Casual fine dining? The postcode to watch is 2025. The newly launched Jersey Road Bistro (JRB) has it down pat. Formerly known as Buzo it was much loved for defining the Italian dining scene at the top end of town. Let’s face it, Woollahra is an area where window shopping as much applies to the houses as it does a new pair of shoes.
JRB doesn’t give much away initially. The solid timber door opens to a warm intimate environment with a few dining spots by bar and a smattering of tables. The majority of the dining is upstairs. There’s something about the soft deep pile of this dusky blue carpet which sets the tone for dining; luxury for your heels, luxury for your taste buds? Perhaps there is an equation here.
Striking black and white photographs adorn one wall, the other is lined by a vertical wine rack and a wood paneling back drop to blue cushioned banquets. The remaining bare wooden tables provide a modern European vibe which is now reflected in a new menu.
A cocktail of the day is a 2 gin affair shaken with lime and mint. Freshly shucked Pambula oysters arrive with a white balsamic and verjus vinaigrette it’s impossible not to notice fineness of the chives, little touches like this tell you that no ordinary chefs cook here. Head Chef Jason Dean has graced London’s Michelin starred, The Greenhouse, EST and Bentley; pair that with Sous Chef Chris Cho from Oscillate Wildley and this is a dynamic duo better than Batman and Robin.
Appetisers of red cabbage and parmesan custard might not sound like it’s going to take you to infinity and beyond, but trust us, this is the human version of catnip. Leaves of cabbage are flattened dehydrated and deep fried to the puffiness of a Chinese prawn cracker. Dip it into a soufflé of cheesy loveliness and it’s the kind of thing you want to take home and reinvigorate a relationship with.
Golden fish fingers are no ordinary affair; four delicate planks of smoked creamy kingfish, flecked with kale are paired with rosemary mayonnaise. Entrees are a highlight; juicy tender halves of baby octopus are charred and languish on a bed of silky eggplant dotted with nibs of cauliflower; generous slices of scallop are bathed in orange and saffron with a scorched garnish of finely sliced green beans and red pepper. Mains continue the delights as confit kingfish with a squid ink puy lentil base is topped with slides of grape and radish. Crispy skin duck is a riot of colour with pumpkin two ways and quinoa.
Chocolate/Caramel/Hazelnut on the menu doesn’t begin to describe the sensation which is a parallel line up of a trio of tastes; hazelnut puree topped with roasted hazelnuts, a chocolate cake piped with an alternate topping of passion fruit then caramel, lastly a generous log of salted caramel.
If your attention is diverted from your dining partner during the meal, it’s unlikely to be someone, but something on your plate. This is food so good looking it’s hard not to stare, hard to share and definitely proof that there is never anything that looks too good to eat.
Jersey Road Bistro
3 Jersey Road
02 9328 1600