PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Bordered by CBD high-rises and the pounding feet of pedestrians, Taste on Sussex Lane is a welcome respite from the city hubbub, swinging between restaurant, bakery and bar with self-assured style. Well-heeled guests perch at wooden bars, ease into armchairs or settle at tables spilling across the restaurant floor. An eclectic array of European flourishes and antique pieces dot the award-winning interior, which allows an easy transition from workday lunch to evening soiree. Bi-fold doors and an outdoor deck capture the afternoon sun and invite in the breeze, breathing life into Taste's hidden nooks and crannies. Contrasting textures and colours create an opulent setting, giving the fare on the plate some competition in the eye-candy department.
The fight against the soggy sandwich is alive and well at Taste, where handcrafted, low-gluten baguettes emerge from the oven every 15 minutes during the peak lunch-hour rush. Warm bundles of rye, wholemeal and white bread are stuffed with your choice of meat and salad – the most popular option being the grilled Portuguese chicken. Taste's seasonal restaurant and bar menu runs from quiches and build-your-own salads to a rich coq au vin of chicken and red wine, and the popular fish pie. Produce is sourced locally where possible and supplemented by imported ingredients such as truffles and Italian anchovies. Wines wink from their floor-to-ceiling cabinet, hinting at the carefully collated wine list. Like clockwork, the suits pop in for morning coffees and business lunches, while passers-by stop for freshly baked pastries, cakes and tarts. Open from 7am during the week, as well as Thursday and Friday nights, reservations are essential for night-time dining in the restaurant, and groups of 10 or more in the bar. And, this beauty also has a heart, with all leftover bakery goods going to charity OzHarvest.