PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
After a few years in the business and a new addition to his family with Neutral Bay Bar and Dining, Alex Kearns' first born Glebe Point Diner still pulls reputable crowds. Glebe foodies and local couples make up many of the weeknight regulars, while fine dining chefs come on Sundays for Kearn's relaxed comfort food. With the open kitchen adding to the vibrancy of the space, the olive banquettes that sit below black and white striped walls are full every night. Jarred corks shelved high on the wall and painted sardines mounted in the corner of the restaurant are a nod to the team's quirky attitude.
Kearns accentuates the natural qualities of each ingredient, favouring French techniques. Honouring large cuts of meat, they are cooked on the bone and instilled with the characters of accompanying spices, vegetables or fruits, and when served, gently fall away amidst rustic aromas. On today's menu, a whole rack of Golden Plains pork has been roasted and served with its amber-coloured crackling.
As the restaurant begins to fill up for the evening, we take our places with the site of the bustling kitchen in the background, while others work their way through the wall-mounted wine list with seats by the bar. For tonight's entrée we share smooth and subtle Thirlmere goose liver pâté that contrasts with the sweetness of fig jam. Puffy ravioli pillows are plump with zucchini, pea and ricotta, as sage burnt butter melts over them in a golden gloss. The fragrances of basil and tomato arrest the table as Palmers Island mulloway fillet is served, having been braised and adorned with New Zealand vongole. A flood of comfort rushes over us from these hearty dishes inspired by simple and pure flavours, much like the feelings of an intimate family meal. A playful dessert brings back childhood memories of Golden Gaytimes with a caramel parfait topped with sugary bombs of caramel popcorn.