The Passage

by minibites

This place scratched the my itch, my itch to uncover another local bar with a chilled out atmosphere, great cocktails and food with their own little twist. Walking in, the bar is endless and a lightbulb goes off with the relevance to its name. There’s little corners you can nestle in or if you’re feeling social, a communal table or a seat at the bar.

We kick the night off with some spicy almonds and diving into some cocktails. My cocktail of choice is the Coconut & Kaffir Lime Daquiri, a whirl of coconut, lime and hint of pandan and rum. Smelt absolutely amazing and tasted even better, I had many of the girls fighting over this one.

Vodka cured salmon, beetroot puree and baby coriander

Crispy calamari, sweet chilli oil and aioli

Stuffed zucchini flowers with goats’ cheese and truffle honey

The menu is tapas based, so the more company you have, the more dishes to dine and share. Of our starters, my favourite would be the crispy calamari with sweet chili oil and a side pot of aioli; the calamari was crisp without being too heavy and overwhelming with batter. This dish just goes to show that you don’t need to have fancy bar menus and that you can take a good ol’ regular and add a creativity to reinvent the dish.

The zucchini flowers had crunchy stems and cheesey filled buds with a drizzle of truffle honey, which made all the difference to an otherwise simple dish. The vodka cured salmon was a new one for me, as I’m not so much a fan of sashimi and as far as I go is smoked salmon, but I didn’t mind a little piece on top of the toasty bread and a dollop of beet puree.

Twice cooked pork belly, corn puree and blackbean viaigrette

Sirloin with hand cut rosemary potato chips and confit garlic

Spicy meatball “toastie” with fennel salsa

I was already quite impressed with the starters but the mains were definitely drool-worthy. My favourite would be the twice cooked pork belly and it completely blew me away. I love pork belly and each piece had a thin layer of crackling which was perfect without breaking any teeth and generous portion of tender meaty goodness. And not to forget, the sirloin, perfectly cooked with nice grill marks and glaze over the top, served with the most amazing potato chips. It reminded me of a dish at Pony, but oh these chips…

The meatball toastie was a little on the drier side, but such comforting food. And what made the dishes so delicious were the companions to the main star to the dish. Each dish had its own sauce that was well thought out and complemented the protein as opposed to just being there.

Vanilla pannacotta with strawberry spiced syrup

Full to the brim, we took a breather with another round of cocktails and ended the night with dessert. I’ve never seen a pannacotta so rigidly constructed, and dressed with a syrup that was very intriguing indeed, which proceeded many tipsy attempts to place bets on the ingredients and confirming this with the kitchen.

Get in quick before it starts to fill with hustle and bustle!

The Passage
231A Victoria Rd
Darlinghurst, Sydney
www.thepassage.com.au

The Passage on Urbanspoon

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