14 January 2013

Food Society: Modern Eastern European, Darlinghurst (10 Aug 2012)

91 Riley Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Vodka society

“Food Society opened its doors in August 2011, with a trip back in time to the 1950s – it was like stepping into grandma’s comfy lounge, where an eclectic mix of modern European fare awaited. ”

Thanks to Kim Veverka from Magnet PR & Events for inviting me to sample the new menu at Food Society by the new Chef Ali Bahmad. Self proclaimed as The Vodka Specialists it also gave me a chance to sample the vodka menu which I never investigated on my first visit when they first opened. If you're a fan of Polish vodka or want to gain a better appreciation then I've now realised this is the place to be. My favourite discovery is the Zoladkowa orange and clove vodka, Poland ($9) with excellent flavour that holds it on just with ice. If you're a fan of campari like me then this is an easy one to drink. The Chopin Rye Vodka ($15) was also a revelation that you can actually drink vodka straight without pulling a face. Very smooth and refined but comes at a price that might break the bank a bit too quickly if you're shouting your mates.

There were three stand out dishes for me that are a must on my next visit. The Crispy pork crackling with pink salt ($7) was super crunchy as hoped which shattered loudly with each bite. Not the most romantic sound if you're on a first date unless you're both crackling fantastics, then you'll be in heaven. The pieces are big and bold but my preference might be smaller so they're easier to share and eat. The Fried cauliflower with paprika, parsley, water cress and red wine vinegar ($11) had great flavour with crisp batter and the red onion sliced thankfully nice and thin adding a bit of flavour highlight. It's dishes like this that make you consider being a vegetarian is achievable. The simplicity of the Cucumber salad with sour cream and smoked paprika ($7.50) worked a treat for me also. Maybe my part-Lativian Eastern European heritage was craving this one.

I love my oysters and the Pacific oyster with spiced beetroot and red wine vinaigrette ($4 each) was something different to the norm which worked quite well and thankfully retained most of their brine to wash it down. The Pork belly pierogi with speck, apple cider vinegar and chervil ($3 each) were nice and the Crispy skinned Blue eye cod ($22) had a crisp skin as hoped with enjoyable flavours although the extra oil on top of the puree might have been a bit heavy handed and unnecessary. For a stomach filling lunch time option the Slow cooked pork roll, fried onion rings, smoked mozzarella and bacon jam ($18) had morish flavours although I liked it even better when I added the pickles for extra moisture and flavour.

Other visits to Food Society:
• 10 Aug 2012 – Guest review
5 Aug 2011 – Dinner

PROS: Cosy and interesting decor, Extensive vodka menu, Casual atmosphere, Interesting menu options, Maybe best crackling in town
CONS: Street parking is limited due to all the restaurants in the area, Quality vodka doesn't come cheap, Coffee & tea is unavailable
MUST TRY: Crispy pork crackling, Fried cauliflower, Cucumber salad, Orange and clove vodka on ice
VERDICT: A character filled vodka loving den where you can drink and nibble on a few tasty dishes or settle in for the night with a feast of European inspired dishes
Complimentary pickles and bread sticks

Crispy pork crackling with pink salt ($7) — super crunchy makes them very noisy to eat

Pork belly pierogi with speck, apple cider vinegar and chervil ($3 each)

Fried cauliflower with paprika, parsley, water cress and red wine vinegar ($11) — great flavour, crisp batter, nice thin slices of red onion works well

Pacific oyster with spiced beetroot and red wine vinaigrette ($4 each) — nice presentation, interesting flavour, shucked well which retained brine

Crispy skinned Blue eye cod served with turnip puree & wilted greens, dressed with a herb & eschallot vinaigrette ($22) — crisp skin, flavours work well together, puree had extra oil though on top which probably wasn't needed

Green beans with almond butter ($7.50)

Slow cooked pork roll, fried onion rings, smoked mozzarella and bacon jam ($18) — morish flavours although liked it even better with pickles added for extra moisture and flavour

Cucumber salad with sour cream and smoked paprika ($7.50) — so simple yet so tasty with enjoyable flavours 

Perla beer

Jago Quince vodka ($10), Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka ($9.50)

Jago Juniper & Herb vodka ($10)

Chopin Rye Vodka ($15) — very smooth and easy to drink but pricey

Zoladkowa orange and clove vodka, Poland ($9) — excellent flavour, a bit like campari, well-rounded taste, easy to drink

Vincent Van Gogh Espresso vodka ($10.50) — good hit of coffee

Vincent Van Gogh Rich Dark Chocolate vodka ($10.50) — good flavour


Vodka menu

New Chef Ali Bahmad (left) and our host

Kitchen counter seating to check out the action

Homely and eclectic decor

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Food Society on Urbanspoon


Christine @ Cooking Crusade said...

mm the fish and green beans look sooo good :D & lol @ the men/women bathroom signage hahaha.

Simon Leong said...

hi christine, i think i've seen those bathroom signs before in another restaurant hehe

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