Small Bar, Crows Next

It’s Friday night and the friends we were going to have dinner with at The Sultan’s Table in Enmore have taken a last minute break from Sydney with their boys so we are at a loose end. Not for long – Karl calls Mr T. It’s cousin Deb’s birthday and they’ve decided to go out for drinks (“and food too?” I hopefully ask Mr T) in their home suburb of Crows Nest, and would be delighted if we would care to join them. And so we do, in spite of my protestations about going “all the way over the harbour”.

We meet them in Small Bar on Willoughby Road. As we enter the long, narrow room I think “Oh God, it’s one of those terribly noisy places”, and it is, but I quickly get used to it. After buying drinks (a lovely, reasonably-priced Marlborough SB pour moi) we study the menu and deliberate which of the share plates to choose. We settle on some pulled pork mini burgers with hoisin sauce and cucumber, an antipasto platter, chips, porcini arancini balls and lamb kofte.

The pork in its squishy buns is tasty but could do with a good deal more hoisin sauce. The antipasto comes prettily displayed on a rustic wooden board – good salami and proscuito, slices of pillowy boconcini, small shiny black olives and colourful marinated vegetables with slices of crunchy baguette. The chips come in cones of brown paper and are some of the best we’ve had in ages – really golden and crunchy with plenty of salt and also dried herbs which is a nice touch. The arancini balls are beautifully creamy inside their crispy shells. And the lamb kofte are juicy with plenty of tzatziki to dunk them in. We decide we haven’t had quite enough so we order two more lots of chips along with fried chicken wings that come with a little bath of soy sauce, and small crumbed tender calamari rings with mayonaise.

Sadly, so new is my blog that I forget to take photos until right near the end when we’ve only a few dishes left, and half eaten ones at that. I also forget to take a photo of the lovely beer garden at the rear with its thatched roof interlaced with vine and festooned with fairy lights. But so that I can practise inserting photos, here, for what they’re worth, they are:

Salted herby chips

Salted herby chips, Small Bar

Chicken wings & calamari

Chicken wings & calamari, Small Bar

Small Bar
Willoughby Road, Crows Nest
Visited 13 April 2012