Last Friday was my friend's Birthday and so an intimate dinner at District Dining with my close girlfriends was arranged. Previously I had already read many reviews of this Surry Hills dining spot-all full of praise and positive comments. Upon arrival, it did not disappoint!
I would describe District Dining as a contemporary bistro with a buzzing energy in providing great ambience for semi-formal dining with close friends. The entrance to the restaurant is unique in its bauhaus-themed colours, featuring an abstract design of the map near the restaurant. Most importantly, the staff here are super friendly and thus immediately impression points are added!
Between the five of us, we had ordered a range of three mains and as you can see later on, are representatives of the safe options on the menu! :P
S and I are huge steak lovers and so by all means, we decided to try the 250g Rangers Valley Sirloin ($34). It was served with asparagus salsa, lemon and cherry tomatoes which inevitably added a refreshing citrus-like splash to the traditional red meat. The sirloin did not come with any sauce so initially I was concerned it may come off as too dry. However to my surprise, the outer skin was marinated to almost perfection with its flavouring and each bite was as tender as the next. No sauce was necessary.
On the negative side, I was disappointed that there was quite a bit of fat on the meat as this made it hard to chew and swallow. Nevertheless, it was a good main-perhaps a bit too pricey but the quality proved value-worthy.
J and J ordered the 12 Hour Lamb Shoulder ($30) that was cooked with cauliflower salad, olives and moroccan spices. Personally, I am not a fan of lamb and so I asked the girls how their lamb was. Mostly positive comments on how tender the lamb was however they did mention it was a little dry as the sauce was not as evenly spread as they had hoped and that the cauliflower was quite crunchy in texture.
Finally, the birthday girl ordered the exciting Pan Fried Baby Snapper ($28) which came with courgette chips, gribiche and lemon. I am not going to lie about the fact that I have no clue whatsoever as to what courgette or gribiche means. So like all modern bloggers do, I turned to Google. Gribiche turns out to be a mayonnaise-styled egg sauce and courgette means zuchini. As fancy as it sounds, I probably will forget these terms by the time I finish this post.
Anyways, her dish was definitely beautiful in its aesthetics as the whole table let out ooohs and ahhhhs pointing at all its pieces wondering what on earth it was. The birthday girl seemed content with her meal, with emphasis on how the serving size was perfect for her appetite. We all agreed :P The green blobs of sauce to the right remained a mystery for the whole night as we all attempted to speculate whether it was avocado or cucumber sauce.
Overall, District Dining is definitely the kind of place I'd return to as the atmosphere is very relaxed and the music inside definitely sets the mood for a great dining experience. The food is well-presented, creative and tasty and the service is impeccable. No doubt, it is a must-try for food lovers in Sydney!
*The food pictures above are accredited to S whose camera produced better pictures than my poor attempts :P
17 Randle Street
Surry Hills Sydney NSW 2010
Labels: Modern Australian