Dedicated foodies will know that when it comes to restaurants, there’s the line-up of usual suspects: the new kid on the block serving the latest Instagrammable food mash-up, the pretty one with plant-filled pastel interiors, the flashy hotspot with on-trend minimalist décor.
But while we all love the novelty of the new, those looking for a side of history served up alongside their butter poached lobster need look no further than The Stables.
Hidden down a narrow alley in Sydney’s Paddington, it’s a blink and you’ll miss it exterior (in fact, we did miss it, twice) but don’t be fooled by the charmingly modest sandstone building.
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Steeped in history that’s seen the space house stables, a hay loft, leathersmith’s residence and a blacksmith since the 1800s, it’s now been reawakened as an elegantly cosy eatery that refuses to gloss over its past.
Coming complete with horse artwork on the walls, leather seats, pressed tin, and a long marble bar, the food keeps to the down-to-earth theme as well, with head chef Thomas Gripton using local providores and focusing on seasonal produce.
Just like the interior, the menu is all about hearty food with a polished modern twist.
Think entrees like a blue swimmer crab in a ‘pasta blanket’ – every bit the carb dream it sounds – as well as butter poached lobster pepped up with zingy herb jus and dill.
Your stomach will thank you for keeping it light to start, especially if you go for the slow cooked pork with celery ribbons as a main. Forget the cauliflower craze, celery might just be the new boring veggie come good, presented in a completely new and utterly delicious light.
Braised lamb belly gets an Asian twist with moreish miso eggplant puree, while a side of roast duck fat potatoes pretty much steals the show in all of its crunchy gloriousness. Like garlic? There’ll be a few slow roasted nuggets of garlicky goodness in there was well.
Chocolate lovers will need to prep their second dessert stomach to make way for the chocolate fondant with honeycomb and berry ice-cream. Perfect to share and squabble over, it’s the ideal way to linger and really take in the charm of one of Sydney’s lovely old buildings bought back to life.
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