Saturday, August 04, 2007

Bird Cow Fish, Crown St, Surry Hills

Bird Cow Fish, Crown St, Surry Hills
Saturday 4 August, 2007

I'd received several recommendations to dine at Bird Cow Fish located in the hive of activity that is Crown St, Surry Hills. Bird Cow Fish used to call Balmain home and chef Alex Herbert has acquired a loyal following from her days at Berowra Waters Inn, Sailors Thai, Paramount and Longrain. Bird Cow Fish does not accept bookings (a pet peeve of mine) but we figured that an early dinner wouldn't keep us waiting on the pavement.

Their simple, minimalist website states,

"Bird Cow Fish is the culmination of the owners' passion for sharing good, simple, delicious food and wine that has been grown and prepared with love. Alex and Howard bring an impressive career history, having worked alongside some of Australia 's finest chefs and restaurateurs and in establishing their own businesses over the last 17 years. “We have a shared sense of what each partner brings to the business and respect each other's roles,” says Howard.

Bird Cow Fish offers a relaxed meeting and dining destination made up of three distinctive identities – bistro, espresso and cheese."

Upon entry we were greeted and welcomed inside to a table for 4. The Bistro section is open for lunch and dinner and there's a small menu that changes regularly to offer the best produce of the season. I particularly like their logo and the simplicity of it - feathers for bird, cow and fish symbol. It's very effective.

The decor is minimal with uncomfortable wooden chairs and tables designed to move you on quickly. There's a bookshelf at one end of the dining space filled with jars of goodies & fresh bread. The staff were flying around and our waitress was engaging and friendly. She organised drinks before delivering the specials. The atmosphere was buzzy and one of our dinner buddies commented that it felt like we were on the set of Sydney Weekender - you know when the crowd is a mix of young and old and everyone is having a great time?

Our party of 4 could not go past the twice baked goats cheese souffle for entree. This arrived steaming hot and served in oval shaped dish. It was creamy, soft and melted in your mouth. I enjoyed it as did my dinner buddies however one commented that they whip up one at home that would leave this for dead. The next dinner party perhaps?

For mains we all opted for something different:

- Pork & fennel sausages
- Potato gnocchi
- Tasmanian salmon
- Roast duck

The simplicity of the food is to be commended and there is definitely a trend here with more restaurants/ bistros opening that serve good, simple using fresh produce i.e Glebe Point Diner. Our mains were lovely - the pork and fennel sausages were flavoursome and served short and fat. They were placed on bed of buttermilk mash that was sooooooooo good with thin slices of mushroom on top. For a cold-ish evening this is the ideal meal.

As the servings were large we all decided to skip dessert and try one of the organic teas and a selection of chocolates. This was a great way to finish off the night.

Bird Cow Fish - 500 Crown St, Surry Hills - (02) 9380 4090


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