Sydney is well-known for its many and varied eating houses. Us lucky few who live here are spoilt, aren’t we? Well, there’s a new place to try in the City now. And I’ve got to say, it’s pretty good.
Palings (rhymes with ‘darlings’) is the latest thing to open up at Ivy. It’s a welcome refuge from the shout and shove of the city crowds, and won’t leave you feeling light in the tummy or the pocket.
Taking over the back section of the first floor, the dining area shares the space with an excellent bar (don’t miss your chance to try a cheeky cocktail). It’s a perfect spot for a laid-back lunch or week-day dinner.
The space is great for group dining. There’s plenty of space and the open-air atrium in the centre means you don’t have to shout to make yourself heard. The easy ambiance goes well with the casual feel to the menu.
Serving “the food people love” must have been a pretty broad brief for head chef Christopher Whitehead but he has put together a big, crowd-pleasing menu. I was invited to dine at Palings to try the new menu and found lots of favourites to choose from.
Whitehead, formally head chef of Mad Cow, has brought his favourite dish onto the menu – the David Blackmore skirt steak. It’s an excellent cut with a wagyu marble score or 9+, and one you won’t be able to buy in the shops.
That’s because Whitehead buys every bit David Blackwell produces. In fact, other than Rockpool, which buys whole cows, you won’t find this steak cut anywhere else in Australia. This generous dish is a cracker, and comes with an unreservedly retro sidekick of stuffed capsicum.
Also on offer – and what I went for – is a very good ceviche of yellowtail, scallop, prawn, chilli, corn and avocado. Try the pork schnitty – it’s incredible, dressed with a Japanese okonomiyaki sauce and sided by a delicious ginger slaw.
For a lighter bite, you shouldn’t go past the cheese toastie. A far cry from its namesake, this is a melty, cheesy work of art: Pyengana cheddar, leek, chicory and walnut all in a warm sourdough embrace.
There is a good pie option too, which changes every day, a roast on a Monday-to-Friday roster, and a range of other smaller snacks and salads ranging from $7 – $19.
The skirt steak and all the other mains are big dishes, so make sure you arrive hungry. It would be a terrible shame to not have room for pudding! Finish your meal with a mouthwatering dessert by the remarkable Lorraine Godsmark. You can also find her patisserie on the ground floor. Very dangerous…
Palings, First floor at Ivy
330 George Street, Sydney, 2000
Open for lunch & dinner Monday-Friday
Light bites, $7-$19
Check out Palings’ menu here.