Our understated country waitress is effortlessly beautiful. She gestures casually out one window to show where the 2014 Logan Sauvignon Blanc ($12/glass) comes from, then the other to indicate the origins of the Pressed Duck ($36) with lentils and heirloom carrots.
Hotel restaurants are curious beasts; and while Abode has been cleverly located as a stylish, stand-alone restaurant, it is still very much part of the Parkroyal Darling Harbour. As you’d expect, the restaurant fulfils a role in providing accessible, comforting and familiar food to overnight stayers.
The Dandylion Bondi
You’ve got to wonder why it’s taken so long for a fully-fledged vegetarian restaurant to open in an old DVD store in Bondi. Lamenting the lack of options and the demise of movie rentals, co-owner Chitti Lardi, a vego who grew up in the Inner West, sought the perfect spot for a 100% vegetarian (with vegan options) diner.
Your hipster pub life needn't stop when you have kids! You can bring your beard, your Kindle, your tatts, your children, yes, even your dog (true story) and save on funky Mac & Cheese ($14). It’s rippled with silver beet, cauliflower and leek, and baked in an old-fashioned enamel-coated tin plate (very on-trend), making it super tasty and vegetarian-friendly.
I was warned: categorise this restaurant and whatever it is, will vanish in a puff of steaming chai, rather like their steamy yet elegant dessert: Hot Tea, Iced Tea, Aaah Tea featuring rhubarb, cranberry and raspberries. But I’m going to have a crack using Owner/Chef Adam Humphrey’s own words: “We’re very serious about what goes on the plate, but we’re taking the piss.”