Chef Jeremy Strode's innovative take on modern British cuisine has won him a dedicated following on the Sydney dining scene. He takes his culinary explorations a step further at his second eatery - a joint venture with hospitality group Merivale, located within Hotel CBD. Menus change daily, offering a combination of signature dishes and seasonally-influenced specials.
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Wander through Hotel CBD's regular after work crowd and up the spiral steel staircase that leads directly to modern British dining heaven. Bistrode CBD's smart interiors bear uncanny similarity to the suited clientele that populate the lower level bar – all crisp white walls, masculine columns and plush dining chairs upholstered in charcoal, pinstriped fabric. The meals are equally polished. In partnership with hospitality heavyweight Merivale, chef Jeremy Strode continues to offer his signature mod-Brit fare made famous at Surry Hills dining stalwart Bistrode.
The daily changing menu is studded with all manner of strange animal parts oft seen plated up in Britain's cosy gastro-pubs, but that rarely grace Australian tables. Calf's liver, black sausage and roast bone marrow all feature regularly alongside classic pub fare with modern twists, like the deluxe take on corned beef that uses wagyu meat.
Feeling a little unadventurous on this visit, my dining partner and I leaned toward the more bistro-style offerings on the menu. There was no mention of charred ham on the menu, but it arrives on the plate anyway amongst an entrée of sweet white asparagus and fried duck egg sprinkled with crunchy sourdough breadcrumbs. This breakfast-for-dinner surprise is delicious nonetheless. For main, a warm leg of confit duck rests atop a simple salad of frisée, parsley, spicy watercress and soft red lentils. Jane's honey tart – named after fellow chef and Strode's wife, who's currently holding the fort back at Bistrode – is a satisfyingly salty-sweet finale. Flaky, near savoury pastry encases a mellow filling, served alongside rich ice cream laced with savoury peanut butter and crushed nuts.
Dishes at Bistrode CBD are tasty without being overly fussy, and inject Sydney's dining scene with a good dose of much-needed, elegant pub fare.