine-Tea Infused Gin with Lime and Sugar ($17).
They’ve also got a cracking little wine list, courtesy of Ged Higgins (ex-10 William Street), that manages to straddle the whole range of cuisines. My 2013 Jamsheed ‘Le Blanc Plonk’ ($9/glass) gewürztraminer/Riesling blend was equally at home with flaky Roti ($10) and Malay curry sauce...
...as it was with Pork and Prawn Dumplings ($16).
It even stretched to accompany Green Papaya Salad ($19) with chef’s unique salmon and cashew update.
40A Reservoir Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9281 1788