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FOOD & DRINK

Chester White Cured Diner

Dig into moreish cured meats, cheese-wheel caccio e pepe and wines from the Buffalo Dining Club team in this charming converted cottage.
By David Lappin
November 28, 2013
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Chester White Cured Diner

Dig into moreish cured meats, cheese-wheel caccio e pepe and wines from the Buffalo Dining Club team in this charming converted cottage.
By David Lappin
November 28, 2013
  shares

The guys behind cured meat diner Chester White have taken the phrase cottage industry to heart. In a converted old cottage in Potts Point is the new project for the Buffalo Dining Club owners, another fine Italian meats and cheeses eatery just a few minutes' walk away in Darlinghurst. This cosy spot is named after a breed of pale-skinned pig, pictured on the wall and menu, prompting customer to make an oinker of themselves.

The Buffalo Dining experience was akin to eating a very well-researched picnic in a bar environment: high-quality salami and prosciutto shared plates, lots of mozzarella, vino. Chester White doesn't stray too far from the template — there's a carne platter ($19) with pork of multiple varieties, including truffle salami and cacciatore (lean pork with aromatic spices), a little cup of olives, tastily sour pickles, bread and a single jacket potato.

Otherwise there's a seafood option, the "del mare" ($22), which is two bitter-ish prawn and scallop ceviches, crisp kale chips and generous strips of gin-soaked cured ocean trout and wasabi mayo. Both are laid out on faux newspaper wrapping, in an old-school fish 'n' chips homage.

The menu differs from month to month with specials: this time, four small mama-style pork ribs ($10), prepared over at Buffalo and served here. The kitchen, as it is, is behind the bar, luckily, as most of the small menu is cold meats and requires little cooking. The prep work is done mostly at Buffalo, and dishes are popped in the oven or the old meat slicer makes the magic happen at Chester White.

It's a very canny and affordable way to operate a tapas bar, which is how Chester White functions best. You wouldn't come here to get a feast, but instead wile away a few hours with something to munch on and some drinks. It's cosy and comforting, although perhaps not if you are a vegan or vegetarian, as the meats dangle from hooks behind the bar in an ode to carnivorous life.

There's a nod to 1950s Americana, which seems obligatory these days, in the bar and retro red and chrome stools, and an almost New Orleans-like ground floor balcony. It's a deliberately laidback premise, which translates into the atmosphere and friendly staff.

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