At The Versatile Gent we tend to find most people in Sydney direct people to venues on Bayswater Road by naming the institution that used to be there. Barrio Chino is where Zachary’s used to be and The Club is still ‘the old Dancers’. Continuing this theme, Crane Bar and Restaurant is where Bayswater Brassiere once was but we’re fairly confident Crane is going to stand the test of time, especially if it continues to serve the quality food and beverages we consumed last week.
The menu at Crane would best be described as Japanese fusion – there’s definitely some European elements thrown in by former Sake head Chef Taichi Ito. The venue is very comfortable, the furniture and fittings blend the bar, the restaurant and the outdoor area in a way that eludes to being very posh but still quite relaxed. You could easily stroll in for a cocktail with a group on a Saturday night or get dapper and take your lady for a fine dining meal midweek.
On the night we had a group of five and left the food selection to the Chef who kicked things off with the Sashimi platter. The fish was impeccable, as was the wasabi; perhaps that’s being a little picky but too often restaurants get the wasabi wrong. We then received an onslaught of delightfully presented dishes including the Sea Barramundi White Soy, Daikon Arrabiata, Prawn Cigar and Tempura Whiting. The Barramundi was a highlight, delicate and bursting with flavour. We were also impressed with the originality of the Daikon Arrabiata made with a Japanese white radish noodle producing a lovely texture and very interesting flavour.
Over the course of the meal we sampled a number of cocktails from the slightly more daring to classics with a twist. The significane of food becomes more apparent as we see elements of the menu run across the cocktail menu from Wasabi flavours to the fresh sashimi that garnishes Crane’s adaptation of the Bloody Mary. After a very short break the remainder of the food hits the table and it only gets better. The Balmain Bug in a miso emulsion battles the Kangaroo Tataki as the group’s favourite dish while we sample the Fire Crunch and Spicy prawn hand rolls. It didn’t take long before we decided that the Balmain Bug took the top spot for delivering an insanely delicious flavour that was perfectly cooked. To finish off the night we tasted a selection of Nikka Taketsuru 12, 17 and 21 year old whiskies that cleaned up the palate nicely.
There’s no question that Crane Restaurant and Bar is the highlight of Bayswater Road. The food is fresh and delicious and the menu is interesting and innovative. Whether you’re booking dinner for 12 (certainly something they can accomodate) or 2, Crane is an option you must consider. For those that are just seeking a drink, wander in and grab a table on the deck out the back and start making your way through the cocktail list because it’s as impressive as the menu.
32 Bayswater Rd
Phone: 9357 3414