This restaurant has now closed.
A stone’s throw away from all the chaos on the main strip of Kings Cross is the trendy bar and dining precinct on Bayswater Road, where Concrete Blonde is one of the newer restaurants on the block it shares with Hugo’s. Today we’re here for lazy Sunday afternoon cocktails with some fellow bloggers and a gourmet 3 course Modern Australian lunch ($48) to pad our stomachs with.
At first, the restaurant looks like a laidback eatery with plenty of open air seating under a black ceiling with white artistic scribbles all over it and on Sunday afternoons, they have live jazz music to set the mood too. But once you look a bit closer, you notice their sleek, contemporary décor inside which features a well-stocked bar and a lot of polished steel surfaces. It encapsulates a modern Sydney aesthetic and balances a fashionable vibe with a friendly atmosphere.
We sampled a few of their fruity cocktails; I opted for the Vertigo which is bright pink and features my favourite combo of lychee, elderflower, cranberry and gin. DK goes for the slightly manlier Concrete Jungle which mixes rum with orange, pineapple and ginger beer. Both are winners, though they’re not very strong, which is great for those who don’t like to actually taste the alcohol in their drinks.
Vertigo $38 and Concrete Jungle $42 for jugs to share between 2-4 people
For round 2 of drinks we go for the single serve cocktails and I choose the Bayswater Breeze which combines passionfruit, cloudy apple and mint with Belvedere Vodka, St Germain elderflower liqueur and Chandon Brut. This tasted as refreshing as it sounded on the menu but there was a lot of crushed ice in the drink which sadly diluted the flavour eventually. DK decided to be a bit more adventurous by experimenting with a rhubarb and pear cocktail. This was delightfully juicy with lots of pear flavours and was not overwhelming sweet compared to many other cocktails.
Bayswater Breeze and Rhubarb Ins’pear’ration, both $18
Our first nibble of the afternoon is their soft focaccia bread, which is infused with the strong flavour of herbs and comes with olive oil for dipping. While it was nice, I consciously avoided eating too much of it as we had some delicious entrees coming up.
My chosen entrée was artfully presented on a gorgeous black stone plate, making the vibrant colours of the various seafood and accompaniments really pop. All of the tastes and textures were spot on, especially the succulent scallop and fresh salmon which didn’t even really need the side of goat’s curd to add any flavour to it. However, this entrée was a much smaller portion compared to other options on the menu.
Seared Scallop with Marinated Tuna, Cured Salmon, Pea Salad and Goat’s Curd
DK’s choice was also seafood based but this entrée featured crunchy little School Prawns and squid which had been lightly fried in an addictive blend of chilli and shallots. This was quite a generous size for a starter and even though the spikes of the prawn heads jabbed us in the mouth as we crunched through the dish, it was worth it because it was absolutely delicious!
Spiced School Prawns, Squid, Shallots and Lime
Despite already devouring plenty of seafood in our first course, we couldn’t resist trying the swordfish for the mains. It came with more squid as well as a creamy sweetcorn puree and was topped with crispy garlic flakes which I loved. I don’t see swordfish on menus very often but it was done well here at Concrete Blonde; DK requested for it to be cooked medium rare which was perfect because the flesh retained its moisture and flavour.
Chargrilled Swordfish, Squid, Sweetcorn Puree, Snake Beans, Crispy Garlic
I decided to try the Parmesan Gnocchi dish for mains. I don’t usually choose the vegetarian options because I’m definitely a carnivore but the weather was quite humid on that day which dampened my appetite for red meat. Also, I’ve developed an appreciation for handmade gnocchi after trying to make it myself and failing miserably to achieve the fluffy, pillowy texture that Concrete Blonde has mastered. Each piece of Parmesan Gnocchi melts in your mouth and were complemented by the buttery Shimeji Mushrooms which had soaked up all the flavours of the dish. I was taken back at first by how long the plate was and a bit daunted by the large serving, but despite this we ended up polishing off the whole plate.
Parmesan Gnocchi, Shimeji Mushrooms, Leek, Ricotta
Although we were pretty full by this stage, there’s always room for dessert when they sound as appealing as the ones on offer at Concrete Blonde. I made a beeline for the highly recommended White Chocolate and Honeycomb Parfait which came with a dollop of salted caramel and a brittle slice of thin Sesame Tuile. It lived up to expectations as all the elements of the dessert went well together – the airiness of the creamy parfait was contrasted with the crunchy flakes of honeycomb woven through it while the nuttiness of the sesame paired nicely with the intense salted caramel.
White Chocolate & Honeycomb Parfait, Sesame Tuile
I wasn’t as much of a fan of the Baked Lemon Tart which DK picked. He was intrigued by the side of Thyme Ice Cream which came with it but unfortunately it tasted just as odd as it sounded as the scent of the herb was quite overpowering. The lemon tart came with a thin pastry pastry and burnt sugar on top adding an extra textural element. The small meringue on the side went well with this as well. Although an unusual combination, the ice cream let down the dish and didn’t seem like a necessary component.
Baked Lemon Tart, Thyme Ice Cream
This hidden gem in Potts Point offers a refreshing change from the overpriced options in the city as they serve up consistently delicious, quality dishes in a chic setting at reasonable price points. Concrete Blonde are celebrating the start of summer with Sunday sessions featuring live music in December and also have $7 cocktails or 4 Coronas for $20 every night before 7pm, which means we’ll be back to try more of their amazing cocktails in the future!
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of Concrete Blonde and Wasamedia
33 Bayswater Road
Kings Cross NSW 2011
Phone: (02) 9380 8307
This restaurant has now closed.