The Stables Bar and Restaurant
1 Victoria Street, Paddington, 2021
The Stables Bar and Restaurant is in itself a paradox; located in Paddington but off the beaten track, featuring Australian cuisine with a modern twist.
The Stables Restaurant and Bar has embarked on an exciting jaunt into modern Australian cuisine, headed by Chef Thomas Gripton (former chef at Bentley Restaurant & Bar) that is delivered in a fresh and stylish way. A luxuriously simplistic experience that stuns the senses and ticks the boxes.
The location, whilst in Paddington, is surprisingly secluded, just off Oxford Street, which immediately sets up the atmosphere of the experience. From the street, the window of The Stables emanates a warm glow, from which the source is revealed upon entry as the candles on every table, which provide mellow, cosy lighting. However, the cosiness stops there to give way to a chic, modern decor, featuring a muted palette of polished concrete, marble and touches of brass and leather, with skylights that indicate how airy and spacious the restaurant would feel in daylight.
The venue itself is small, adding to the ‘hole-in-the-wall’ feel and immediately incites a feeling of intimacy between the diners. Impeccable service had us sitting and ordering drinks in a matter of minutes, after pouring over the menu and choosing from the impressive list of distinctly Australian wines, craft beers and speciality cocktails. The standout cocktail was the Apple Crush ($19); the apple was delightfully refreshing while the sharp taste of cinnamon accompanied by Pomme Verte was playful and tasty.
After ordering and waiting an appropriate (15-20 mins) amount of time, entree was served. Butter poached lobster ($31) with herb jus, avruga caviar and dill and kombu; to say the least, it was spectacular. The lobster was cooked perfectly, melting in the mouth and the complimenting herb jus and avruga caviar was heavenly. All in all a fantastic way to start off a night of fine dining.
After the entree, there was the challenge of choosing the main, and it was a tough choice, with dishes like the Black Angus seared flank steak and John Dory fillet with smoked eel, carrot broth and artichokes on offer. The Slow cooked pork jowl ($31) with garlic yoghurt, celery ribbons, celery leaf oil, crisped black rice and nori caught my attention, and I can safely say I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. The not overly generous (but more than enough) serving of pork was soft and tasty and while the crackling wasn’t as crunchy as it could have been, it was a surprisingly welcome compliment to the meal. The celery and garlic yoghurt were an unusual pairing, but eaten with the pork they all came together as if they were made in heaven. A side of Roast chat potatoes ($12) and the meal was complete.
The deserts were not as hard to pick- there were only two! The only way to decide was based on how much room you have left for desert. The Black tahini sponge ($18) with vanilla genoise sponge, orange infused brandy and malted milk ice-cream is a light, airy option that is all at once jelly, cake and ice cream. The Chocolate fondant ($16) with berry ice cream and honeycomb is a decadent and rich lava cake that explodes with goodness, while the berry ice cream reinvents the classic pairing of berries and chocolate whilst the honeycomb provides the lightest of crunches.
The restaurant provided a tasty, extremely enjoyable three course meal, while the bar produced some fantastic cocktails. A definite must – especially for those seeking an intimate setting and engineered portions for the perfect date night. Altogether the experience was positive and authentic thanks to the cosy atmosphere, excellent service and top notch food.
What to Eat and Drink:
Black Angus Seared Flank Steak with Charred Radicchio, Grilled Shallots, Shallot Oil and Red Wine Jus