The Winery has been one out of the many restaurants I've been meaning to visit for a while now. My aunt from overseas came to visit recently so I decided to take her and mum out for brunch (okay, it was more for me in all honesty hehe). The Winery, tucked next to Thomas Dux grocer, has been described by everyone for the vibrant atmosphere. The place is decorated with assorted vintage furniture, deer taxidermy, and Elvis portraits - definitely your typical Surry Hills decor. Our first waiter was a bit cold, but our waitress who served us was super friendly ensuring waters were topped etc.
Beautiful warm and sunny winter day for brunch!
Gracelands Private Dining Room
Seems that a lot of restaurants starting to do open kitchens
Lobster Croquettes w Fennel Salad and Horseradish Mayo $18
The croquettes were crunchy on the outside with warm innards. There seem to be more potato than lobster filling though, but were still tasty. I had never tried horseradish mayo previously, however the mayo seem to be quite bland. It was super creamy though and made as a great accompaniment for the croquettes.
Pate of Chicken Liver w Autumn Chutney, Pickles and Toast $17
Liver pate is really not for everyone, but I'm not everyone ;-) There was a deep liver flavour, however I still prefer goose liver. This was MY favourite dish, especially when eaten with the chutney that provided much needed tang and sweetness to it. My aunt devoured the pickles (not my thing) and loved them. Toast will be topped up if necessary as well, a plus for them carb lovers!
Veal & Chorizo Sausage Roll w Chilli Jam $18
I'm not a big meat eater, but I do love chorizo sausages which are usually full of heat and spice. And while they are good, for the price you would expect more chorizo pieces than veal mince. The chilli jam was good, but needed more heat!
Fries served w Tomato Sauce $8
Was pretty disappointed that the fries didn't come with aioli, especially for the price. The tomato sauce is also obviously store/container, basically the same as the Big Red in my pantry. The fries also weren't particular crunchy, or seasoned with herbs/ salt etc (like Grill'd Burgers!) so were pretty bland.
Ocean Trout w Beetroot, Goats Cheese and Saffron Dressing $28
The trout was by far the table favourite. It was cooked to absolute perfection with a crispy, slightly salty skin and still lightly pink in the middle. I've had saffron rice before, but saffron (being the most expensive spice in the whole world) is still quite new territory for me. The oil didn't seem to really be infused with any real saffron flavour, and lacking any distinct flavour. The salad made a great accompaniment to the trout. It was light and refreshing, and I do love the combination of beetroot and goats cheese!
With a limited dessert menu and stuffed to a food coma point we skipped the sweet treats. Our experience at The Winery was wonderful, and you really understand what they mean by atmosphere when you dine here. It's upbeat but relaxing, and I could see why it would make a popular after-work drinks spot in the heart of Surry Hills. However, food for price was a let down. I think I'd much rather prefer a pork and fennel sausage roll down the road at Bourke St Bakery.
Interior: 5/5 (I love quirky mix match furniture, themes, and Elvis :P!)