Impromptu Dining is done with and in its place stands et.al, a sleek, Potts Point restaurant co-owned by chef Daniel Backhouse and manager Stephen Craig. As the name suggests, sharing a meal with friends, family, lovers et al is at the heart the restaurant's ethos and every element of the place has been designed with this in mind. Backhouse, a former chef at Bathers Pavilion and Berowra Waters Inn, and Craig, a former colleague of Colin Fassnidge at the Four in Hand Dining Room, have put a great deal of passion into the venue — and it shows.
The food is an inventive take on modern classics born from the imagination and expertise of Backhouse's culinary genius. For lunch, there'll be a maple chilli bacon butty, and a burrata with shaved zucchini, tempura flowers and hazelnuts. For dinner, an impressive 600g scotch fillet served with black garlic butter and fried potatoes catches our eye, although the vodka cured salmon with zesty grapefruit, avocado and fennel makes us think we might need to order both. The dishes are designed to be crisp, carefully balanced and showcase the eloquence of simplicity whilst Craig's short, sharp and worldly wine list complements the food's clear flavours.
The new space has been fitted out by Chris Wilks of Giant Design, so expect chic wooden furniture, vibrant textiles and an open plan kitchen of tiles, concrete, stainless steel and light that looks out into the courtyard dining space. Everything — from the water carafes to the saucepans — has been granted it's own place. At the risk of making a bit of a generalisation, this place oozes 'Sydney' right down to the weight of the cutlery and the shape of the wine glasses.