Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hartsyard, Newtown

After many raves by other bloggers and features in food media, we finally got time to check out this restaurant owned by the husband-wife team, Gregory Llewellyn (who runs the kitchen) and Naomi Hart (who controls the front of house team). It was an immediate decision when the mates saw the menu online and literally went insane at the desserts. I'm a sucker for American cuisine and especially Southern comfort food, which Sydney doesn't seem to have enough. Although it has been appearing more often nowadays with the dude food craze in many new restaurants and small bars. With an American expat who is running the kitchen, you know you are onto a good thing if you have been looking hard for true Southern cuisine.

The vibe here is incredibly busy and noisy. It was only a Wednesday evening and we arrived there a bit after 6pm. Yet, the restaurant was nearly full. Luckily, there was just three of us so we managed to squeeze on the 3 spare seats at the bench near the front. For those who haven't been here, the menu is divided by 'Seed' (smaller plates) and 'Feed' (larger meals) along with desserts which are listed under 'Out to pasture'. All of them are made to share with pretty much the entire menu looks absolutely amazing so we ended up over-ordering a lot of the main meals.

I was immediately attracted to this dish after my taste with crispy pigtails back at District Dining. Hartsyard created a much different yet still very delicious version of this dish. This version looked like a croquette or arancini stuffed with pigtail meat. Juicy goodness! So disappointed when I finished eating my share. 

Crispy pig tails

When I see oyster po' boys I knew I had to get this because this isn't something you would usually see on the menu here in Sydney - even at a restaurant serving American cuisine! Unlike the genuine Louisiana sandwich shows where the filling is in a sub sandwich, this version is sandwiched between an English muffin bun. This does not deter the taste as it tasted incredible and every component with the coleslaw and mayo work well together.

Oyster Po'Boy

I've heard so much about this dish and been wanting to try it from the moment I heard "fried chicken". And if it has buttermilk coating then even better! The accompaniments made it sound better with a buttermilk biscuit (the American version which is actually a scone) and low country gravy thus making it look like a very close representation of Southern Soul food. Better than KFC!!! The coating is amazingly crunchy and droolworthy. It's as good as it looks and sounds! The portions are generous so I'd recommend sharing this unless you only want to buy one thing from the menu. A must have if you ever come by Hartsyard!

Cold-smoked fried chicken with buttermilk biscuit and low country sausage gravy

By this point we were getting pretty full but we did order one main each for the three of us (never again!). MT had the roast pork dish which looked pretty massive. The meat was nice but it wasn't as tender as we liked. Also it got really sticky and hard to cut through some parts.

Roast Pork - Vadouvan, sorrel, black-pepper maple bacon

CC had her eyes on the duck dish as it had a bit of everything - the sweet and the savoury. This did not disappoint us. This deconstructed dish looks like something you may see at a fine dining restaurant. Interestingly, it is pricier than the chicken and pork main meals but it looked a bit smaller. I loved the ball of duck confit which is presented similarly to the crispy pig tails in a crumbed ball. Everything about this dish just seems to have so many unique flavours that the whole dish was like an adventure of tastes. Another dish I'd recommend!

Honey glazed duck breast and crackling

With the food, we were given a small jar of hot sauce. Despite the name, it's not too spicy for those who cannot handle it. Actually, I thought this balanced the flavours with all the fried food we've been eating and made it even more flavoursome. Very addictive to the point where I added it to nearly everything.

 House-made Hot Sauce

We were horribly stuffed but CC was craving for the dessert so we went along with her. While it was fairly rich and decent, we certainly did not regret ordering it. I adored the creaminess and crunchiness that came with this dish from the ice cream to the bits of crumbled biscuits. Not to mention the guilty saltiness and sweetness displayed with the lashings of fudge goodness and banana doughnut pieces. It is no wonder why this is one of the star dishes of this restaurant. Just too good to resist! I would recommend try to eat as much as you can when you get this as it did get too creamy at the bottom by the end.

Peanut butter and banana sundae with pretzel ice cream, banana doughnut, salted fudge

This ain't gonna win any awards for the healthiest restaurant in Sydney anytime soon but the food is so bad, it's seriously good. Everything here is a guilty pleasure particularly for those who are fans of the dude food movement. The service was decent and knowledgeable with explaining every component of each dish, although it did get very busy so it was harder for us to get attention from the waitstaff. Despite this, we are all super keen on going back for that dessert and trying some of the other dishes especially with their updated menu with even more moreish goodness. 

33 Enmore Road, Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 8068 1473

Hartsyard on Urbanspoon


  1. Wow, I don't know how I haven't heard of this place - looks like some seriously sexy indulgence right here, especially that dessert!!

    1. you should check it out (hope you have by now :p)! going back to Hartsyard tomorrow. the menu looks so different now but my fave dishes are still there

  2. Love hartsyard to bits, especially the oyster po boys!

    1. me too. big fan of those, the crispy pig tails and that fried chicken!