If you’re like me and you have a restaurant “to eat at” list that just keeps getting longer, then Crave Sydney’s Let’s Do Lunch deal is just the kick up the butt you need to start whittling away at this ever-increasing gastronomic turf.
With a week to go before the October-long Crave International Food Festival ends there is still time to tick a few restaurants off your hit list, and they may just become your new best edible friends.
The Bridge Room in Sydney’s CBD has been on my list since it opened about a year ago. Just writing those last three words – a year ago – makes me feel shameful that i’ve left it so long. But i’ll be returning a lot more quickly.
A week-day lunch of robata grilled lamb shoulder, ash grilled lamb loin, tomato, borlotti beans and dried olive powder was a perfect introduction to Ross Lusted’s signature style, which often includes cooking over charcoal and slow smoked in the Japanese robata style.
Recalling the depth of flavour from the grill and contrasting cuts of meat has set the mouth a-water. The lean strip of loin, moist in its red inner rareness, and grill-darkened outer edge was my favourite.
It’s the second time during Crave – and within a week – that i’ve encountered Milly Hill lamb. The grass-fed lamb is raised on a family run property in New England. I first tasted it at Martin Place Bar, where a sneaky pie and pale ale from Crave’s Good Pub Grub menu – scoffed on a bar stool in the sun – hit the spot before an afternoon locked in the office.
Martin Place Bar’s Milly Hill lamb and rosemary pie pot pie with a thin pastry lid and mash, served with a Coopers Pale Ale, showed off the lamb in all its gravy infused glory. Back at the Bridge Room, Lusted left the grill to do the talking. A simple borlotti bean puree was a trustworthy back-up.
The Bridge Room is about more than just the food. Sunny Lusted’s friendly nature and conviviality gene means customers melt into the dining experience. And the restaurant is breath taking in its stylish textural simplicity. The long, light cool as a home-grown cucumber room is splashed with timber — from the polished parquet floor, to the solid, bare oak tables and oak wood that complements the black leathered upholstered delicate Deer chairs designed by Autoban. A curved mixed-wood paneled wall at the end of the room offers a glimpse into the semi-open kitchen beyond.
Felt table mats, earthy ceramic crockery, an interesting textural feature wall, and gutsy native flower displays all add a unique, uncluttered feel.
I stuck to the Let’s Do Lunch dish on this occasion, but a peek at the everyday menu indicated there are plenty to tempt me back.
There are still various Let’s Do Lunch bookings available for early next week.
The Bridge Room
44 Bridge Street Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9247 7000