29 June 2011

The Falconer: Modern Australian, Darlinghurst (19 May 2011)

31 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Licenced to comfort

I’ve dined twice at this old charm retro fitted restaurant and the food continues to be good quality comfort food in a nice ambient setting. Service has been friendly, even when they were busy the first time I dined and had to wait over an hour for a table. Booking a table in advance for the second time round was a much better idea. The cheapest bottle of red was the Fat Tree 2008 Shiraz Cabernet SA ($30). I tend to pick the cheapest to see how it goes. It probably wasn’t the most sophisticated but certainly quaffable enough for a casual night of dining. The Antipasto for two ($28) comes with a selection of 4 items. All quite nice in their own right although I wished I’d ordered the Seared scallops ($16) instead with cauliflower puree, prosciutto & balsamic reduction as an entrée which sounded like my kind of dish. Warm Side bread ($7.50, 3 serves) with olive oil and balsamic vinegar helps fill the stomach on a cold night along with the Crispy shoe-string fries with The Falconer aioli ($8) which fairs well as a table share dish.

For those who love their meat you might be inclined to pick the ‘Good & Evil’ beef fillet wrapped in bacon crushed chat potatoes, spinach & béarnaise ($28). My medium rare order is bordering on more rare but still nice and tender although I would have liked the bacon to be less fatty and perhaps rendered of fat a bit more. There was no shortage of béarnaise which I couldn’t possibly finish without having a cardiac arrest. The Orecchiette with braised Hillside lamb ragu ($19) was well-liked and the orange zest used in the Confit duck risotto ($19) gave a nice touch on the palate. For dessert the Warm treacle tart, spiced cream, lavender sugar ($12) was a hit although our high hopes for the The Tom Waits ($12) wasn’t as moist as hoped. More ice cream would have been appreciated in the Affogato with Frangelico ice cream & Golden Cobra espresso ($8) but flavours were good.

PROS: Cosy seating, Nice ambience and lighting, Good range of dishes which aren’t too expensive, Records played for background music, Service was efficient and friendly, Licenced and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
CONS: Hard to get a seat when busy, A bit hard to get out of booths elegantly and without getting others to move out too, Table support can get in the way of feet sitting comfortably flat
MUST TRY: Anything on the menu that tickles your fancy

Antipasto for two ($28)

Side bread and olive oil balsamic vinegar ($7.50, 3 serves)

Crispy shoe-string fries with The Falconer aioli ($8)

"Good & Evil" beef fillet wrapped in bacon crushed chat potatoes, spinach & béarnaise ($28)

Excess of béarnaise sauce

Orecchiette with braised Hillside lamb ragu, Sicilian olives, eshallots & tomatoes ($19)

Confit duck risotto with peas, orangge zest & parmesan ($19)

Warm treacle tart, spiced cream, lavender sugar ($12)

The Tom Waits - dark choc mousse with tobacco syrup, whiskey ice cream & meringue powder ($12)

Pouring the tobacco syrup

Affogato with Frangelico ice cream & Golden Cobra espresso ($8)

Fat Tree 2008 Shiraz Cabernet SA ($30)

Dry Ginger Ale ($3.80)

Cascade Green ($7)

Bill $241.30 for 5 people

Seating and decor

Women's toilet

Men's toilet

Table support in the way of feet sitting flat



Retro typewriter


Special menu

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The Falconer on Urbanspoon

28 June 2011

Hendrick’s Gin: Pop-Up Drop-In Surgery for Refined Courtship Clinic, Paddington (25 June 2011)

387 Oxford Street, Paddington NSW 2021

Gin & Tonic with manners

Thanks to Steve Stammers from Weber Shandwick for giving me a heads up on this free public event which only went for 3 days in Paddington. I’m a G&T drinker at heart so I was more than happy to try and pop in and check out this pop up promotional event. The Hendrick’s Refined Courtship Clinic was run by the entertaining Dr Humphrey SixWivs and Mrs Isabella Forlornicate. The art of how to use a fan to express your intentions for the women and the meaning of different styles of hats for the men were explained with much humor and a few laughs around the room. Keeping ‘a cucumbers distance’ when greeting someone was quite funny. Apparently only Hendrick’s is made with infusions of cucumber and rose petals so I guess that’s why it goes so well with a slice of cucumber instead of a slice of fresh lime which I’m used to having with other brands.

Sydney public opening dates were:
Thursday, 23 June (2 pm – 8 pm)
Friday, 24 June (2 pm – 8 pm)
Saturday, 23 June (12 pm – 8 pm)

Other Hendrick's Gin events:
12 Nov 2011 - The Adventurists' Afternoon Tea with Jon Muir
25 June 2011 - Refined Courtship Clinic

PROS: Free G&T sample and high tea snacks, Fun atmosphere, Entertaining lessons in how to court the old fashioned way
CONS: Small space so got quite cosy at times, Only went for 3 days
MUST TRY: Keeping a cucumbers distance to be a gentleman

A few video snippets of the event

Hendrick's Gin & Tonic with fresh cucumber — just what the doctor ordered

Cucumber sandwiches

Scotch butter shortbread biscuits I believe — perhaps Walkers

Our hosts Mrs Isabella Forlornicate and Dr Humphrey SixWivs — love the names!

Kiss me

Fan action lesson

Hat action

Keeping a cucumbers distance when greeting HEHE

All you need for a nice night in

Anyone for a bath of cucumber, rose petals and 100 litres of Hendrick's perhaps?

Herbs and spices


Pick a hat to suit your personality — go for the red one!

Street entrance

Goodie bag of Hendrick's Gin, Cocktail recipe book and merchandise

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