This Surry Hills newbie is a welcome addition to Sydney’s popular ‘fine-food in a casual setting’ ethos.

We want you to meet Colin Fassnidge. He's the master chef behind the two-hatted Four in Hand and the menu consultant at Paddington Arms. He's now also heading up the kitchen with wing-woman Carla Jones at Bourke Street's newest resident, 4Fourteen.

Enter the sparse dining room and you'll feel like you've gatecrashed a dinner party that's happening in an over-sized New York loft apartment. Industrial finishes – think '30s green enamel downlights – party with the bespoke goodness of tailored banquettes and chandeliers. An island bar divides the room and shelters those perched at the kitchen seating or bunked down on a bentwood chair from the prying eyes of passers-by.

4Fourteen's menu offers tasty, clever, and involved food. Of the fish variety there's all sorts on offer. The freshly shucked Claire De Lune Oysters, Clyde River ($3.5o ea) go down a treat with the 2010 Valdamor Namorio Rias Biaxas Spain ($13/glass). After something heftier? Try the miso smoked salmon with lemon curd and fennel bread ($12) or the seared bonito with fennel juice, vanilla buttermilk and celery ($18). Consider the 2010 Arneis from Mac Forbes in the Yarra Valley ($15/glass) – fleshy texture with a crisp finish – to buddy up with your seafood dishes.

Then there's the pork, and it's carnivore's delight. We suggest the suckling pig with prunes, sage, pistachio pesto and cabbage salad ($32), a trifecta of neck, flank, and belly. The juicy prunes and perfectly oily pesto are a brilliant contrast to the crunch and pop of the crackling atop. Match this with the 2009 Sagrantino from Chalmers Heathcote ($14/glass) and you're in business. The Irish breakfast ($22) – fried duck egg, prosciutto, chorizo and black pudding – is best eaten straight from the pan, because that's exactly how it comes. And yes, it's a 'breakfast' dish, but 4Fourteen do one helluva Negroni ($17) and it's past noon. Just saying.

The attentive staff will be quick to offer you dessert and rightly so, because with a selection of pastries including homemade Bounty ($16), a white chocolate sandwich ($4), and daily popsicle ($9) they're probably savvy to the fact you'll have a hard time refusing.

This Surry Hills newbie is a welcome addition to Sydney's popular 'fine-food in a casual setting' ethos. With atmospheric buzz aplenty, 4Fourteen's dining folk are bound to return as loyal pig-eating, Negroni sipping fans.

Published on July 18, 2012 by Lisa Omagari

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