By Franz Scheurer
Diners travelling from the city side of the Harbour Bridge to the ‘wrong’ side for food? Are you kidding? Well… maybe Credo will change that and tempt a few serious foodies and wine aficionados.
Yet another ex Banc chef, William Smirnios runs the kitchen in this new and slick restaurant, which also doubles as a café and comfortable lounge. Just as
well because it won’t be long and you will have to queue for a table.
There are a few tables at footpath level where you can enjoy the view from the large, open windows towards the street. A little further inside is the bar and lounge and half a level down, just follow the blonde wooden slatted ceiling and wall feature down the steps, is the modern dining room. Despite the noise of the upstairs area, the dining room is surprisingly quiet, especially considering the hard-edged, modern design. A very attractive, dark olive green carpet helps, no doubt. Greens and greys predominate, two long banquettes run the length of two sides of the room and black tables and chairs make the glassware and white napkins stand out, perfectly lit by tiny, beautiful table lights. Attention to detail is terrific. There’s a wonderful statue, perfectly illuminated in a little alcove opposite the kitchen and a couple of really unusual light-fittings, a take on the old Japanese square lantern, but twisted out of shape and stylised, hang over one of the tables in the centre of the room. A stone feature wall towards the street reminds me of the many similar structures you see strewn all over the Scottish country side.
The menu is short and to the point. Each dish sounds terrific and I must admit I ate with my eyes, misjudging the size of my stomach (a very rare event). Starting with ‘freshly shucked oysters with Tabasco & lime’ they arrived, fresh and plump with a bottle of green Tabasco and a few slivers of lime. Great start, but may I suggest that if you shuck on the premises you leave the liquor (natural juices) in the shell?
A dish of ‘prickly ash calamari, summer leaf salad, remoulade’ is stunning. Great to see someone using prickly ash AND being able to cook calamari perfectly. The salad is meticulously picked over and dressed just right. One of the best I’ve had. A ‘steak tartare, aioli & en croute’ is a very good dish apart from the misnomer ‘en croute’ (which means presented in pastry, not served with crisped bread slivers). Talking about misnomer, I also noticed a dish on the mains ‘Ballonttine, taleggio, sage, colcannon’. I think the chef might have mixed up his Ballottines and Galantines. If you are not sure what the French descriptions mean, then don’t use them!
My main course, ‘barramundi, warm potato & shallot salad, lime emulsion’ shows off a perfectly cooked fillet, crispy skinned, on a rather tart potato salad with a few gorgeous roasted cherry tomatoes. Great dish!
I finish my meal (or did it finish me?) with a ‘pannacotta, strawberry consommé, candied lemon’ which was excellent and presented very well.
Someone obviously trained a gaggle of young new wait staff somewhere when I wasn’t looking and whoever it was did a fabulous job. The staff on the floor is superb. Rarely have I observed such perfectly attentive and professional service with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of efficiency. It is obvious that they like what they do and the smiles light up the room. Many a fine dining restaurant could learn a thing or two here!
Prices are reasonable with entrees around the $14 mark and mains between $16 and $29. The wine list is quite obviously someone’s passion. It’s a really interesting and diverse wine list with exemplary explanations, sorted by variety with indicated regions and paired suggestions from the menu. Top job! Despite this terrific wine list they still do allow BYO from Monday to Thursday.
Will I go again? YES
Will I bring my friends? YES
Should you try it? YES (just not all at once so that I can still get a table, ok?)
For more information and bookings:
504 Miller Street, Cammeray, NSW 2062
Tel.: 02 9922 6662