One of the reasons why I love Darlinghurst is because of the abundance of food that is hidden all over the maze of streets there. Today I’m visiting The Food Society off a recommendation from my friend Rob. However, instead of dining a la carte, our party bought a deal from one of those group buying sites so we have a set menu for a fixed price. The restaurant is quite large and is decorated with an assortment of ornaments which gives a nice feel to it. It’s quite empty for a weeknight so despite the decor, there is barely any atmosphere. Although deceptively empty, I was last here on a Friday night last year and it was very busy so you might not have to book for weeknights, but Fridays are another story.
Beetroot and vodka cured ocean trout blini, dill cream
Our first dish is a blini (thin pancake). It has some pleasant light flavours and the trout is refreshing. The blini provides an interesting base for fish but isn’t really my thing.
Fried cauliflower with paprika, parsley, water cress and red wine vinegar
This next dish is absolutely delicious. The batter is thin and crispy on the outside with a soft piece of cauliflower inside. I find the vinaigrette gives the dish a nice tang, adding some depth to the crunchiness and softness of the cauliflower.
Cured meats with house pickled vegetables
I’m not really a fan of cured meats. This dish consisted of bread sticks, chorizo, chicken and prosciutto. Some of the dish was salty, some of it was plain and overall, it’s more of a course filler.
Chicken breast with potato dumplings, mushroom and paprika
Now come the mains! We have three different mains which we are sharing amongst the table. First up is the chicken which comes with a vinegar flavoured gnocchi. I find that the chicken is a bit tough and that the flavours are quite uninspiring. The only good thing about this dish are the mushrooms, which have been sautéed well.
Lamb ribs with sliced potatoes, tomato, eggplant and rosemary
Next up is the lamb! I love lamb and its gaminess and this lamb is no different – it’s a bit firm but it’s very juicy and tasty. The potatoes are well flavoured and the eggplant is very soft and melts in your mouth.
Grilled cuttlefish on squid ink risotto with parmesan
So the last time I had squid ink was at Venice, Italy, and so I wasn’t sure what to expect from an Australian interpretation. On top of that, risotto is a difficult dish to master and so many restaurants get it oh so wrong. However I got a very pleasant surprise – the rice was soft and well done and there was a nice cheesy squid ink taste. The cuttlefish was also chewy and tender and not overdone. A wedge of lemon would have been perfect to finish this dish off.
Society signature pashka with strawberry compote
Our last dish was a Russian dessert called pashka. It consisted of crumble enveloped with soft cream cheese, strawberry and almonds. Components of it were good, because you can’t really go wrong with a cheesecake and crumble. My only criticisms were that the almonds tasted strange with the dessert and that the cheesecake was a bit soft for my liking.
Overall, this particular experience at The Food Society was not the best one. There were some good dishes like the cauliflower and risotto which are definitely worth returning for, but the other dishes I tried today did not really hit the mark for me and honestly, I was a bit disappointed. Next time I come, I’ll be choosing my dishes wisely to make sure I get the best picks.
The Food Society
91 Riley St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Ph: (02) 8090 3462