Monday, June 18, 2012

Hartsyard, Newtown

On Thursday it was my birthday, and I couldn't think of a better way to have spent it than gorging myself stupid at Hartsyard. Another new Newtown eatery generating big buzz for its American/Canadian influenced nosh, the decor is suitably on-trend with hanging light bulbs and steel pipe shelving framing the bar. However there's no big names behind this new restaurant, it's headed by husband/wife duo Gregory and Naomi who serve stunning food without the pretentiousness. There's a decent wine list and a quirky and unique cocktail menu - try the Manhattan made with bacon-infused vodka and garnished with a piece of candied bacon. I also thought it was worth mentioning that we sat next to Terry Durack of SMH's Good Living that night... I hope he didn't judge me for being another "Female Asian Blogger" when I took out my DSLR.

Radishes and Butter, Hartsyard
Radishes $14

The menu is designed for sharing and split into two categories, Seed and Feed. Seed is compromised of smaller, lighter snacks while Feed indicates the heavier, meatier dishes. James and I decide to go halves on two Seed dishes to start and the four of us would then share four more Feed dishes as mains (probably a bit too ambitiously). The first of ours was the radishes, thinly shaved and beautifully presentled with red onions and baby watercress on a layer of fragrant smoked butter. A delicate and refreshing dish, it was definitely needed to help cut through the grease that we were about to consume...

Oyster Po Boy, Hartsyard
Oyster Po' Boy $16

Stephannie and Jordan share the oyster po' bay, miniature burgers of housemade English muffin and deep-fried oyster dressed with coleslaw and Old Bay mayonnaise.

Poutine, Hartsyard
Poutine $19

The poutine induced tears of joy and involuntary moaning at the table. It was also one of the main reasons that we were here. A big bowl of fat, crispy potato chips rested in a pool of creamy, pale-coloured oxtail gravy and beer sauce, topped with beef threads and shredded cheddar. Hidden beneath the chips in the sauce were soft, melt-your-mouth pieces of beef - there are really no words for this and we requested additional muffins to mop up that glorious gravy. I'm just grateful that Stephannie was wise enough to order two of these for our table, there might've been messy knife fights at the table otherwise. When I was explaining poutine to a friend later, she asked me, "Do you really want to pay twenty dollars for chips and gravy, though?" Why yes, yes I do.

Salmon in a Jar, Hartsyard
Salmon Cooked in a Jar $19

The salmon cooked in a jar was actually incredible, and turned out to be my favourite dish of the night. My curiosity was piqued by the unconventional preparation, and what arrived was a rather inconspicuous piece of fish sitting on a hidden piece of slice of cured pork in a small Fido jar. It was served with a light and refreshing sorrel salad, with rye crisps, creme fraiche and cornichon on the side. However, my mind was blown when I tentatively sampled a small forkful of the bright orange flesh - it was insanely tender, soft and buttery beyond the realms of the best sashimi I've had and literally, literally dissolved on my tongue like magic. I just can't get over it, and it was so incomprehensibly luscious with a dab of the creme fraiche. Dying.

Cold Smoked Fried Chicken, Hartsyard
Cold-smoked Fried Chicken $26

With a salty and ludicrously crunchy coating, the four generous pieces of cold-smoked fried chicken surprisingly revealed tender and succulent flesh. After three deep-fried dishes, we were understandably fatigued by the salty low country sausage gravy, which felt like overkill at this point. However I still loved the warm and fluffy buttermilk biscuit, which would've been perfect to mop up gravy at any other time. I also ate the gnarly piece of rogue deep-fried chicken skin I found at the bottom (bonus!).

Duck Confit, Hartsyard
Honey-glazed Duck Breast and Confit $31

The honey-glazed duck breast and confit was revealed to be another artfully-plated masterpiece. The menu seems also to be split into two alternative categories - the hearty, homely and fried vs. the arty, comely and refined. The four pink slices of duck were carefully arranged, daubed with fennel puree and showered with hazelnut praline and crackling. The duck was tender and sweet with honey and went beautifully with the crisp praline and delicate duck crackling. The duck confit had been shredded, balled, crumbled and deep-fried into playful little sphere of flavour.

Rhubarb Crumble, Hartsyard
Rhubarb Crumble $16

With Steph and Jordan were stuffed out of the game (weaklings), James and I powered on to share dessert. Eyeing up the sundae with a longing yet defeated eye, I decided to instead go for the rhurbarb crumble, for our bodies' sake. Another gorgeously presented dish, it was a refreshing assembly of strawberry sorbet and dehydrated rhubarb sticks on a bed of malted milk and burnt butter crumbs, topped with a sweet pomegranate sauce and light, crisp parsnip chips. A perfect end to the most indulgence meal. Bliss.

33 Enmore Rd, Newtown 2042
(02) 8068 1473

Hartsyard on Urbanspoon


  1. happy birthday! argh that poutine sounds amazing!

  2. Happy Birthday to you! All that food looks fantastic. Must try sometime

  3. Happy birthday! I can't wait to go back and try some of the other menu items, although I wouldn't order the poutine again if the 'crispy beef threads' were as inedible as last time.

  4. happy birthday! everything looks great :)

  5. Happy birthday :) what a gorgeous menu! I love the "seed and feed" menu.

  6. happy belated birthday sweets! haha must've been awkward being a 'fab' next to Mr Durack. so many things on the menu i want to try!

  7. beautiful and delicious