Pickled heirloom carrots – in Pickles, Chicken Skin, Wasabi ($12) – are a delightful way to cleanse the palate and commence your Bar H Dining adventure, especially when they’re topped with deep-fried chicken skin. You’ll be following the meandering food journey of Chef Hamish Ingham and his wife/sommelier Rebecca Lines, which has recently seen the menu morph into ‘Chuka’ cuisine. Chuka celebrates the Japanese style ‘Chinese’ dishes popular in Japan. Chewy white mochi (rice cakes) give a nicely textural twist to Eggplant, Turnip, Dashi ($14), while fermented garlic and bacon give Pambula Oysters ($10) an updated ‘Asian Kilpatrick’ edge. The slightly cloudy Uehara Shuzo ‘Soma no Tengu’ ($15/glass) will suit your bivalves, though if you’re a sake beginner, they don’t come much prettier than Houraisen Bi Junmai Daiginjo ($14/glass). Inside this dark and moody drinking den, beautifully balanced bar snacks like Cucumber, Black Fungi and Pigs Ear ($13) shine, even if the light levels mute their visual impact. Don’t baulk at the pigs ears either, they’re tasty, deep-fried slivers adorning frilly white fungus, cucumber and toothsome wood ear fungus. Consume them with Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale ($14), or the 2012 Yeringberg Viognier ($12/glass), plus a flavoursome side of Broccoli, Black Sesame and Tamari ($9). Explosive Sichuan Chocolate Caramels ($8) provide the perfect exit strategy.
Bar H Dining
80 Campbell Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9280 1980 barhsurryhills.com
Chinese, Japanese $$$