There’s much to be said about the ‘experience’ of modern dining.
More and more, millennials are stepping out of their traditional pub meal smoker jackets and leaning towards the type of evening that looks great on Instagram, and creates genuine memories without too much to-do.
Many diners are aware of the multitude of food fads that are sweeping the world presently. A certain food writer has visited cat cafes in Canberra and a cereal cafe in London. There are freak-shakes, cronuts, and the KFC double Mc-heart-attack – OK, I can’t remember its actual name, but it felt like that to eat. We’ve reached a point in culinary composition where radical new ideas are very much the norm, and finding fresh inspiration outside of a simple novelty seems unlikely.
Enter Lot.1, Sydney. Tucked away unassumingly beside the Bavarian Bier Cafe on York Street lies Sydney’s newest three-piece-suit of a restaurant. A dining room, espresso bar and a basement cocktail bar with a DJ all rolled into one, Lot.1 dubs itself “Sydney’s newest addiction”. A bold claim, but not remotely unfounded. Sydneysiders have long been addicted to the new and interesting, and we certainly have a fine example here.
This establishment aims to provide a fully guided culinary experience – one where you can have an aperitif by the window, followed by a riesling with a perfectly matched ragu (or is it the other way around?) and then head on downstairs to enjoy a cocktail and a dance, without ever leaving the building. The waiters are just attentive enough to guide you to your next destination, but never close to overbearing. The whole place just feels… cool. Like the kind of place you’d take your European lover to, but also your gnarly Grandma who loves a Scotch.
The Manhattan-loft-inspired interior is dark and warm, with exposed brickwork, long dark wooden beams across the ceiling and a huge wooden feature wall piece that is reminiscent of the crema of the espresso sold next door. This wooden feature is magnificent, and continues into each room, creating a soft, homey feel. Rees, the restaurant manager, explains that the mission at Lot.1 is to create a certain sense of comfort, like at Nonna’s house. The Safe Bar next to the basement – used primarily as a function space – is based out of an 1817 bank safe and is filled to the brim with vintage cognac and whisky.
But the food is really the shining star of Lot.1, and a good reason to tout for ‘addiction’ status. A five-course tasting menu awaits us, and each is paired with a wine from an impressive lineup that adorns the walls behind our table. Tuna with veal and capers starts off the night – a delicate, fresh combination with just enough saltiness to whet your palate for four more courses. The tuna is like butter; it melts in your mouth. A gorgeous spatchcock and a hearty duck taglierini al ragu finish off the menu, but this writer couldn’t resist the dark chocolate biscotti dessert – which, although very rich, seemed to spout so many combinations of flavour it cemented the whole night.
Lot.1 is a hideaway you’ll want to make your own. Addiction, obsession, or merely a satiated curiosity, this place has a lot of promise, and promises a lot. Try the grigio, have a dance, find a group of people you love and spend the evening.
PRICE PER MAIN