1950s Americana has invaded Redfern, and your tastebuds have never had a better reason to celebrate.

Walking into Eathouse Diner takes you into another world. The red vinyl stools around a curved bar and crimson walls with a chalkboard menu on the wall conjure 1950s Americana, but there's no schtick here. The restaurant is full an hour into service most nights, but the staff are attentive and friendly despite the pressure. The vibe is casual, with the interior making it a little more special than your regular night out. If you get a chance, pop into the bathrooms and check out the 50s nudie covered walls — they've committed to the design in every inch of this eatery.

Settle in at one of the tables or at the bar and order one of the many cocktails on offer — a favourite is The Redfern, a fruity mix that quickly gets sipped away. The food is tantalisingly complex but presented simply; don't pass up fried white bait for an entrée, shared with your dining companion.

Waiters are happy to recommend and are brimming with knowledge on every dish. Tealight candles are lit as dusk falls and plentiful mains are presented so beautifully it seems a shame to attack the plate. Enjoy a different take on fish n chips with pan-fried barramundi served with kipfler chips and a zuchinni salad or get a bit of fire on your tastebuds with jerk spatchcock arriving splayed over a mound of rice with beans and a side of pineapple.

You'll be forgiven if after all this you can't make it to dessert, but you'll regret skipping the sweet stuff. The Eathouse banana split's reputation precedes itself and with good reason. It's a glorious, messy feast of banana-specked icecream, chocolate and caramel syrups and hazelnuts — all served in a boat dish atop bananas and adorned with a little cocktail umbrella, as if anymore whimsy was required.

We need more places like Eathouse Diner; fun atmosphere with seriously good food, and walking distance from nightspots aplenty.

Published on March 22, 2011 by Sevana Ohandjanian

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