Are you in a comfortable seat right now? If not go get one because this is going to be a long post.
We were recently invited to the newly opened Bowery Lane to taste their Manhattan inspired menu. Located in Wynyard’s O’Connell Street, Bowery Lane is a café restaurant tucked away amongst the bustling office towers that populate the Sydney CBD.
Once we are seated, we are served with bread and butter.
On eating the bread I’m reminded of a conversation I had with my Uncle who’s a Chef back in Hawaii. He told me that you could always tell how good your meal was going to be based off the bread that the restaurant served at the start.
Well just to let you know, Bowery Lane know how to start a meal. The sourdough and pepe saya butter combination was delicious, but I was warned of the feast ahead and decided to stop in order to save some space for later.
Before we get into it though, lets talk about drinks. There were so many drinks to choose from. Smoothies to cocktails, we decided to sample a few from each. Starting from the G-rated stuff, we opted for the Hershey’s peanut butter cup and cookies and cream milkshakes:
Contrary to what I’d usually think of milkshakes, this one was surprisingly very light but still flavoursome. It wasn’t packed with ice cream; in fact it was simply like milk that’s been shaken with the flavourings of those chocolates (who would’ve thought). This was a great thing. I’m so tired from getting full from milkshakes, verrrry nice.
Now, let’s step it up a notch. Cocktails? Ok.
I felt a bit fancy and needed a bit of a pick me up for the night of eating ahead so I started with the Mulberry St Negroni; a combination of gin, vermouth and cold drip coffee. This will definitely wake you up. It had a bit of sweetness to it but that bitterness to the coffee really hits you. If you’re someone who likes his or her drinks bitter, you’ll love this. Otherwise, maybe the next option’s for you.
The New York Sour, a much less masculine drink but just as interesting. With the many layers providing a nice hit of alcohol from whiskey and lemon juice, a dash of sweetness from some sugar and spiced cherries and a topping of fluffed egg white, it was definitely one hell of a cocktail. Sweet and sour with all kinds of textures. I would definitely recommend this.
On top of this, I also got a nice bottle of craft Liberty Ale, but I didn’t take a photo. It was good though, just take my word for it. Now that I was very mildly inebriated, it was time to eat.
The starters then arrived and we were served with the grilled chimchurri lamb ribs and manchengo croquettes.
The lamb ribs were cooked really well, the meat was juicy and so tender it just fell off the bone and the chimchurri sauce just made it taste so good!
On the other hand, the croquettes were nice and crunchy on the outside while hot and mushy on the inside. Really well made and the chilli aioli just gave the dish a nice little kick of spice.
Next came the entrees. Yes we hadn’t even gotten to entrees yes. (I’m guessing the previous two were the pre-entrees?) These consisted of the wagyu skirt steak, smoked salmon and burrata salad.
We were taught to stick our fork in the lemon to squeeze out more juice onto the wagyu and it the technique worked so well!
The house smoked hickory salmon was probably my favourite dish of the night, evident in the fact that I ate up all the leftover pieces. The salmon had such great flavour and was so tender. I don’t really know how to describe it but when you bite into the salmon and feel that slight resistance, you just know it’s cooked right. Then add the puffed wild rice for a crunchy texture and you have yourself an amazing dish.
The Burrata Salad was a beautiful looking dish, with vibrant splashes of colour and a lovely piece of Burrata in the centre (everyone thought it was actually a poached egg and were quite surprised when no egg yolk oozed out after breaking it). I wasn’t too much of a fan of this dish, but this is just a personal preference. The Burrata was definitely an interesting cheese with its mild flavour and great texture but I didn’t see it working with the rest of the dish.
Then the burgers arrived. This was honestly one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen during my time food blogging. The sight was only made more wonderful by the scramble of food bloggers surrounding the burgers, trying to line up the perfect shot.
Let’s start with the New York Burger. There wasn’t much to say but simply that it was just a great burger. Did it use great ingredients? Yes. Was it cooked well? Yes. Would I come back for another one? Heck yes.
On the other hand, the soft shell crab burger was a little less to my liking. No doubt it looks awesome to have an entire crab sandwiched between two buns cooked to perfection. But soft shell crab has a very subtle taste and when you dilute that taste with a heap of slaw and bun you lose a lot of that flavour. It honestly just felt like I was eating a soft shell crab salad with bread.
Wait you thought we were done at the burgers? Think again. Next came the shared main dishes and at this point I was already feeling quite full. However, there’s just something about good food that lets me access that extra bit of stomach space. Maybe it’s a science phenomenon they’ll discover later? Who knows.
Just a note, each of these dishes was recommended for 2-3 people, but this was probably not under the assumption that these 2-3 people had already eaten an entrée and entire burger.
First the organic chicken. Despite being beautifully presented in all it glory on top of a long wooden board, the chicken was unfortunately a tad dry.
For the pork collar and scratchings, I was slightly disappointed in the crackling. Not the worst I’ve had but definitely not up there with the best.What saved this dish though was the delicious apple sauce underneath, so once I lathered that on, all was forgiven.
Finally the slow cooked lamb, one of those dishes that just melted in your mouth and worked really well with the lemon garlic dressing. Probably my favourite of the three shared dishes.
Finally, we ended on dessert. The cookies and cream in a jar was beautifully presented.
They had an interesting take on the classic strawberry shortcake in an almost deconstructed form. It was definitely nice, but you had to make sure you had a little piece of each ingredient when you took a bite or else the flavours were off.
Then there was the ice cream sandwich, more sandwich than ice cream and an interesting choice to add the chocolate poached pear.
Anything from a date to a corporate dinner Bowery Lane is the place to go. I definitely see myself coming back and it would definitely be a place that I recommend going. I’ve been told this place gets packed on most nights so be sure to make a booking or get there early!