Sunday, August 8, 2010
South, Neutral Bay
The list of restaurants I want to visit is massive, and that’s just in Sydney alone. This harbour city has a great food scene and I feel lucky to be able to try almost any kind of cuisine I can imagine. I recently found the newspaper clipping that I’d ripped out sometime last year, the first I’d heard about South, a tiny restaurant in Neutral Bay that was meant to have some of the best traditional Southern American food in Sydney. I get weak at the knees at the mention of ribs and pulled pork so I knew I had to give this place a visit. It seemed like the perfect place for dinner with the boy, who was visiting from Perth and American-born Miss GourmetRabbit, Denea.
I’ve got to admit, I was a little nervous about taking an American to a American restaurant, but I needn’t have worried in the slightest. After a few car dramas, and crazy Friday night traffic over the bridge to actually make it there on time, the rest of the evening was fabulous. The restaurant itself is teeny tiny, and we were lucky to even get a booking! Everything on the menu looks delicious, from the BBQ Ribs to dishes like Crawfish Etouffé that I had heard of but never tried.
The decision was a tough one, but we had to have the Wing Tips ($16), a half and half serving of Ribs and Hot Wings, served with blue cheese sauce. The ribs were juicy and delicious, saucy and sticky just as they should be, and I think we all slightly regretted not ordering a full rack! The wings were a little bit spicy but majorly delicious, a great start to the meal, and perfect washed down with a St Hellier pear cider.
Steve had the Buffalo chicken sandwich ($16), which was grilled chicken breast with the Hot Wing sauce and blue cheese dressing, served with shoestring fries and a pickle. He wasn’t a huge fan of the dressing, but I loved the tangy taste of the blue cheese with the spicy chicken marinade.
There was no question that we would get the Pulled Pork sandwich ($16), slow cooked for hours and served on a roll with coleslaw, and shoestring fries and a pickle. The pork was delicious and tender, absolutely falling apart. Smothered in BBQ sauce and loaded with coleslaw, I could have eaten the whole sandwich all by myself!
To share, we ordered the Smothered Chicken ($26), which was a chicken breast topped with bacon, onion and melted cheese, served with blackened corn, greens and BBQ sauce. This was probably our least favourite of the night, not because it wasn’t tasty, but because everything else was so darn good! Denea thought a different type of cheese would help bring it to a whole new level of yum. We also ordered a side of Corn Bread ($6) which I’d never tried before. It was delicious, buttery, and yet we smothered it with more butter. I think I’m going to have to try making it at home!
By this point, we were almost bursting but we couldn’t leave without trying desserts, which we had been looking at all night, displayed in the cabinet right behind our table. The lemon meringue looked delicious, but we decided on the Pecan Pie ($12) and I’m so glad we did. It came out covered in a delicious chocolate sauce, served with whipped cream and ice cream. What can I possibly say, it was one of the best desserts I’d had in a while. Perfect pastry, a hint of bourbon and crunchy pecans, the perfect ending to a fabulous meal.
I would definitely come back again and again for delicious, hearty American soul food. The staff were fantastic, helpful and friendly, and there was a lot of love in the room, and the whole place had a fantastic atmosphere. The red and white checked tablecloths and the Tabasco Oystes mural appealed to me so very much. I would also be very interested to try the owner’s other restaurant, located just a few blocks away called Blue Plate Grill, which is the same style of food in a larger, fully licensed premises, (whereas South is tiny, and BYO.) Definitely a good reason to cross the bridge, but make sure you book in advance, and y’know possibly skip lunch.
South - 222 Military Rd, Neutral Bay