Concrete Blonde Restaurant: Potts Point

Mention the name Concrete Blonde and you might think of the ’80s alternative rock band from the US and their successful album Bloodletting. Concrete Blonde is also the name of a stylish new restaurant that hit the Potts Point dining scene in the last six weeks.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
Concrete Blonde interior

Amidst a rustic industrial design with spanner light fittings, a curious cow hide wall, a horizontal fireplace and, flames on the terrace, award-winning designer Michael McCann and Dreamtime Australia have created a chic and elegant dining space with an open kitchen and rotisserie led by Executive Chef, Patrick Dang.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point

The mood-lit 100 seater restaurant with dark timber floors and concrete columns is abuzz with patrons on a Saturday night.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
Concrete Blonde Bar

A metal-studded bar occupies a sizeable space and features a wall of nails from the United States.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
The 18th Amendment cocktail and wall of nails

The cocktail list fuses timeless classics with an experimental twist. From the House Specials Jam Jar G&T, to the Unusual The 18th Amendment, a spiced and dark rum cocktail served in a brown beer bottle in a brown paper bag, or Vintage classics with a modern take, 1921 Classic “Harry’s New York Bar” Mary, the cocktails here are designed to bring you back and work your way through the list or discover a new favourite.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
CB Margarita

I opt for a signature drink and choose the CB Margarita, made with Sauza Hornitos Tequila, Cointreau, a homemade lemon/lime sorbet and fresh citrus. It is served in a Martini glass rimmed with popcorn salt, which adds a curious and fun element to the drink but overall I find it a little unbalanced for my taste.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
Lagerita

On the other hand, Mr G’s Lagerita is one impressive drink. A mixture of Anejo Tequila and Cointreau, muddled with lime and sugar and topped with a lager, his cocktail comes served icy cold in a vintage tankard, with a naked woman as the handle. Clearly a man’s drink, he is quick to point out that the drinking vessel is designed so that your thumb either rests on her pointy breasts or nether regions.

This cocktail a little unusual at first sip but the flavour grows on you that you are immediately tempted to order another. The lager addition is not overpowering to what is essentially a Margarita and offers a good balance with the Anejo Tequila.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
Concrete Blonde menu

The menu is divided into “the cool stuff” and “hot compositions” (cold and warm entrées), “h2O” (seafood), “from the ranch” (meat and game) and ”over the wood” (grills and rotisseries). Dishes are described as a list of ingredients and the menu is presented on large sheets of paper which carry different designs on the back.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point

Seated beside a glass wall with the CB logo, I am afforded a peek at the cellar. The wine list is impressively diverse. There’s a good selection of vintages from France, Austria, New Zealand, Italy, USA, Australia as well as South Africa, Lebanon and Argentina. François Laran, Concrete Blonde’s Manager, is happy to lend his expertise and recommend wines by the glass or by the bottle.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point

We start with two cold entrées. The iki jime ocean trout has elements of “egg benedict” with a quail egg yolk and smoked butter crumbs. The ocean trout is rolled into rounds, its smoothness contrasts with the texture of the butter crumbs which have been dehydrated then smoked in a box.   There’s a subtle smoky flavour and I love the arty presentation as if the trout pieces have just rolled onto the plate, waiting to be picked up.

A glass of 2010 Quealy Wines Pinot Grigio from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria complements the dish.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
Pressed duck salad

The pressed duck salad with persimmon, Chinese master stock, cucumber and goma sesame dressing is served terrine-style and looks spectacular against the dark plate. It has that distinctive game taste I enjoy, a good texture that melts in the mouth releasing a burst of flavours.

A glass of 2006 Canobolas-Smith Chardonnay from Orange in NSW goes down very well.

The main courses from the “over the wood” menu are all equally tempting. We decide to leave our choice in the hands of the chef and choose the two specials of the night.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
Roasted squab

The presentation of the roasted squab with chanterelle mushrooms and pumpkin purée highlights the three-dimensional aspects with different parts of the bird on the plate . The squab is tender and flavoursome, the foie gras jus finish adds a rich and decadent touch to the dish.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
Suckling pig

The suckling pig with Portuguese spice, dates, mushrooms, carrots finished with a sherry vinegar jus is a visual feast with a mini vegetable garden surrounding the generously portioned dish. The pork is very tender, succulent and has a strong spicy kick.

Both main courses are presented on large oblong white plates that are almost too large for the size of the table.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
Japanese “wafu” salad 

The Japanese “wafu” salad with its oak lettuce, wakame, daikon and cucumber is bursting with fresh and zesty flavours on the palate. Served in gondola-like dish, it packs a great balance of flavours with a Japanese influence that can easily convert anyone into a salad eater.

