Bistrode CBD is the restaurant Sydney’s been waiting for: classic British stylings in the stunning city dining room. Each floor of this elegant, five-story Victorian building has a distinctive feel. On the menu is all the outstanding Brit-fare you’ve come to know and love at Bistrode in a whole new setting.
Chef Jeremy Strode, whose artfully simple cooking has encouraged a whole generation of young chefs with a less-is-more attitude to what goes on the plate, has taken over the Bistro CBD kitchen.
Downstairs, the pub services the local banker community (money may never sleep, but it sure likes to drink). There’s a different menu downstairs, too. It’s cheaper, a little more bistro-like, but still Strode-alicious. And best of all, it’s just ace to see old-school pub staples on the menu: fish and chips, say, with a big pile of sweet, fluoro green mushy peas. The burger offers a wealth of pickles, tomato, lettuce and mayo and the eggplant lasagne is a cheesy lava stream of grilled eggplant, pasta and béchamel.
Upstairs, of course, is where the real magic happens. The room is as crisp as a new white shirt with the framed black-and-white portraits of great European chefs such as Gordon Ramsey and Fergus Henderson staring down at you. And – little known fact – you can take the amazing winding staircase at the back of the bar up to the restaurant rather than slumming it in the lift.
Unfortunately, Chef Strode took his own life the year after I visited this restaurant on this day. I was at another Merivale’s establishment when the news broke and my associate had to leave halfway.
His approach was so uncompromising, his influence went deeper and lasted longer than most chefs of his generation. He really knew how to cook, and what things should taste like.
Long live a restaurant that delivers simple, elegant food made and served with skill and finesse. Long live Bistrode CBD.
Level 1, 52 King Street, Sydney 2000
Tel : 02-9240-3000
Date Visited : Sep 2016
Closed Sep 2017. RIP Jeremy