Affable Restaurant Manager Craig McCall tells me to think of this spot as my “neighbourhood fine diner”.
And, after I finish scraping the last skerrick of Devonshire Crème Brulee ($16) with scone ice cream and decadent cherry jam, out of the dainty teacup, I muse he’s exactly right.
From the first glistening pat of their famous honey-butter, which adds complexity without too much sweetness to your warm bread roll, to the aforementioned dessert, the food and service here makes you feel right at home.
In the dining room, white tablecloths are offset with nicely worn bistro-style chairs. The wall of mismatched mirrors continues (in a miniaturised form) in their hat-worthy bathroom, stocked with L’Occitane products.
Owner/head chef Jeremy Bentley creates dishes that are highly worked without being challenging. Moist Smoked Pork Belly ($25) squares are accompanied by pig’s tail, boiled in stock and soy, then crumbed and fried, and balanced by pickled cabbage.
Golden-crumbed blocks of pressed lamb shoulder add texture to Slow Cooked Lamb Rump ($37) with eggplant caviar.
Bannockburn Chicken Breast and Pot Roast Leg ($37) hide under crunchy chicken skin, managing to be comforting without being daggy. It’s great against a lean but likeable 2014 Rob Hall Chardonnay ($54).
Shave down the prices by booking a 6pm sitting on their two-course Pre-Theatre Menu ($49/head).
204 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9698 9427