Prepare to be bowled over.
February 26, 2015
What was once a daggy bowlo has been transformed into a lush, summertime garden bar with million-dollar Sydney skyline views. Inside The Greens, floor-to-ceiling glass doors allow sunlight to stream into a plant-filled brasserie which is fitted out with curved booths and long communal tables. If it's a sunny day, head outside to the rustic garden, where you'll find a plenitude of daybeds and picnic settings adjacent to the lawns. If your local bowlo is anything like mine, prepare to be green with envy.
The bar is run by Matt Le Rade (Ex Pelicano, Palmer & Co), and you simply can't ignore the fun and frivolous cocktails that everyone is holding. The larger groups sport Watermelon Keggers ($32), a hollowed out half-watermelon filled with vodka, juice and bitters, although I'm pretty pleased with my Espressotini ($17). It's a decadent combination of salted caramel syrup, coffee and rum, which takes advantage of the Double Roasters espresso from the in-house cafe.
The kitchen is run by Lilly Fasan, the former executive chef at The Grounds of Alexandria, in partnership with her husband Nathan. There are clear similarities between the two venues, both sharing luscious green surrounds, a seasonal menu with produce grown in-house and beautifully presented food, which is already making its mark on Instagram.
The menu is divided into smaller plates to share, substantial mains and larger sharing dishes for two or more. The grilled asparagus ($12) is a perfectly balanced dish, served with a crumbed egg, pecorino shavings, fronds of dill and parsley, and a splash of white truffle oil. Vegetarian plates have to work that little bit harder to compete with their meat counterparts, but this dish proves pretty hard to beat.
The bone marrow ($12) is breaded and baked to perfection, and there is a surprisingly epic three bones per serve. In my humble opinion, the wagyu beef burger ($17) is second only to Mary's in the stakes for Sydney's best. This beauty combines a meltingly soft wagyu beef patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickles on a sweet bun that's so light it compacts in your hands.
As simple as it sounds, everything comes together faultlessly. From the dessert menu, the shaved Battonga pineapple ($13) with meringue, citrus dressing and coconut ice-cream is a fresh and seasonal treat that's light enough to be enjoyed any time of day.
You'll be pleased to know that the lawn bowls greens are still fully operational and available to book for social games, so you can bring your granddad along for a bowl, while you can have a bowl (of cocktail punch). They also intend to hold yoga sessions, organic markets and film screenings on the greens, as well as DJ sets on the weekend. Yep, The Greens definitely has its game on.