Right in the thick of things, up a short stairway on Bayswater Road underneath nightspot and cheap pizza haunt Hugos, Concrete Blonde is flying its modern Australian flag in an expansive space including a bar, some communal tables against an open kitchen and a large sheltered outdoor area.
|Outdoor seating area at Concrete Blonde, Bayswater Road, Kings Cross|
And with a full bar incorporated into the restaurant, there was no reason to not start a weekend lunch with a signature Concrete Blonde cocktail.
|Bayswater Breeze cocktail (front, right)|
|Seared scallops, wild prawn, asparagus, crisp bread|
|Smoked ocean trout, slow cooked egg, apple and dill salad|
The egg was nested by sprigs of dill and batons of granny smith apple which had a sweetness that was ideally matched with the smoky yet vibrant fish.
|Communal table and kitchen|
|Inside the restaurant|
|Char grilled pork cutlet, celeriac remoulade, pear, blue cheese, hazelnuts|
It was quite a large dish with a hunk of char grilled pork sitting on shredded celeriac - which cut through the richness of the meat as did the scattered salad of witlof, pear, blue cheese and roasted hazelnuts alongside.
And as if the juicy and tender pork wasn't enough, there was also golden, perfectly and audibly crunchy pork crackling that almost made the dish on its own.
|Slow cooked NZ King salmon, prawn, avocado, fennel|
The prawn seemed to be an unusual addition but it was so fresh in taste and texture I could have had all prawns and no salmon.
|Fennel salad, marinated goats cheese, blood orange, witlof, radish, chives|
Nonetheless, we sampled the colourful and sprightly fennel, witlof and radish salad dotted with normal and blood orange segments and creamy, mild goat's cheese - covering off on bitter and sweet, creamy and crisp.
|Bouillon chat potatoes, rosemary salt, aioli|
They were outstanding as they were, and just scraping in to be 'the naughty side' with the addition of aioli. French fries and pommes puree, eat your heart out - this is the champion of potato side dishes.
|Seating indoors and wine cellar|
|Vanilla panna cotta, rhubarb, strawberry,basil sorbet|
The basil sorbet was great on its own, weird with the vanilla flavours of the panna cotta, but made more sense with the little piles of stewed rhubarb and strawberry.
|Caramelised banana tart, honeycomb, peanut butter ice cream|
The tart itself was fabulous: a thin, buttery, flaky pastry topped with banana slices and caramel that had been lightly torched for a hint of burnt toffee. It was also a surprisingly light dessert, though apt after all those potatoes really.
|Caranel espresso martini|
Outdoors, indoors, cocktails, food, casual or big night out: if you need a reason to visit Kings Cross, I think Concrete Blonde has a few.
Food, booze and shoes dined as a guest of Concrete Blonde, with thanks to Wasamedia.