A smooth 2006 Eden Hall Cabernet Sauvignon from Eden Valley in South Australia goes down well with both our dishes.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
Dessert menu

The dessert menu offers a choice of 5 dishes and a range of local and international cheeses from France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. A photograph on the reverse is a nostalgic reminder of the restaurant’s vicinity to the red light district of Sydney.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
Desserts

The semi-circular Guanaja chocolate combines the elements of Valrhona 70% chocolate, pistachio, navel orange segments and olive oil jam and turns it into a delectable dish that is rich in chocolate but not overly sweet. Combined with a glass of 2008 Mas Amiel from Faury in France, this is a dessert you do not wish to share.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
Guanaja chocolate 

Concrete Blonde - Potts PointConcrete Blonde - Potts Point
Poached quince

Served tarte-tatin style, the poached quince with hints of rosemary, a hazelnut streusel and honeycomb parfait is perfectly caramelised over a light pastry base. A glass of 2009 Muscat de Beaumes de Venise is a great accompaniment to the sweetness of this dessert.

Later in the evening, as the last of the patrons begin to leave, I have the opportunity to take a few photographs and speak to François, in his native tongue, and discover that he comes from Auch, not far from Toulouse in France.

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
Outside dining area with messages on the ceiling

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
Terrace

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
In the kitchen

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
Open plan kitchen with open rotisserie and grill

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
The Cellar

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
Mosaic wall in Unisex toilets

I also have the opportunity to take a look at the open kitchen and speak with CB’s Executive Chef.

Patrick Dang, who was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Australia has cooked in 45 countries, with stints at the 2 Michelin-starred Amber restaurant in Hong Kong, Shanghai’s T8, the Viceroy Hotel Group, as well as in America and Oman.

His round-the-world cooking career has made him open to more ingredients and this is reflected in his style of cuisine, which uses various elements and techniques to create a dish. With food as a medium to get to know other cultures and a focus on seasonal produce, his philosophy is to give justice to the food and ingredients and let the flavour be the garnish. And here, at Concrete Blonde, with a dedicated team that includes Sous Chefs Leander Grstein (of 1 Michelin starred Trofana Royal in Ischgl of Austria) and Dominque Hertz (of 2 Michelin starred Terminus Restaurant in Valais of Switzerland), he says, “I’m telling my story through food.”

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point
(L to R) Patrick Dang (Executive Chef), Leander Gstrein (Sous Chef), Dominique Hertz (Jnr Sous Chef), Mark Chapman (Chef de Partie), Jorgen Cerehrsau (2nd yr apprentice), Cristopher Rey Artez (2nd yr apprentice), Jason Kuo (3rd yr apprentice), Pattama Songsakuldecha (Line Cook), Zain Kapadia (Pastry Chef), Angie Oxford (Apprentice chef), Gisele del Nero (Line Cook) Jessica Bedjaoui (Line Cook).

Concrete Blonde - Potts Point

Concrete Blonde is a modern and stylish restaurant that challenges the ordinary. With a hip sounding name and a décor that seduces the eye where no detail is spared – including the lavish unisex toilets featuring a mosaic wall with a pouty blonde – CB’s ambience is casual and welcoming from the moment you arrive. The cuisine is better described as contemporary and reflects the chef’s international experience and his passionate philosophy to translate different cultures into his menu.

Whether it is the dark tones with living flames in the dining areas, the action behind the kitchen and rotisserie or the enthusiastic and personable wait staff presenting Dang’s creative dishes, Concrete Blonde offers an experience set to woo Sydney diners.

Concrete Blonde
33 Bayswater Rd
Potts Point, NSW 2000
www.concreteblonderestaurant.com.au
Tue – Sun 6 pm till 12 am

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Concrete Blonde Restaurant: Potts Point was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.

18 Comments:

  1. Wow… what a stunning looking spot. Can’t wait to check it out! Drooling over the suckling pig… and the chocolate dessert!

  2. Looks like a lot of invention and experience goes into the cuisine. I like the chef’s food philosophy. Thanks for taking us behind the scenes with this review.

    • Agree. I enjoyed chatting with the chef and learning about his international experience and outlook, and I wanted to share with our readers :)

  3. lol – the desserts look half empty… Perhaps the wrong plate to use?
    Love your shot of the CB staff! :)

    • Yes, I took some photos of the oversized plates but I don’t think they did the food justice. The chocolate is an interesting design on that plate so I didn’t think it was half empty :)
      Thanks – the CB staff photo is one of my favourites :)

  4. My new favourite place! From the casual vibe to the inventive food and cocktails, this place has it without trying too hard.

    Top review and photos!

    • Hi Michael and welcome :) I agree with the comment about not trying too hard. The causal feel is evident all around, and I like that accessibility. Glad you enjoyed the review :)

  5. Wow, gorgeous photos as always Corinne! Love the subtle color scheme & the food looks tres elegant :) And sign me up for one of those Lagerita’s for sure, potent stuff! Bonne weekend

  6. @Gourmantic thank you for such a lovely and detailed review of CB. The team photo was awesome

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  7. One Lagerita for me, followed by some of the roasted squab and suckling pig please! Love the concept of the place, your write up and, as always, the photos. When I finally make it to Sydney, I will have a lot of eating to do.

  8. A sensational review. Thanks Gourmantic! Look forward to having you back again.

    This comment was originally posted on Facebook.

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