38 Waterloo St Surry Hills, NSW 20100431 212 453
|Opening hours||Tues-Sun 8am-3pm,Tues-Wed 6pm-10pm,Thurs-Sat 6pm-midnight|
|Features||Wheelchair access, Family friendly, Outdoor seating, Vegetarian friendly, Bar|
|Prices||Expensive (mains over $40)|
|Payments||AMEX, Visa, Mastercard, eftpos|
Whether you have a green thumb or are guilty of serial plant neglect, you'll find a lot to like in this breezy indoor-outdoor setting. Named after the Italian word for 'kitchen garden', Orto sneaks in a lot of greenery, with potted herbs adorning tables and flowers hanging beautifully from suspended bottles. A rake above the kitchen reinforces the theme. The food is equally whimsical, with a summer sandscape dessert that hides a lemon curd cheesecake in a 'sandpit' and displays a beach-like wash-up of orange-blossom foam. Its watermelon popsicle, honeydew skewers and pear/sultana fruit strap are an instant passport to childhood memories. The prawn cocktail is also a time-trip, although its novelty had more impact than its taste. More timeless is the three-onion tart with tapenade and goat's curd, and ocean trout wellington tucked up in a buckwheat crepe and served with a rich lemon beurre blanc. With lovely waitstaff and a laidback buzz, too, this place really flourishes.