We’re lucky enough to have a Scheduled Day Off each month at my work – a luxury that makes me feel like one of the luckiest worker-bees on the planet. Thing is I’m such a lazy person that I often just waste them by blobbing about on the couch at home and pottering about (more blobbing than pottering though). For my last SDO I was determined to get my (ever-expanding) butt off the couch and head in to Surry Hills to try one of the eateries on my ever-growing wish list (ergo the ever-expanding butt problem).
Initially I was thinking of heading to Orto Trading Co or Rueben Hills – two cafes that have been on my Surry Hills radar for way to long. However I thought a Friday lunch would be a perfect time to visit Colin Fassnidge’s newest restaurant, 4Fourteen. Colin’s two other restaurants in the Eastern Suburbs are insanely popular and really busy so despite only being open for a few short weeks I already knew that 4Fourteen was PACKED to the rafters on weekends as well as for weeknight dinners. Lunch turned out to be a perfect time to visit - not crowded, quiet and very enjoyable.
I’m not really sure why I wanted to visit 4Fourteen as I don’t feel overly motivated to visit either Four in Hand or the Paddington Arms despite their rave reviews. I think they are just too far from where I live to make it “easy” for me to get to (I’m lazy remember, too much effort makes me want to nap). The new restaurant in Surry Hills seemed much more accessible to me – easy to get to on the train. And it seemed like a nice "special" place to catch up with Big Sister and hear all about her recent travels overseas.
We were offered a seat at the counter over-looking the open kitchen. No food blogger in their right mind would say no to this, what we’d consider a million dollar view. What a GREAT place to sit! We got to see all the action, watch our meals being prepared and ask the chefs questions (when they weren’t too busy that is). My height-challenged sister had a few issues getting down from her perch though (which was quite fun to watch).
Big Sister decided to forgo entrees (though she did end up eating half of both of mine - hmm) which meant I had to order two entrees in order to get the "full entree experience" that sharing entrees normally brings. The Chicken Wing with Parfait, Crispy Tortilla and Quince Chutney ($7.50 each)
was sublime (and the chook was free-range so bonus points)! Although I now know how to DIY pork crackling thanks to the #porfkest cooking class I did recently at Atelier, I still felt it necessary to order the (free range) Pork Crackling with pickled vegetables with smoked mayonnaise ($9.00). The crackling was excellent - super crispy, light and salty. The pickled vegies offered a wonderful acidic hit.
For mains Big Sister ordered the Seared Bonito with Fennel Juice, Vanilla Buttermilk and Celery ($18.00). The Bonito was lightly seared - really lovely. The fennel juice was..."interesting" and didn't have an overly aniseed flavour like I was expecting.
I ordered the Crumbed Pigs Tail with Crab and Corn Salad, Avocado Puree ($22.00) and it was totally amazing. It wasn't the de-boned pigs tail that I was expecting (of Masterchef fame), but more like shredded pork that has been crumbed then fried - the shape actually resembled those frozen fish portions we sometimes buy (ok, we buy them every week. Don't judge) rather than a piggies tail! It was such a tasty dish - the pork was so tender and full of smokey flavour.
We thought a few sides would be in order. Big sister choose both the Mixed Grain Salad with red and white quinoa, toasted nuts and puffed rice ($12.00)
and the Orange and Ginger Carrots with Cumin and Yoghurt ($9.00). I LOVED the big chunky carrots - deliciously caramelised and the yoghurt dressing was perfectly tart. The Mixed Grain Salad was such a healthy option...so healthy we decided to be virtuous and not order dessert.
4Fourteen is at 414 Bourke Street, Surry Hills (entrance via: 72a Fitzroy Street). Phone them on 9331 5399. AND THEY TAKE BOOKINGS *happy dance*.