Leave your low-carb diet on the coat rack at the front door, order the bread and house-cultured butter to start and a glass of their French Rosé.
All good things take time and Kindred is certainly no exception to this rule. 18 months in the making, this boutique brand-spanker on Cleveland Street has achieved the elusive holy trinity of dining straight out of the gates; incredible food, impeccable service and yet still manages to pull off a very cool and laid back vibe.
Well, why wouldn’t it? Matt Pollock (ex A Tavola) has been in the game for years and been planning his own restaurant for a while. The purchase of the old Mulligan’s in Darlington set him and his partner Lina firmly on the journey of bringing their dream to life. And what name could be more synonymous with what they are bringing to the Sydney foodie scene than Kindred?
Head chef and owner Matt Pollock
When it comes to the Italian inspired menu, everything is house-made. From the bread to the cultured butter, from the pasta to the crème fraiche and pickles. Even the herbs are grown out back. All this makes for a very genuine inner city venue with a bucket load of personality and some serious ambition. There’s nowhere to hide with this kind of cuisine – it’s honest, unpretentious and most importantly all ‘round delicious.
The Kindred herb garden
At each visit we’ve tried something different and every dish has been on point, so I thought I’d give you a run-down of my faves so far. I say “so far” because I know I’ll be back to sample the rest of the menu some time very soon!
This rockin’ ravioli is house-made, filled with a perfectly composed mix of rainbow chard and creamy ricotta. Topped with basil and pangrattato, it’s heavenly! I have to admit I had an insider’s tip on ordering this one – that’s when you know you’re gonna get something special!
This tastes like it’s been cooking for days it’s bursting with that much flavour and cuts like butter! ‘Nough said.
Warm Country Terrine
To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect when I ordered this one but it well and truly proved it’s worth on this fab menu and I’ll definitely be ordering it again. A flavoursome terrine sitting on a bed of green lentils and black garlic which work beautifully. The nuttiness is then balanced with a house-made onion chutney. Perfection.
When I see a veggie dish I generally pounce. Okay, the polenta and whipped feta sold me too. Half an eggplant with a whole heap of veggies sounds like a big meal but it was perfectly satisfying with the flavours of the roasted eggplant coming through, providing a smokiness as only eggplant can (when done right!) making this a hearty meal even meat-lovers would write home about.
Someone please tell me, where has rhubarb sorbet been all my life? And placing this atop a meringue? Genius! The chocolate tart was equally as delish so either way you’re onto a winner. I also paired it with one of the most unique dessert wines I have ever had – Quintessenza from Piemonte, Italy. It’s not what you expect of a dessert wine but well worth a try if you’re game.
I must warn you that this place is infectious and addictive. There’s something about the familiarity of the fireplace, the old brass handle front door, the coat rack. The friendly faces, the open kitchen, the wine rack under the stairs, the turned wood balustrades. It’s hard not to find yourself booking another visit to satisfy your craving!
Kindred welcomes you with both arms wide open and then wraps you up in a deliciously warm food blanket that’s hard to peel yourself away from. The charm that this place exudes is the stuff of legends. And the Sydney foodie scene should be proud to have Kindred in the family.
Sound too good to be true? Visit their website or call 8937 0530 and Jen will sort you out.