Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bar H, Surry Hills

When you know that Bar H's head chef, Hamish Ingham was formerly the head chef at Kylie Kwong's restaurant 'Billy Kwong', you can be sure that you are onto a good thing here. While Bar H used to operate as yet another Surry Hills Mod-Oz bistro and cafe, it recently had an Asian-influenced makeover last year to showcase Ingham's talents under Kwong's guidance.

Upon entering this restaurant, I was greeted upon very friendly staff. This level of service was maintained throughout the entire time including offering to hold onto my jacket in their own cloakroom.

From what I remember at the time of dining, there was a happy hour special of selected white wine or beer. I chose a glass of white wine and what a wine selection they have on display alone!
While the portions of some dishes were small, they were at very affordable prices. They were also delivered very quickly one by one as soon as you finish your current plate. The beauty of this restaurant is that you can check out the chefs in action preparing your meal.

Prawn filled eggplant

The broth was rich in taste and the eggplant was very soft to chew. It ended up being pretty messy handling the prawns inside. There was so much flavours happening with this dish that you just get something different from each bite.

Sashimi of kingfish and pickled mushrooms

The staff recommended this dish when I was unsure what to choose and I had a lot of meat the night before so they said 'why not seafood?' I was going to choose the mussels but I was a bit short on cash on the day so went with this. Oh my goodness! This was definitely one of my favourite dishes here. Not only was it fresh, the ingredients and the sauce worked so well together that I wanted more after finishing it.

Braised beef shortrib on sesame leaf

I was hoping that this was bigger than the price seems to indicate but it was pretty small. The staff recommended that I should wrap and hold it like a 'goi cuon' (fresh spring rolls) but it ended up being way too messy for me. A little bit disappointed that there was not enough beef but I like the herbs and chilli mixed through this plate.

Steamed pork wontons with shellfish and chilli oil dressing

Another stand out dish! To be honest, I am a sucker for fennel but this dish was definitely a delightful treat. The chilli oil dressing gave it a spicy bite in contrast to the savoury flavours from the pastry and pork meat. Will try the crispy version next time!

Steamed pork bun

Despite the size of the dishes, they all caught up with my appetitie when I got to this dish - not to mention the wine. The pork was tender enough and along with the coriander and the chilli, it was an enjoyable dish to end on.

Wine and books can be a perfect match

Surprisingly I was pretty full be the end and was meeting up with a friend for dessert. It was an absolutely worthwhile experience in checking out Modern Asian food with a tad of fusion. Just a note for those who cannot handle chillis, nearly every dish I tried this time had it but the staff are very helpful with dish recommendations. Not to mention the buzzing social vibe of the place. Will come back for the mussels, cucumber and black fungi salad, and the pork belly dishes sometime soon.

Bar H
80 Campbell Street, Surry Hills 2010
Contact no: (02) 9280 1980

Bar H on Urbanspoon


  1. Bar H is a great little restaurant isn't it...I loved our meal there last year.

  2. Fab venue, the H. Love that the menu always looks fresh and different too.

  3. been hearing so many good things abotu this place, will really need to check it out