A little while back a voucher brought me to Watts on Crown in Surry Hills; a newcomer to the busy, ever-changing strip, boasting an ex Rockpool chef in a cosy neighbourhood bistro setting.
|Sparkling wine at Watts on Crown, Crown Street, Surry Hills|
In addition to some voucher guests, it was encouraging to see constant bunches of locals walk by, peer at the menu on the door and walk in, with more room and tables upstairs in the restaurant of refreshingly low-key fitout.
|Grilled quail with chorizo, braised peppers and crisp basil|
The slices of quality grilled chorizo added saltiness and substance to the small plate.
|Chicken liver parfait with red onion marmalade and toast|
The gorgeous Sonoma white sourdough, toasted, made the perfect raft for the thick, pink and creamy parfait, of which there was plenty for extra bread even.
I didn't love the marmalade, which was fine as cornichons are my accompaniment of choice with livery parfaits.
|Pan fried gurnard with bouillabaisse sauce|
The mussels and small, head-on prawns were also well cooked in the tasty bouillabaisse sauce, with more bread on hand to mop up the juices.
|Grilled rump steak with Cafe de Paris butter and watercress|
Perfectly medium-rare, the thick piece of meat was mostly tender and completely indulgent with the buttery sauce.
|Chips and caramelised Brussels sprouts|
|Mandarin creme brulee|
Cracking through the toffee roof, the just-sweet-enough custard featured whole, fresh segments of mandarin - the citrus zing refreshing and unusual all at once.
|Chocolate fondant with vanilia bean ice cream|
Completely stuffed, the rest of the room and upstairs were still going strong, with the open kitchen looking quite peacefully organised. Who would have thought Crown Street needed a classic bistro, but judging by the weeknight crowd and easy, pleasant menu, Watts on Crown seems to be just what the strip needed.