Where the cool people eat – Kensington Street Social Review
Restaurant: Kensington Street Social
Location: 3 Kensington Street, Chippendale NSW
Chefs: Robert Daniels and Jason Atherton
Open just three days past, the Foodie Mookie crew grabbed the chance to experience the first Sydney restaurant from the brain of accolade-drenched UK chef, Jason Atherton. Located in the uber-cool Kensington Street precinct in Chippendale (also home to the impressive Silvereye Restaurant), this latest food destination is as imposing as it is bustling on their first Saturday night. The restaurant is at capacity with a small wait at the bar for our table to free up.
It is cool. Nothing to do with temperature, just to oozing chicness from the night’s diners, lux interior, incredibly high ceiling and the mezzanine dining area sitting aloft the restaurant. As is the norm these days for new restaurants, the kitchen is exposed with some seating around the perimeter, possibly designed for those you want to get up close and personal with the chefs. We tried the mezzanine level dining area which is akin to a tree house which overhangs the restaurant replete with low ceiling, wooden paneling and seating.
We supped on some pretty and delicious food, most of which is designed to share (so take some friends so you can try a lot of it). Considering the restaurant was three days old, I’m impressed with the kitchen’s ability to deliver to a packed house with minimal fuss. There were rumblings at our table as to the stand out dishes, no one could agree. Two stand outs for creativity and taste (for me) was:
- Their signature “English breakfast tea and toast for two” – with wild mushroom tea, gentleman’s relish and bone marrow toast. Cutely presented with two mini tea cups, mini toast and a small tea pot. The mushroom tea was beautifully complimented by the relish and was memorable for its big bold flavour and lingering creaminess.
- Roast Marron Tail, Curry Butter, Burnt Lime and Leaf Salad. The small splotch of dark curry butter looked ugly, but had a depth of flavour that complimented the sweet delicate (perfectly cooked) marron.
Highly commended as well was the Garden Pea Salad which included snow pea, sugar snap peas and pea tendrils – a deliciously simple vegetarian/vegan/gluten free option.
Sometimes it is good to wait for a month until trying a new restaurant. Like the theatre has previews to get the performers used to the stage and audience. I’ve come to expect minor polish issues from new restaurants as they get used to the flow of their customer service and food presentation. The kitchen was flawless and the menu is clever, diverse and delicious. The front of house was obviously busy and whilst there were some communication issues, it didn’t detract from the overall experience.
We already plan to return and see how this Chippendale gem evolves and once again spend a few hours hanging with the cool kids.