Anyone who’s anyone seems to be trickling into this newfound Surry Hills food box set up by the two tenacious and uber-talented John Javier and his mate Jarred Roker. If any place encapsulates the combination of fine dining without the snooty never-get-laid wait staff, and trendy without the ‘too-cool-for-you’ army of bearded artisans of ‘whatever’, Master just might be the perfect candidate.
Amidst the ubiquitous ‘simple food done well’ trend that everybody seems to be following, it’s refreshing to see a new place that’s not afraid to take some risks. Moreover, you would be hard pressed to find a restaurant that achieves this whilst boasting such a reasonably priced menu.
We started out with some Scallop Silk in XO Sauce ($4pp) and Chicken Skewers with Cashew and Kaffir Lime ($6pp). A subtly perfect indication of what Asian-inspired dishes were to follow.
What looked like Tuna Sashimi turned out to be Watermelon in Preserved Mustard & Nori ($10), and tasted like nothing I’ve ever had before.
The Roasted Squid with Snow Pea Sprouts ($20) convince you the noodle looking things are noodles, but they’re squid. You didn’t have to do that, but we appreciate it. Side note: The broth in this dish is like Asian comfort food liquid gold.
The Chef kindly brought us out some Hot Sauce, in case the combination of fresh and dried chilies in the Salt & Pepper Veal Sweetbreads ($18) wasn’t hot enough. It was.
Burnt Cabbage with Fish Sauce Butter ($18). This is the best cabbage I’ve ever had. Period. If you go here and don’t order it, we can’t be friends anymore.
Finally (and as if that wasn’t enough food) A Roasted Potato ($10), which was like a deep fried potato ice cream affair and the Congee with Pear and Coriander ($10) were casually wheeled out. Trying to explain the flavour of the Congee would be like trying to describe a colour you’ve never seen so I won’t bother.
Get in here before everybody else has their way with it.
368 Crown Street, Surry Hills
(02) 8065 0838