Located at 8 Hunt just cross the road from one of our favourite pubs in Sydney The Hollywood is Sam Christie’s latest Subcontinental. The closure of Shortgrain was met was shock in some quarters as the press on that suggested that Longgrain would go as well, it didn’t. Subcontinental now exists as a dinner only bar and restaurant and very much its own entity; its modern indian in the ex-Shortgrain Space. Expect Modern indian/Sri Lankan fare that’s several notches above your local takeaway joint, cocktails with an indian twist and a easy laid back feel to the service.
Entrees – House Made Pappadums with Raita and Mango Chutney $9 Cheese Pakoras $7 Vegetable Samosas with sweet sour chutney (tasted like some sort of tamarind sauce) $5. The trio of entrees were all rather good with the pappadums being great – we particularly liked the seeded ones and the fact that every condiment on there was different and nuanced. From the tangy, sweet to a smokey tomatoey paste that was piquant and complex (with the Pakoras).
Sides – Dry Curry of Okra, Potato and Kashmiri Chilli $18, Pineapple Raita $4 and a Mango and chilli Pickle $5. Whatever Kashmiri Chilli is, that Dry Curry dish was a favourite being flavoursome with great spice notes and interesting textures. Okra is uncommon for the most parts and we rather liked this.
Cashew Nut & Cardamom Duck Curry $24 Grilled Market in Banana Leaf, Mustard Seeds, Coconut and Curry Leaves. $33 The mains were had with Basmati Rice and the Subcontinental flavours are as expected with complex spice notes which differed on both. Cashew Nut and Cardamon Curry was a more subdued curry with a creamy taste from the cashews and melt away duck drumsticks. Grilled Markest Fish was enveloped and came covered with a mound of coconut. One thing we did note was the particular lack of heat in both the dishes we picked which negated the need for the cooling Pineapple raita we picked. For the adventurous diner, be sure to ask about spice levels.
Treacle and Curds $9 We were informed that the treacle was cooked to point just before it becomes palm sugar. This was quite a filling dinner and we could just fit this in to round up the meal. We were delighted to see fresh fruit. On hindsight and looking at their instagram, we probably should have picked their tamarind popsicle as well.
Bunker Bar still resides in the venue, being the epicentre by which SubContinetal’s indian fusion cocktails are made out of. We had the Ishan which was their take on a Old Fashioned. Subcontinental has an extensive range of wines and beers too. There’s tiger beer on tap here.
If you’re familiar with Shortgrain, there’s some slight changes to the space. Subcontinental was packed on this Thursday dinner with a warmly lit space and vibey modern feel. The booths that we sat in were loungey and quite cosy.
If you’re in the Surryhills area. Subcontinental opens for dinner from Tuesdays til Saturdays (5.30-10.30pm). Go in expecting an evening of modern Indian eats done with that trademark trademark flair by these guys who really know their restaurants and food.