It's always great when a new dinner option pops up in the CBD, and it's especially good when the restaurant offers great food in a lovely setting.
You'll find Bowery Lane on O'Connell Street, nestled on the ground floor of a gleaming office tower in "The Big End of Town" as I like to call it. Why do I call it that? Ummm...isn't this where all the bankers and stockbrokers lurk about during the day?
Bowery Lane's menu declares they are channeling the New York of a bygone era when the area known as Bowery Lane became one of New York's poshest areas and was no longer a thoroughfare connecting farmlands and estates to the city. The menu offers a "collection of local flavours and textures reminiscent of industrial era New York including an updated era style cocktail bar". Well, I'm not much of a history buff to be honest so all I can tell you is that the food we had was very nice...I'll let the history boffins among you decide if the food channels the end of the 18th century in NYC.
Menu interpretations aside I really like the interior of Bowery Lane - the hardness of exposed brick walls and concrete are offset with comfy black leather banquettes, deco fixtures and a huge 18 seat communal table (where this group of hungry food blogs descended for our dinner).
And speaking of dinner you're probably wondering by now what we ate...well here it is!
We kick things off with a few items from the "snacks" section of the menu. Here we have some little Yamba prawn sliders; succulent, fatty (in a good way) char-grilled lamb ribs that I could easily have eaten 10 of; and some oozy, crunchy, and totally moreish Manchego croquettes that were served with a tasty smoked chilli aioli.
Next up is a few tasty treats from the "entree" section of the Bowrey Lane menu. The house-smoked hickory salmon is a delicate dish served with puffed wild rice, bottarga salad and burnet (whatever that is) - the salmon is quite meaty in texture and very fresh. The Master Kobe wagyu is cooked on the rare side and comes with a tangy chermula and a wedge of lemon. As someone who usually gets their steak cooked to "charcoal levels" I can see how the rare treatment keeps the meat tender and flavoursome. The jamon serrano was perfection! Eaten with the creamy, buffalo mozzarella, bitter witlof rocket and sweet shaved pear all the flavours combined to make the perfect mouthful of food. Loved this dish.
The "share" section of the menu is where you'll find, hearty platters of meaty goodness. Let's address these in dot point format shall we as there's nothing as ace as a good old bullet list:
- The 1kg braised wagyu short rib was super tender and the perfect "wow" dish to kick off our foray into the sharing dishes. The short rib pretty much fell apart without much help from the sharp knife provided. And, I just loved the peppery horseradish cream that accompanied this dish. If you're warding off vampires there's enough roast garlic here to see you through the entire Twilight series.
- Another "wow" moment was the massive piece of crackling nestled alongside the Pork Collar + Scratchings. The pork comes with apple, parsley + fennel salad with pear chutney and the fresh accompanies marry really well with the fatty, unctuous pork.
- The whole BBQ organic chicken comes with lentils, grains and smoked yoghurt and the combination of these elements is quite wholesome and rustic (and yum).
- I was too slow to get a picture of the slow cooked lamb shoulder before it was demolished by the other end of the table, so you'll have to trust me when I say it was good. So good that it was photographed and devoured before I even knew what was happening!
- Oh, and with meat there must be salad! I LOVED the baby cos salad with peas, beans and mint. The perfect accompaniment to the meat-coma you've just bestowed upon yourself.
If you're still hungry there's an entire "mains" menu section to delve into. We got to sample the towering tempura soft shell crab burger and I have to say it was GOOD! I loved the saltiness off the softshell crab and the zestiness of the Asian slaw and miso mayonnaise.
And finally desserts! There was a bit of a lull in the eating for me as I couldn't face ordering a main for myself...so I was well and truly ready to sample the desserts on offer. They look pretty good don't they!
Here we have an ice-cream sandwich; a jar of "cookies and cream"; and a strawberry shortcake. It's a toss up as to which was my favourite but it's a tight race between the "cookies and cream" and the strawberry shortcake. Both were so light and summery...perfect to end a big, hearty meal.
Bowrey Lane is at 1 O'Connell Street, Sydney. Follow "the suits" and you'll find it! Call them on 9252 8017.