[invite] Bianca: New to the Glebe Point Road strip is The Charleston. A restaurant/ bar with an emphasis on Southern US cuisine. I cannot express just how much I LOVE Southern food. Having spent 3 + weeks in Texas and a little jaunt through New Orleans, Memphis and New Mexico.
From the team behind http://thecottagebalmain.com.au/ owners Rob & Osman, with head chef Ellena Kim have crafted a clever menu with some Southern Stalwarts. Think Jumbo Prawns, Hush Puppies, Tacos and Mac N Cheese. But don’t be turned off if you’re already having a coronary, there are some lighter, healthier options as well.
With fellow foodie lover Joyce in tow, we set off to make a sizeable dent in the menu. But first, a Plantation Negroni $22. With the Pineapple infused rum subtly shining through. A real easy drinking cocktail for a balmy summery night.
I have a special spot in my heart for the Hush Puppies $12. You’re not going to get the tick of approval from any doctor but at least you’ll be happy. These little puffs of fried corn bread had texture reminiscent of a fluffy donut. I will say, that it’s been one of the better incarnations of corn bread I’ve come across in Sydney.
Perhaps one of our least favourite dishes of the night. The Hiramasa Kingfish $22. The flavour was pleasant and the kingfish texture was spot on but the pairing with the thick slice of toast was totally random and very jarring. It was hard to eat, spongy and chewy. With some re-working this could be a far superior dish.
You can’t go wrong with a serving of Tortilla Chips -w/ House Guacamole $10. The guac was well seasoned and I enjoyed the addition of diced tomato and
The Jumbo Prawns $28 (3) were wonderfully plump and juicy, the sweetness of the meat complimented by the salty hit of the herb garlic butter!
After a 3 week honeymoon (the majority spent in Mexico) I’m still in a major Mexican phase. And besides chips & guac, tacos are my next go to. Firstly, the use of corn tortilla’s ticked my first box. I found the Fish taco $6.5 probably the most underwhelming. But was surprised by how much we both enjoyed the Cauliflower Popcorn Taco $5.5. The Pulled Pork $6.5 is a classic, the pork was tender and there was a welcome kick from the Cajun seasoning and
The BBQ Beef Short Rib $32 is a must order! When short rib is done well, it’s to die for. Easily pulling apart at the slightest prodding, it’s one of the tastiest versions I’ve had recently. Big tick to the accompanying chimmichurri.
And the most expensive item on the menu. The Lobster Roll -w/ 220g Lobster tail, apple remoulade, kohlrabi, luxe milk bun & house pickle $42. Some positives and negatives here. Firstly, the hero. Spectacular! Velvety, plump, juicy, sweet lobster. Where it fell down for me was the rolls severe lack of sauce. The apple & coleslaw mixture was really the only element adding some sauciness but it was just far too dry for my liking.
The Mac N Cheese $11 was a no brainer. Cheesy and delicious and best of all, seasoned impeccably. You’d be surprised by how many places butcher this dish!
And to finish, The Brioche Donuts -w/ bourbon glaze $12. Rich and buttery, make sure you sponge up any of the remaining glaze at the bottom of the plate!
Some hit and miss dishes but they are only now going in to their second month of trade.
*For Food’s Sake dined as guests of The Charleston.