Sunday, August 4, 2013

Palings Kitchen and Bar, Sydney CBD

It seems that Sydney is moving towards a more casual, lower-priced dining given the many high profile restaurant closures recently. Lots of celebrity chefs who fronted fine dining restaurants have been moving onto cheaper and affordable dining in areas such as cafes, ramen, burgers and Mexican food. One of them was Mad Cow which has reinvented itself as Palings Kitchen and Bar and opened earlier this year. It may have the same head chef (Christopher Whitehead) but Palings now come with slightly lower prices, friendly and casual atmosphere, and a more diverse menu that will satisfy vegetarians, sweets and seafood lovers. 


During the winter season, Merivale has introduced a number seasonal cheap deals that were only available for certain hours. At the moment, Palings is holding a 'Roast with Th'most' deal where you could wither have a bowl of soup and a sandwich on the menu for $19 or you could have a two course meal with a glass of wine or beer for $35. You could choose a main dish and match it with a salad or a dessert from the menu. This deal is available for lunch and for dinner (6pm-7pm only) and valid until 30th August. So get going before you have to pay a main and a dessert for full price! (A la carte prices are listed below).


As usual, I was quite stuck on what I wanted to order. I was so keen on trying the Rangers Valley rump steak but it was sold out! At the time of our visit (about a month ago actually...), there used to be a 'Pie of the Day' but since then, there has been a couple of beef pies added to the permanent Palings menu as of now. Either way, the Pie of the Day that evening was also a beef pie and it was absolutely scrumptious. It may not have the insane flavours or exciting sides like The Pie Tin but I adored the flaky and buttery pie crust, plus the beef filling was tender to my liking.

Pie of the day - Beef pie with potato mash and winter greens ($15.00)

The amount of seafood dishes on the menu is generous which is good for those who cannot eat meat for personal or religious reasons. I only tried a little bit from this dish and found it juicy and slightly cheesy which matched well with the spaetzle (egg noodles from Eastern Europe ala Austria, Hungary, Switzerland). R had this dish and certainly enjoyed it.

Grilled local prawns, spaetzle, lemon, parmesan ($28.00)

CC also wanted the rump steak so once we heard that it sold out, she ended up ordering the Cape Grim rib eye on the bone. It was no surprise how generous the dish was so I had to help with eating a bit of the dish. While it tasted nice, the meat was tougher than we liked. In fact, the steak was quite hard to cut that the table kept shaking. 

Cape Grim Rib Eye on the Bone, crisp spuds, watercress and black pepper - 400g, grass-fed ($36.00)

When given the option of a two-course meal, we knew we had to get desserts especially if they are made by the legendary Lorraine Godsmark (former pastry chef at Rockpool and Yellow Bistro) who runs Lorraine's Patisserie downstairs. 

CC was immediately drawn to the peanut butter ice cream sandwich with chocolate sauce. While it looked different to the generic ice cream sandwiches, CC absolutely loved it and gave it the thumbs up. I'm a fan of anything with peanut butter so will look into this next time.

Peanut butter ice cream sandwich, chocolate sauce ($12.00)

The New York cheesecake was a highlight on our table. The filling was quite light which complemented well with a thin biscuit base and the dollop of sweetened cream (or was it creme fraiche?) on the side.


My pick for dessert was the flourless chocolate cake. It was incredibly rich, moist, sweet and soft on the palate. Quite intense to handle after a few mouthfuls but nicely complimented by the cream and the red jam on the side (I think it's raspberry jam...can't recall sorry guys). The white cream (sweetened cream/creme fraiche?) must be a signature for their desserts since it appeared in all of our dessert plates.


The atmosphere is certainly more casual, noisy, hip, down to earth and vibrant than the much more formal Mad Cow. It is situated in the same area as the Ivy Bar which contributed to the social vibe of the restaurant. I personally thought that the service wasn't too great in my opinion. For instance, one of the waiters made us go to a specific table (which ended up being very unstable) even though there were many other available tables in the restaurant. While some of the food didn't blow my mind, I wouldn't mind coming back to try out the other food on the vast menu especially the rump steak and the deli sandwich. Will recommend it for outings with friends and workmates especially for Friday night drinks before hitting up the dancefloor at the Ivy Bar.

Palings Kitchen and Bar
Level 1, Ivy
330 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9240 3000
http://merivale.com.au/palings/ 
Palings Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

17 comments:

  1. It is interesting to see the downward shift of so many restaurants across Sydney. Love the sound of the peanut butter ice cream sandwich too!

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    1. same here. been seeing so many restaurants and chefs doing this recently. probably for the better as well

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  2. Oh my god cheesecake!! Apparently the cauliflower salad here is really good :D

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    1. should try that out next time. so many dishes here!

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  3. its sad to see those restaurant close but at the same time im glad i can still try these chef''s food for a more casual price!

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    1. that's true. i love it when i see my fave dishes from the old restaurant popping up in the new restaurant under the same chef

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  4. y u no use SLR camera

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  5. Mmm desserts! I am surprised there is actually not double up with our posts!

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    1. lol yeah the desserts were pretty good :)

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  6. That pie and peanut butter ice cream sandwich sound delish :9

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  7. I love rib eyes on the bone!!! I think you have to ask for the meat to be cooked rare to have it softer when it comes to beef!!
    I've never tried Lorraine Godsmark's legendary desserts and it's such a shame, Yellow Bistro was just a ridiculous short stroll from where I live :( Have to go there soon that ice cream sandwich looks great!

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    1. her desserts were the highlight for us. have u checked out Lorraine's Patisserie? lots of sweet goodies!

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  8. I've always wanted to visit Palings (I'm a Merivale fan) but haven't had the chance. I might just do so for my next birthday party :)

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    1. and then go clubbing at the Ivy after hehe! :D

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  9. Lovely looking desserts! Would love to visit :)

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