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By David Lappin
July 18, 2013

Ms Miller

The mood is definitely Crown Street on Cammeray, and it's a successful one.
By David Lappin
July 18, 2013

North of the Bridge just doesn't get as much word of mouth in foodie circles (save for the odd opening in Manly or Balmoral) as other parts of Sydney. The fact is lower North Shore suburbs are mainly leafy residential areas and, more importantly, folk south of the harbour rarely venture north to eat. It's just not that cool, goes the mantra.

Cammeray, a small 'burb near Crows Nest, is a small strip of shops that's a commuter corridor to the freeway. There's no boozers as yet (although there is one opening in the next few months), a posh supermarket, a few Thai restaurants, and a few cafes. Nothing to write home about. The only standout was the Laneway, a small cafe off the main drag owned by Will Christopher. Now comes Ms Miller, which is a family business. Will's brother James co-owns the new tapas joint, which also has a neat little white-tiled bar, similar to Foley Lane in Surry Hills. The mood is definitely Crown Street on Cammeray, and it's a successful one.

The room is fairly simple, with an outdoor area, some vintage chic crates, distressed exposed brick on the walls and a black-and-white painting on the wall of a sixties-type waif staring out. The food is, as expected, for sharing, and if you're familiar with the aforementioned Foley Lane or Bodega, you know the deal.

The wine list is all Spanish vinos, and the menu is heavy on the meats and cheeses. Luckily, there's a glossary on the chalkboard wall to explain the ingredients for the non-Spanish speakers. The San Jacobo (aged manchego wrapped in ham, then crumbled and fried, $14) is served in a pair, and the crispiness is complemented by the 'a la plancha' spicy prawns in a garlic and chilli oil sauce ($16). Being tapas, there's also a lot of accompanying bread sides, but a more refreshing palate cleanser is the shaved fennel, orange and olive salad ($12), which is the right hit of citrus and sour.

The specials rotate, but if the braised beef cheeks ($24) with pureed cauliflower and sherry gravy pop up again, go for it. The only criticism is a rather unexciting dessert menu, with churros and a Catalan creme caramel hardly surprising, but not entirely disappointing, choices.

A mid-week draw card is the $25 paella and a glass of Estrella Damm beer, which is good fodder for a cold Tuesday night. The staff are good humoured and warm, and while winter nights are the opposite of warm, it would seem Cammeray is onto a good thing.

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