Good Luck Pinbone Kensington
We missed Pinbone. One of our favourite restaurants of the period and whose closure we greeted in dismay. After a hiatus of about a year, the team behind Pinbone is back with a new restaurant located along the main strip in Kensington. A departure from what most diners would associate with Pinbone – Good Luck Pinbone leaves the modern contemporary cuisine at Pinbone Jersey Road behind and takes their cuisine right to Chinatown with an inventive menu that isn’t quite your atypical “Chinese Food”. Featuring a menu that showcased pickles to raw bites that seemingly reference Japanese cuisine (sashimi, tatakis and raw prawns), the menu also features a diverse range of eats. Pinbone is also decidedly BYO and the recommendations are for white wines, ciders, orange wines and the ilk which pares well with their deftly flavoured eats.
Kensington. A world away from the trendy urban hotspots and urban eateries of Surry Hills and the innerwest, Good Luck is unlike any of “them”. Nary a trendy incandescent lightbulb with its glowing filament insight. Not even a tiled wall. Not big. Here, you enter into a somewhat barebone-sy dining hall past a red lit alcove. There’s nothing remarkable here, no overtly trendy deconstruction of the walls to weather them and add texture or depth. A bit of red paint, a curiously simple bar counter that would not be amiss in a tiki bar (they don’t have a liquor license) and a red chinese arch over the portal. The temporary nature of the space; there’s a DA in place – the life cycle is a 9 months and might extend. Not dissimilar then to Cafe Paci.
Delicate lightly tossed squid. Tender, with fingers of potato that were pliant and morish. A favourite. Eggplant sambal lacked the punchiness one associates with sambal; its characteristic pungency and heat missing – it is lightly savoury and a bit oily but the black fungus makes for good pecking. Their fried rice a good rendition with grains of rice separating as a good fried rice should, chewy pork jowl pieces provide pops of flavour and the dish a nice complement to the mains. As we transition to the larger bites, the pork spare ribs were great, tender flavoursome mouthfuls packed full of punchy black bean flavour. Rarely featured the dried longans add a sweetness and a chewy resistance. It’s a big bold beautiful dish. Sirloin with Furikake Butter another flavour packed main; the furikake imbuding the dish with a bold oyster-sauce like punch/umami and the stir fried mustard greens also soaking up the sauce. The beef, a winning medium of meaty juiciness.
We do wish Pinbone had more epic desserts on their and we’re confident that these will come; Diners have seen what they’ve managed at Pinbone and their amazing Pinbone brunch. For now, a cold icy pop – a burst of summer strawberries.
Compellingly good with a nice menu that beckons return visits. Good Luck Pinbone is delicious, well priced and tasty. Our meal an easy $40/head (and yes, that’s with the $5 BYO fee). There’s the promise of a changing menu that curates what’s best at the markets and that’s a promise that food will be ever changing, ever great. Great FOH and a friendly breeziness to service. BYO adding to its already great value proposition. That Good Luck in their name will probably end up referencing your chances of getting a table.
Note: White rice is possibly on the menu although not listed and we’d recommend it if so. Something to soak up all them juices and sauces.
Good Luck Pinbone
121 Anzac Parade, Kensington
Thu to Sat 6pm–11pm