Balmain boy, Chef Leigh McDivitt, has come home to roost. Being back on the peninsula – along with his wife and front-of-house dynamo Amanda McDivitt – clearly suits him. Dishes like his Hop Smoked and Blackened Rump Cap ($36) benefit from being less fussy on the plate. The grilled baby leeks and golden ale gel both make good foils for the rich, blackened beef, which is further enhanced by a serve of compelling Thrice Cooked Chips ($12) cooked in aged beef dripping. It’s a combination worth coming for. A slightly busier plate of Seared Scallops ($20) on burnt apple puree with torched prawn and pork dust, modernises our Aussie obsession with surf and turf. In Amanda’s capable hands, the drinks list also produces winners. Her Bacon Old Fashioned ($18) had me creating my own Kilpatrick at the table against a couple of Sydney Rock Oysters ($4/each) topped with Hendricks and cucumber granita. She’s also picked a beauty in the 2010 Lillian Marsanne Roussanne ($16/glass, $68/bottle) from Pemberton. Its honeyed notes will complement a pleasurable plate of Braised Pork Neck with Apple Cider Cloud ($36). The chairs are high backed and comfortable; the passing trade interesting to analyse; so sit back and enjoy the whole bottle at the latest addition to Balmain’s popular restaurant row.
233 Darling Street, Balmain
Ph: (02) 9555 8750 one6eight.com.au
Modern Australian $$$$