The majority of the North Shore is notorious for not having many ‘trendy’ dining places. Most of us common folk can’t be bothered to make the trek to our hipster neighbours in Neutral Bay, so instead we mingle in bar bistros and more casual, laidback restaurants with pizza or Thai.
It was with great excitement that I had heard a wine bar by the name of ‘Blackout’ had opened this month in Lindfield on the strip of shops along the Pacific Highway, possibly one of the quietest suburbs up North. I’m a big fan of wine bars, as you can choose a number of small dishes to share over your chosen glass of poison while you chat and nibble without the pretentiousness of white-tablecloth fine dining.
Persian Princess, who lives nearby, had messaged me on the weekend asking if I was interested in checking it out after work one weekday this week, and after agreeing enthusiastically, we arranged to meet there a little shortly after 6pm on Tuesday.
At 6pm, the inside was relatively deserted and there was still enough natural daylight to see your way around easily. This wasn’t the case two hours later, when the little bar became packed and the lights had dimmed to a significant degree, giving the place a very moody atmosphere.
The menu isn’t terribly extensive, with the drinks list far exceeding the food list, but the food list was filled with flavours that are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. I went up to the bar to order, and when I did my name was written down on a card with a number for the tab. All the wines in the menu are priced per bottle, with the chalkboard behind the bar listing the wines available per glass. I had a Baby Doll New Zealand Sav Blanc ($9) while Persian Princess settled for a vodka lime soda ($7.50). The wine arrived in a glass larger than I was used to, with an amount smaller than I was used to, but the sav blanc was one of the most flavour-some wines I’ve had, so the approximately 3cm of wine lasted me the whole two hours.
First to arrive was the Potato & Chorizo Fritters with Red Pepper Chutney ($12). I was a little surprised as they were called ‘fritters’ – fritters are generally a fried batter pancake filled with shredded meat or vegetable, but what came out more resembled four croquettes:
They were deliciously crispy on the outside and the insides of the (what I shall now call) croquettes was filled with silky potato mash and little moreish chunks of chorizo. The croquettes each sat on a nicely warm (by that I mean spice-wise) chutney with a dollop of Kewpie mayonnaise on top.
Next to arrive were the Steamed Duck, Shiitake & Water Chestnut Dumplings (six pieces for $15), which arrived in a bamboo steamer with a little dish of soy.
The dumplings were filled with a light mixture of minced duck, water chestnuts, shiitake mushrooms, ginger and (my last favourite herb) coriander. The dumplings were very tender, although I did find a very small piece of bone in my dumpling – hey, at least you know they use real meat for them!
Next arrived our third and last dish, a regular-sized (you can select regular or large) pizza with Marinated Prawns, Roast Capsicum, Spanish Onions & Baby Spinach ($14).
I like uber-thin crust pizza, but while this crust wasn’t thin, it was crispy and crunchy and that was pretty good for me. The prawns were fresh and juicy, with the tartness of the lemon juice and the baby spinach giving the pizza a nice uplifting freshness.
While the place certainly isn’t what you could call ‘cheap’, it’s a welcome addition to the humdrum of dining options in Lindfield and if you drop by late on a weekday/Saturday night, you will certainly see that many agree with me!
The Blackout Cafe
304 Pacific Highway, Lindfield NSW 2070
(02) 9416 9172
Notes: No BYO, free Wi-Fi