Orto Trading Co.
A mini kitchen garden at the entrance, flowers suspended in bottles above the bar and moody lighting make this new Surry Hills local an all round nice place to be.
Orto oozes friendliness and the makings of a good night. A mini kitchen garden at the entrance, flowers suspended in bottles above the bar and moody lighting make this new Surry Hills local an all round nice place to be.
It's hard to put your finger on exactly where the inspiration comes from - a bit of France, touches of Italy and a lot of British comfort food - but the best part about Orto is its seasonal produce. In winter, the menu is hearty and warming: stews, roasts, dumplings and winter vegetables. And everything is designed to be shared, so no need to worry about food envy.
Starters are a bit retro. When was the last time you saw Toad In The Hall, with homemade pork sausage, Scotch eggs with piccalilli and Welsh rarebit, on the menu? Because you can share, go for one each and you'll wonder why this isn't on every menu.
The Beef and Guinness Stew and Potato Dumplings don't pack as much of a punch as you might hope but the meat melts nicely, and the Stuffed Rabbit Leg with Pork and Rabbit Terrine is seriously delicious winter fare.
Next to the new El Capo and Izayaka Fukiyama, this end of Waterloo Street is a new dining destination in itself and it could be the stuff of a pretty exciting progressive dinner. Just make sure you start with Orto's Toad In The Hole - though it might mean you never want to leave.
Images: Cassandra Hannagan