Chester White Cured Diner
Dig into moreish cured meats, cheese-wheel cacio e pepe and braised beef cheeks at this charming converted cottage.
The guys behind cured meat diner Chester White — Nick Sullivan and Stu Curran — have taken the phrase cottage industry to heart. This cosy spot inside a converted old Potts Point terrace is named after a breed of pale-skinned pig, pictured on the wall and menu, prompting customer to make an oinker of themselves.
Dining at Chester White is much like a very well-researched picnic in a bar environment: high-quality salami and prosciutto shared plates, lots of cheese, cocktails and vino aplenty. The kitchen, as it is, is behind the bar, with meats dangling from hooks. 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 while away a few hours with something to munch on and some drinks.
For $28, you can choose any two meats, which will come with house pickled vegetables and fruit, two cheeses, olives and lavosh. There's also duck pâté ($15), handmade empanadas with meat or veg ($18), parmesan-crusted cauliflower with pickled grapes and sage butter ($18), vitello tonnato ($17) and a seasonal salad ($19).
For heartier dishes, expect braised beef cheeks slow-cooked for six hours ($25), torched octopus with smoked romesco, pickled onion and charred lemon ($19) and, the main star, pasta. It's hard to look past the truffle cacio e pepe ($26), which comes out in a cheese wheel, gets mixed through, then served onto your plate. Otherwise, there's the traditional-style carbonara ($26) with organic porcini mushroom, caramelised speck, egg yolk and pecorino (no cream) and the two types of hand-rolled ricotta gnocchi — wild mushroom ragu and spicy nduja ragu — which both cost $26.
There's a nod to 1950s Americana, with retro bar stools, blues tunes playing and an almost New Orleans-like ground floor balcony. You'll also find the staff often sporting boots, denim, western-style shirts and hats. It's a deliberately laidback premise with a buzzing atmosphere and affable staff. It's walk-in only, which means you can check out one of the many neighbouring bars while you wait, too.
Updated: July 15, 2020