Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sydney 2012: White Hart, Neutral Bay


How cute is that? Little patch of astroturf, a mini watering can with "the aroma of freshly cut grass", and a little pile of chocolate cookie "dirt" with little jelly worms inside. This was part of the "British Summer Garden Martini" at White Hart in Neutral Bay, where we took advantage of Sydney's great late-winter weather by enjoying drinks and a light lunch in the sun.

White Hart
19-21 Grosvenor Street
Neutral Bay, NSW
Ph: (02) 8021 2115
Website

I'd read about White Hart and their crazy cocktails on ChocolateSuze's blog, and thought it looked like a lot of fun! It was a little far from our hotel (near Hyde Park), so we took a cab to Neutral Bay, and I had a little touristy squeee moment when I realised we were crossing the Harbour Bridge and I could see the Opera House from the cab! But my enthusiasm was a bit dented when I realised that Sydney cabs charge you three bucks to cross the Harbour Bridge! THREE BUCKS! Oh well!

I wasn't sure if we'd need to make a booking for lunch - I called earlier that day, shortly after they opened, to check, but it went straight to a recorded message explaining how to book online. However, but it seemed to be a pretty chillaxed place, and we easily got a prime outdoor seat in the sunshine.

Some yummy brown bread to soak up all the upcoming alcohol...

We all ordered drinks from the "Just Plain Strange..." section of the cocktail list. An and Sandra shared the rather malevolent looking Breakfast Mojito.
Breakfast Mojito - homemade mojito toothpaste + imbibe of rum + mouthwash + candied mint - a deconstructed mojito with an invigorating-morning-feel (serves 2) - $20
You start by brushing your teeth with the mojito "toothpaste" (I shudder to think how sugary that "toothpaste" must be!), drink the blue mouthwash, crunch on the little candied mint, drink the pure rum (!) from the syringe and, finally, suck on the lime. It was pretty strong, but they both liked it, and I thought it was pretty good value for $20!

My cocktail was pretty trippy too, with all the elements designed to recreate an English summer. First came a slab of astroturf, with a watering can filled with the scent of cut grass, mini garden utensils and a pile of chocolate cookie crumbs and absinthe jelly worms... there was even an eye mask, and an iPod playing the sounds of a cricket match to add to the atmosphere. Such fun! (I saved the cookie crumbs and jelly for dessert!)
British Summer Garden Martini - london dry gin + fresh pressed cucumbers + devonshire cider + camomille tea syrup + elderflower cordial - served straight up in a vintage coupet on turf slate with edible soil, absinth warms, cut grass "fog", mini garden tools, cider flagon and the smells and sounds of summer - all the ingredients of an English country garden - $19
The cocktail itself was a refreshing mixture of gin, cucumber, elderflower, cider and camomille tea syrup. I loved it!
 london dry gin + fresh preshed cucumbers + devonshire cider + camomille tea syrup + elderflower cordial - served straight up in a vintage coupet 
Seeing as we'd had a big breakfast at Flour and Stone, and that we were due at Testuya's for the full degustation later that night, we only went for a light lunch. In keeping with the British theme, I had a Ploughman's for lunch - it was a solid, but not spectacular version. I particularly liked the different cheeses, the fatty salami and the sharp pickled onions.
Ploughman's and Cider Platter - a classic ploughman's with English cheeses, brown bread roll, pickle and onion, served with a cider - $25
The platter also comes with a flagon of cider - super cute! I did find it interesting though, that the Ploughman's is listed as a dish "to share", but you only get one cider with it.
Cider
An had a couple of seafood-based dishes. The first was a lovely, light kingfish ceviche with a little pop of sweetness from watermelon. I wouldn't have thought to pair fish with watermelon, but it worked really well!
Kingfish ceviche, lime, chilli, coriander & watermelon - $10
The oysters were very fresh, and complimented, but not overpowered, by the light cucumber and mint salsa.
Freshly shucked oysters with cucumber and mint salsa - $10 for 3
Ok, I did say "light lunch", but I think "light lunch" must be a relative term! Sandra ordered a wagyu burger, which looked heart-stoppingly delicious! I stole a few chips (to ensure a fair critique for the blog, you see) and they were fantastic!
"White Hart Wagyu Burger", confit tomatoes, beetroot, pickled onions & lettuce - $23
The burger itself was charred and juicy, on a light and fluffy toasted bun. This was definitely the best dish that we ordered, and I must admit I had a serious case of dish-envy when I saw it!

The White Hart was a great spot to spend a leisurely afternoon. They have a good range of different foods, ranging from little snacks to full on meals. The "weird" cocktails were a lot of fun, and from what I saw on their menu, they serve quite a few tempting "normal" cocktails too! It's worth the three dollars to venture across the bridge!

This is the fourth post in my 2012 Sydney Trip series.

The White Hart on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

Iron Chef Shellie said...

oh how incredibly cute!! I will definitely be hitting this place up next time I'm in Sydney!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I spilled that very garden cocktail all over my dress-not happy Jan! :P I thought the cocktails and drinks were good and more the focus over the food :)

Agnes said...

Ahh love those cocktails. Definitely will remember it for my next visit to Sydney :)

Nic@diningwithastud said...

I love the mojito :D what a great idea! Best not to think about the suagr ;)