PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Mary-Anne in her pink uniform and white frilly waitress' cap has been yanked from 50's America and transported to Darlinghurst's indie-crowd-lined streets. While most bars around this end of Crown Street are dark dens serving cocktails made from organic fruit and biodynamic spirits, Jazz City Diner embraces lovable American novelty that sticks with the classics, serving the juicy burgers and crispy fries that sing and sizzle throughout North America. Modern interpretations of this classic also feature – try the blue cheese and crab cake for an original burger filling.
With classic French cuisine training and having spent time in the kitchen of Melbourne's Vue de Monde, Chef Dan McGuirt occasionally injects the fine dining style into his nostalgic menu. Seafood jambalaya comes adorned with upstanding prawns and pretty slices of strategically placed salmon, while artful displays of colourful sauces make swans of ugly duckling, old-American dishes. The burgers, however, come big and beefy, while homemade pies fill the tiny restaurant with the smell of sugary goodness.
At the milk bar, McGuirt chats to an unexpected row of clean-cut corporates who tuck into Coca Cola-braised beef short ribs presented on sunny cheese grits with crunchy onion rings and baby vegetables. Black-clad Darlinghurst girls huddle in the old-school booths sipping on tall, frothy strawberry milkshakes and super-sized square burgers. Tiered cupcake stands present cute-as-a-button mini ‘slider' burgers, with sweet potato fries and onion rings piled on the top tier. Wooden-framed screens around the room suddenly flicker on, playing black and white clips of jazz legends, sending a swagger through the restaurant. Finally, for that smile-inducing pie – the chocolate pecan version comes sticky with its crumbly based lined with chunks of dark chocolate that melt between the warm layers.
Jazz City Diner is a little bit novelty with a quirky injection of fine dining style; a fun place to spend a night sharing bubbly milkshakes, comforting burgers and homemade pies with old-fashioned fun.