This is a hard review to write because I was having a bit of an off day; prior to getting to Hartsyard; lost my keys so I couldn’t get home to get the camera – mate only had a sh*tty iphone 4, my 4s went flat. Dramas. Didn’t feel like taking much photos as the Iphone4 was so bad compared to the 4S. Night/Day.
So the photos for this blog post aren’t going to be great. but the sentiment will hopefully be. More of a writeup this one.
Got my booking at Hartsyard via Twitter as someone else had done a no show (RUDE) and I decided that we’d take the booking instead. So rush home, no camera, rush rush.. to Hartsyard. 7pm. Ran from the Apartment.
HartYard sits at 33 enmore Road, turn right from King. walk about 3 minutes and you’re there. The inside is nicely fitted out; with a bar and island/communal seating out the front. and then approximately 14 tables inside. HartsYard’s fitout is industrial/rustic cool with a warm effusive quality to the space. There are nice googlemapesque paintings on the wall, and a post modern white painting on the other. The hostess, Lllewlyn is very gracious. Greeting us at the door and even helped to charge the iphone. Front of House and Wait Staff service; immpecable. The waiter we had was super attentive. They take reservations for the seats inside and that’s pretty much the one way you will secure a seat – Hartsyard was recently written up in the latest SYDNEY MAG as one of 5 restos to eat at so I think getting a table will be a lot trickier. BOOK and show up! You can however get the same menu/food if you sit at the island or the bar. The preference here is to sit down and dine.
Feed: We ordered the Poutine / Fried Chicken Main / Duck main
The Poutine dish was an interesting take on a populalist canadian diner food- with roasted potatoes, silvers of beef jerky (?) that was shredded and laced over like a salad. It was a crunchy beef, almost dessicated in texture. They had replaced the gravy + curds in a standard Poutine with a flavoursome sauce and clusters of shaved cheese. This was very good. Texturally very interesting with perfectly roasted potatoes chunks (approx 2cm cubed sticks). 3/4 way through the dish, they came with a large spoon and said; use this to scoop up the cheddar and beer sauce; which was amusing; as you’d think they’d serve it with?
Cold-smoked Fried Chicken
Fried Chicken main. The fried chicken dish came with a tart/chilli dipping sauce and the portions was about half a chook. it was nicely cooked; the leg was a bit over but the other portions were moist and juicy. It sat on a mound of what I thought was mash but was instead some sort of buttermilk biscuit. I didn’t realise til we were almost done that it wasn’t mash. Could possibly have been a better dish with mash. (Buttermilk biscuit, low country sausage gravy)
Honey-glazed Duck Breast and Confit
Duck Dish. This came last and threw a spanner in the works. We did not like it at all. And its difficult to say this as the evening was so pleasant til the duck main came. It was a honey coated duck breast, it had confit; crackling and a rilette(ball of duck flesh deep fried). Everything on it should have made this the perfect closer to the dinner. It wasn’t just me that had an issue; by the absolute end of the meal; there was 1 nugget of duck (out of 5-6) and we were doing “YOU EAT IT”. And we didn’t want to; we left it . This was a $32 dollar main. I’ve read elsewhere that this dish was superlative so I can’t figure out why our experience was so different. The duck flesh had an odd texture (rubbery, tasted raw) making it hard to eat. It just refused to go down when you were chewing it. Further more, it was coated in honey and all you really tasted was that honey which quite frankly overwhelmed the dish. The duck rilette (ball) was deep fried, and strangely enough had the texture of canned tuna; and a bit of the taste too. Suffice to say, this wasn’t a hit at all.
So post dinner, we looked over at the diners 2 tables down, they also had the Poutine – which they finished. And they also had the duck dish which wasn’t finished.
Didn’t have dessert which might have been a mistake but Midnight Special beckoned.
I’m not going to shape my experience on Hartsyard based off 1 bad dish that didn’t agree. The restaurant is lovely, loved how the waiter who served the meal took the time to explain what it was we were eating and the cool easy vibe in there. We didn’t have dessert but we did have 2x Tanqueray+Tonics ($12) and 2 wines. The final tally was $122/2 persons.