Arthur Restaurant, Surry Hills.

Vanessa: Surry Hills is well-known for its vast range of eateries, leaving would-be diners spoiled for choice. Now, a new contender is in the mix with the emergence of Arthur last October, located on Bourke Street.  Headed up by Tristan Rosier and his Partner, Rebecca Fanning, this 40-seat, intimate spaced restaurant brings a new wave of creative dining into the fold. Named after Tristan’s grandfather, Arthur offers diners an  evolving 11-course set menu, conservatively priced at $70 per head.

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It’s an understatement to say I was looking forward to the experience (particularly as I was child-free) when Bianca and I arrived on a Sunday afternoon at 12.30pm.   I was immediately thankful that Baby V was not with me given the proximity to the next table – I don’t think it would have been appreciated! The interior has been tastefully decorated with a rustic-chic feel and visibility into the kitchen. The wine-bar is the main feature you see as your enter the restaurant and there is a wide range of Australian wines on offer as well as cocktails and spirits.  The owners are very present and on hand to serve their diners.

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We were presented with the set menu and soon after our first pairing was brought to the table.  I thought it was a clever way of not over extending the time spent at the table by bringing two dishes out at once. They suggest leaving 2 hours for the set menu and they were pretty much spot on , which is efficient given the number of dishes.

First up the sourdough with cultured butter was brought a serve of Vongole, shitake and black garlic.  The bread was next-level. Thick, soft and slightly warm perfectly matched with the nicely salted butter. The vongole was an ideal light way to start the degustation and I was pleased that they were not at all fishy in flavor. I resisted every urge to not mop up the juice with my bread (I’ll save that for the home!)

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Next up was the Zucchini flower with radish and almond as well as the Albacore Tuna with woodear mushrooms and bonito garum. I loved the filling inside the zucchini flower but personally I found the radish to be overpowering and bitter.  The tuna was a standout hitting the mark on taste and texture , I really enjoyed this dish. The freshness is evident and again no strong fish tones.

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This was light and so fresh. I wouldn’t normally enjoy squid served in such a natural way but I really enjoyed this, particuarly the fineness in which the squid is cut. There was an incident involving a cherry tomato splattering on Bianca – so note to self don’t try and bite into it!

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The squid was brought out with a serve of the  potato, rainbow chard and sweet garlic – a dish that had me reminiscing about it hours later. This work of art really shows off the technical creativity of the chef. A thin and crispy potato rolled and lined with the rainbow chard sitting atop the sweet garlic puree that offsets the saltiness of the potato  I can’t express just how delicious this dish really was with a sensational texture – I have no doubt this is a hit amongst all diners.

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The beef short rib with carrot and pepperberry mustard was incredibly tender and the beef practically melted in the mouth. A very well-executed dish with every element working harmoniously in sync.

Personally I was less excited about the witlof, pear, pine nut and and grapefruit although it did have its place in levitating the taste buds as the beef is quite heavy. I found the witlof leaves to be too bitter which overpowered the centre filling.

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Upon reaching the final course we were at a good level, not full and certainly far from hungry..but a nice and comfortable level (which we are rarely at, so it made for a nice change).

Grapefruit granita,kaffir lime leaf and macadamia was delicious with a strong flavor from the kaffir lime. I’d never had anything quite like it and it again demonstrated the creativity from the chefs.

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The Nectarine sorbet, fig leaf yoghurt, anzac biscuit was light and refreshing and a unique combination that worked well.

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If you are after a degustation menu for a special occassion or simply to treat yourself, I would recommend giving Arthur a try. The menu is innovative and well priced for the amount of food and the quality. We left impressed and eager to spread the word.



Photos by Bianca

*For Foods Sake dined as guests of Arthur


Author: forfoodssake

A Sydney food blog.

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