Ever had the dilemma of wanting to eat at various restaurants but just can’t decide where? Why not try visiting them all in the one night! Lime & Tonic is a website that runs social experiences and tonight we’re giving one of their dining experiences “Dinner On The Run” a go. This is a progressive dinner which visits three Asian-style restaurants in the Surry Hills area within the span of 3-hours to indulge in 3-courses. Yum!
First stop: Sugarcane for entrees
We kick start the night at Sugarcane at 7:30pm and are greeted by our other fellow dining companions, along with a small map that details the rest of our journey and an entree menu of what we’ll be feasting on tonight.
Prawn on rice cakes with caramelised sugarcane
The food comes out quickly and we’re firstly served some prawns sitting on crispy rice cakes and topped with coriander. There’s some great crunchy textures here along with a tasty sweet and sour type sauce. I find the prawn flavour isn’t that obvious though, as it was overpowered by the other elements.
Salt & Pepper Squid
The classic salt and pepper squid is next which contains large, succulent and well cooked pieces of squid but could do with a lemon or lime wedge for extra zest.
Crispy skin chicken with shallots and blood plum sauce
The chicken comes out next and is super tasty! It is boneless, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside with a sweet plum sauce drizzled throughout. It’s a hit with the table and disappears quickly.
Crisp pork hock, Peanut and Green Papaya salad
We also get a salad to cut through the meats which is made in a classic Thai style with sour flavours. It contains papaya along with crispy chips and some salty pork.
Finally our last dish comes out and we’re left wondering how this many dishes is just for entrees only! Our lamb ribs are gamey and cooked through well as they fall off the bone allowing me to eat it cleanly with cutlery.
We are about half full by this stage thanks to the abundance of entrees which served our table of 12 well but we manage to soldier on to our next venue for the main dishes.
Second stop: Bar H for mains
Just a short stroll away from Sugarcane sits Bar H, a very small and dimly lit bar that serves up Chinese food. We’re a bit cramped in the corner and I am very surprised that the place is packed full at 8:30pm on a Wednesday night, so my expectations run high from the popularity.
Steamed fish with ginger and shallots
The first main which comes out is some steamed fish, a classic Chinese dish which is served with light soy flavours, ginger and shallots. It is very soft and exactly like how authentic Chinese restaurants do it and I am pleasantly surprised that a bar has produced this!
Dong-po pork braised pork belly
Next is hot clay pot of braised pork belly, yet another classic Chinese dish. Amongst the fatty pork belly is also bean curd and pumpkin and it is super delicious, going well with the rice which soaks up the fatty soy sauces from the dish right up.
We’re pretty full by this stage but when dessert is the next and final course, there’s no way you can say no to that!
Third stop: Longrain for cocktails and desserts
Just a block away from Bar H sits Longrain, a magnificent and grand two-storey restaurant and bar. It is modern and chic in look and feel, and we head downstairs to unwind from our long dinner and to kick back with some cocktails and desserts.
My cocktail comes out first which is the Acapulco Gold. This consists of chilli and tequila, along with lemon and vanilla. When you first drink it, the tequila and vanilla flavours are quite apparent but then a tingling starts forming in your mouth and throat due to the chilli. It’s a very unique sensation from a drink but is also quite tasty. For those who might not like tequila or chilli, you are able to order an alternate cocktail from their extensive drink menu.
Young coconut jelly, black sticky rice, coconut tapioca and mango
Finally our dessert comes out which is daintily presented in a small glass. At first bite, the coconut ice cream provides some fruity richness with the mango pieces, and the crispy provides a lovely crunch. However when you dig deeper, you get some sticky rice and tapioca to lessen the sweetness which completes the dessert with some authentic Thai flavours. It’s a delicious dessert and my only complaint is that I wish I had more!
By the end of the night, it’s nearing 10:30pm which are tell-tale signs of a great night, and my food coma is well and truly kicking in. Lime & Tonic’s “Dinner On The Run” is a great way for you to experience three popular Surry Hills restaurants without the fuss of making three separate bookings or deciding what to eat – it’s all done for you! It truly is a great experience and all three restaurants provide amazing Asian flavours which complement each other very well. If you’re looking for something different, be sure to check this out or the Lime & Tonic website for some of their other experiences. My recommendation is to attend the progressive dinner in a big group as you can try more dishes, otherwise the variety of dishes will reduce for small groups.
Excuse Me Waiter attended “Dinner On The Run” as guests of Lime & Tonic
80 Campbell St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Ph: (02) 9280 1980
Longrain Restaurant & Bar
85 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Phone: (02) 9280 2888