Tuesday, July 17, 2012

District Dining

After not being able to get into Chiswick until 2pm, District Dining ended up being our lunch destination this sunny Tuesday, but unfortunately it did not impress. We had a reservation for twelve thirty and arrive to a completely empty restaurant and a waiter who quite frankly, doesn't give a rat's arse as to whether we have a good time or not. I had read on their website, and in the Sydney Morning Herald that they had a special on at the moment, where you get a main and a glass of wine for $35. I ask the waiter about this... "We don't have it today."
"But I just saw it on your website."
"But today is our first day back from the weekend and they wouldn't have prepared anything."
"Well you need to change your website then." I say through semi-clenched teeth.
District Dining, as I had read, is meant to be buzzing and jumping, not this empty, uncomfortable dump with the atmosphere of the moon (as in none).  I say dump, but the decor is lovely: white marble table-tops, beautiful wooden chairs.
We order. The waiter just gets more awkward and annoying as time goes on. 

I have the Mushroom, Jerusalem Artichoke and Tallegio Pie. It is delicious, with my only criticism being the artichoke isn't cooked enough and is a bit al dente for my liking. The flavour is spot on and wintery. I accompany it with a glass of merlot. The wine list is a rip off, with most glasses of wine being over $14. That is just not necessary with the abundance of well-priced quality Australian wine on the market. 

My friend orders the Crispy Skinned Barramundi with Eggplant Relish and Curry Aioli. It looks spectacular and is a ripper of a dish with the fish cooked perfectly. Phew. So they've managed to get the food right but little else today.
The portions are also rather small. They are not true main size and the fact they are labelled "mains to share" is laughable.
We progress to dessert, by this stage, the restaurant has filled a couple more tables but still has no atmosphere. To counter the awful waiter, there is one pleasant waiter who asks if I'd like the shades pulled down as the sunlight is streaming in right on top of me and is actually rather glary and bothersome.

For dessert, I order the Bread & Butter Pudding with Prune, Cinnamon and Apple Crumble icecream. It is a beautiful marriage of winter spices and comforting layers of soft pudding goodness. 

My friend has the White Chocolate and Coconut Cheesecake with Passionfruit Sorbet. It may be winter outside, but this dish is pure summer. The tartness of the sorbet is sublime against the creaminess of the cake. A delightful combination, but a little odd appearing on a winter menu.
We finish and get out. We were in no mood for lingering. All in all, if the food hadn't been as great as it was, I would have written them a letter, but there are a multitude of places in Sydney serving great food but who serve it with a smile and in a place not reminiscent of a funeral parlour.

District Dining on Urbanspoon

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