80 Campbell Street Surry Hills, New South Wales 2010
|Opening hours||Mon-Sat, 6pm-late; Sunday brunch, 10am-3pm|
|Features||Accepts bookings, Bar, Licensed, Private dining, Degustation, Family friendly, Groups, Romance-first date, Vegetarian friendly, Outdoor seating, Wheelchair access|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Payments||eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||02 9280 1980|
Chinese bread and pork butter. Pickles, pork skin, wasabi. Cucumber, black fungi and pig’s ear. One-time Billy Kwong chef Hamish Ingham has adopted ‘chuka’ cuisine, Japan’s version of Chinese food, and added his own passion for native ingredients to the merry mix. So prawn toast is a steamed and deep-fried, sesame-seed bun filled with prawn, ginger and shallots; and ramen comes with udon noodles, duck, scallops and purslane in a delicate chicken broth. Desserts are equally hybrid, judging by an English custard tart topped with wattleseed and fennel pollen, but there’s joy to be found in the nubbins of Japanese fried chicken topped with grated daikon, yuzu, soy and finger lime, and stalks of native saltbush leaves, swiped through tempura batter and fried until crisp. The cooking may have changed, but Bar H is still the casual, neighbourly, wine-friendly, candle-lit corner bistro it has always been.
And … Hire out the basement dining room.
Vibe Cosy, cool inner-city corner.
Best bit A new direction with Asian food.
Worst bit Close-together seating can be uncomfy.