4Fourteen, Surry Hills
I’m always excited about eating food. I’m especially always excited about trying new foods and new restaurants. Then, I’m excited to write about it afterwards (even though it might take me a while to get around to it).
I was excited to try 4Fourteen, and now, thanks to the wonderful experience I had there, I am SO excited to tell you all about it.
Boyfriend and I had been wanting to try 4Fourteen for ages, having stared at it longingly from across the street one night several months ago when we ate at Missy K’s (which by the way is pretty up there with my favourite dumplings in Sydney – tiny place, but definitely worth a visit). So, after much deliberation, I decided I’d take Boyfriend there for his birthday.
4Fourteen, in the same family as 4 in Hand and the Paddington Arms, reminded us of Matt Moran’s restaurant Chiswick which Boyfriend took me to for my birthday. It’s all about fancy share plates. However, we found 4Fourteen to be a lot more chilled and friendly and a little less… pretentious than Chiswick.
The dishes also had a slightly retro vibe. There were lots of old school things on there you don’t see on many menus these days (e.g. corned beef. As a main). I kind of like that about 4Fourteen. Retro-cool, you know?
The menu came served on a clipboard with retro pictures stuck all over it. Appropriate.
The interior was bright, spacious and airy. It’s got a bit of an industrial vibe to it, with hanging lights and exposed brick walls, big timber beams and all that. I like the spaciousness of it – you’re not sitting so close to another table that you can watch what they’re eating or listen to their conversation. Okay, I admit, I do like a good eavesdrop, but sometimes it’s nice to feel like you’re eating dinner alone.
Our first dish to arrive was the Reuben Roll ($14.50). I can’t explain how delicious this sandwich was. The bread, the meat, the slaw, the cheese – everything was just perfect. The corned beef, which I’ve never tried before, was so ridiculously tender if you told me it wasn’t meat and, I don’t know, savoury marshmallow I’d probably believe you.
We complemented our meal with a jug of Sangria ($20). It was full of flavour and so easy to drink. Probably the best Sangria I’ve had I reckon.
Next to arrive, looking like a piece of art, was a beautiful Ricotta, Prosciutto Grapes and Pine Nut Salad ($14.5). Again, everything was perfect. The ricotta was light and fresh, the prosciutto salty and delicious. The grapes added a touch of juiciness and the pine nuts added a crunch, ensuring that a mouthful of a bit-of-everything was just divine.
Next up, we had a good old fashioned serving of fish fingers.
Boy, I hated fish fingers as a child. Despised them actually. I used to drown them in mayonnaise. This dish has replaced all those memories of choking down fish fingers with a wonderful new one. These fish fingers were fantastic! Beneath the batter was perfectly fresh, flaky white fish.
I’d never eaten mushy peas before, but wow – they were so good! A hint of mint and a wonderful texture – smooth with the occasional crunchy-ish pea. Mm-mmm. Are all mushy peas this good?
Our main course was Beef Brisket with Fried Bread and Pickles ($32). Boyfriend and I have been dying to try beef brisket ever since we missed it at Montpellier Public House which closed down before we could get there. Not exactly a summery dinner, but it was so delicious. The meat was beautifully tender, melt-in-your-mouth and the flavours were incredible. The fried bread was a wonderfully naughty accompaniment and the vegetables fresh and so tasty.
We ordered, as a side, the Orange and Ginger Carrots with Cumin and Yoghurt ($10). As crazy as this sounds about carrots, but these were probably the most delicious carrots we’ve ever eaten. They tasted as though they’d been slow roasted for hours. They probably had, I suppose. The flavours – orange, ginger, cumin and yogurt – enhanced this dish to the max and it was just all-round wonderful.
Please excuse the direction of this photo, I cannot figure out how to rotate it now that it’s in WordPress:
Finally, it came time to order dessert. There were a few menu items which were incredibly tempting, but we just couldn’t go past the Bounty ($16). The Bounty was a deconstructed version of the classic Bounty Bar. You know the one. For some reason, anything “deconstructed” is just so darn appealing.
I apologise for the quality of these photos also – it got pretty dark by the time dessert came round and I was too excited to get stuck in that I wasn’t patient enough to get a good photo.
To the best of my memory, the dessert consisted of mousse, shards of chocolate tuile, coconut parfait covered in chocolate powder, and gratings of coconut fudge.
I really don’t think an explanation of how delicious this dish was is necessary.
The bottom line is that the food was phenomenal – so good in fact that it was near impossible choosing a stand out dish. The staff were so lovely and friendly and the atmosphere was great. We both agreed this is one of the best meals-slash-dining experiences we’ve had in a long time.
Would I go again? Yes please.