Poly is the sister restaurant of Ester, a brilliant restaurant in Chippendale. Both restaurants are high on our list of Sydney favourites. Poly is located in a great spot on the border of Surry Hills and the Southern end of the CBD. You will find it in a large converted industrial space part of the Paramount site on Commonwealth Street. The restaurant’s bar is large and very prominent, which could give play to Poly’s vision to be a bar, which also serves food. Although the kitchen is small, they utilise the space well and the food is superb, making this an all round top dining experience. There are many different table configurations, great for groups, our favourite tables are by the kitchen and the mesmerising wood fire.
The cooking is rustic refined woodfire, all cooked over open flame, with cooking racks above at different levels to allow for different temperatures and multiple dishes to be cooked at the same time, all whilst absorbing flavour from the charred wood below.
We love that this restaurant group make their bread fresh and there are a number of options on the menu that feature the freshly made bread. There is the sourdough roll with whipped butter and parsley oil. The roll has a bit of weight to it, when you pick it up from the plate, however the texture is light and fluffy.
Our favourite was the anchovy bread, simple and delicious with a heavy hit of lemon, the rind boosting the flavour, the anchovy flavour only light and hanging in the background.
The Nduja and honeycomb toast was a good combination of sweet, savoury and spice. The soft house made bread is toasted and topped with Nduja, spreadable spicy Italian pork salami and to finish spoon of fresh honeycomb.
We also ordered some small bites to share, the beef tartare was brilliant, one of the better in Sydney, nicely seasoned and plenty of flavour from pickled mushroom, dill pickle and the fermented hot sauce takes it to another level.
The butterflied prawns that are famous at Ester, also made an appearance. They hit our table and are perfectly cooked, the meat of the prawn peeling away from the shell with ease.
The Koji Marinated beef intercostal, succulent slightly fatty beef which carries the sweet marinade and horseradish, the beef cubed and cooked on skewers over the fire. This dish was mouthwatering and kept us going back for more.
For a main we ordered the whole dory fish, baked over the fire with scales on, this nicely steaming the fish inside. The fish cooked in a rustic smokey tomato sauce taking on the flavour of the fish as it cooked over the flames. This dish certainly grabbed our attention when it arrived at the table the scales cracking and peeling of with ease, as did the flesh inside. This was enjoyed with a side of cos lettuce and broccoli shoots.
We finished the meal with a top dessert, also quite rustic to look at. The sticky date doughnut, a crisp outer crust soft dough inside, the sticky date sauce soaked up by doughnut and a topped with a thick vanilla cream that melts into the sauce and doughnut.
The larger space of Poly gives a different feel to the cosy Ester restaurant. We enjoyed the whole experience, our waiter very good with explaining the food and helping choose wine, which was excellent, we really enjoyed the Barberra from the Yarra, Vic, a heavy ballsy red, that had long lasting flavour. The cocktails were also superb.
We also enjoyed the atmosphere, it was easy to enjoy a conversation and the food all cooked to a high standard, which takes skill, especially when cooking over an open flame. This is our kind of food, a must dining experience and a return definitely on the cards.
74-76 Commonwealth Street
Surry Hills NSW