Do you ever have a cafe or restaurant on your list even though you're probably never going to get there. Time and geography often conspire again me, so even though I wanted to go to Monople I just never thought I would...or not in the short-term anyway. Often places stay on my list for years, but thanks to a lucky break I got to lunch at Monopole as part of the recent City of Sydney #urbanOasisTour I went on.
We start our lunch with a chat from owner, Brent Savage. He tells us a bit about the philosophy of the restaurant including their focus on organic, bio-dynamic and preservative free wines - this gives them a more "earthy" flavour (a bit like raw milk cheese if you will). Monopole has focus on seasonable produce and they cure all of their own meats in house. As their space is so small this means a constant process of curing, us eating, and more curing. A labour of love I'd say.
We start of our lunch with a fantastic plate of house cures and pickles ($26 for a selection of 4 or $10 per portion). Here we have cured and smoked duck breast; pork neck; Rangers Valley tri tip (bottom of the sirloin); and also Rangers Valley cured beef brisket. I absolutely LOVED this plate of cures and it went perfectly with the glass of Prosecco we were quaffing. The meats were all so flavoursome and I enjoyed the fattiness of the duck that was offset by the zingy pickles. What a great lunch -- a plate of this with a wine is the perfect small lunch.
Next up is a mound of lusciously creamy mashed potato that is topped with meaty cubes of salt cod, green peas, pistachio and mint (normally $18). Marry this with some fresh Iggy's bread (normally $5.00) for a bit of carb-on-carb action.
The baby cucumber, celery, fennel and pine nut salad with rye bread (normally $16) was a lovely light dish, the flavours of which went really well with the stronger flavours of the cured meats.
I think the spiced leg of lamb, cherry tomatoes, Spanish onion and feta (normally $28) was one of my favourite dishes. The lamb was super tender with a nice char around the outer layer and the feta was so smooth and creamy. Superb.
Monopole is at 71A Macleay Street, Potts Point. Phone them on 9360 4410.