One of the best perks about having your friends work in the city is sharing lunch breaks. Lara Croft and I were a little overdue for a meet and after a brief text discussion one Friday morning, we decided to lunch together at Ivy’s Palings Kitchen & Bar.
Its been a while since I came to the Ivy. I’ve only seen the main Ivy courtyard area with a heaving mass of bodies one evening a long time ago as Ivy Nightclub and since then I’ve avoided it as I’m not overly fond of crowds.
Palings is a welcome addition to the scene, I must say. During the daytime it’s seemingly innocent with sunshine streaming through the open roof and cheerful pot plants placed helter-skelter in groups and on rustic dining tables. The greeter at the top of the long staircase is similarly sunny, and tells us that dining is ‘informal’ and to order at the bar.
We find a table without too much difficulty despite it being a Friday lunch time however can’t locate a menu. After less than 15 seconds of me looking a little lost, a waiter guesses what I’m after and whisks one over.
Despite the greeter at the front informing us to order at the bar, a waitress comes along and offers to take our order (I might mention here that there was no service fee) and we ask her about the various specials and dishes of the day before making our requests.
We start off with a cider each, a Pipsqueak ($9) for Lara Croft and an Orchard Crush ($7) for myself. Pipsqueak is on the sweeter scale of ciders, while I prefer Orchard Crush as it has quite a sherbet and an almost citrus flavour to it.
There was a bit of confusion with the waitstaff over table allocations with a couple of mistaken orders being brought to us – coffees at one stage, and a green curry at another. There’s actually the idea of two restaurants on this level, with the other being Sunee’s Thai Canteen, although food from both menus come from the same kitchen.
My sandwich arrived with great anticipation. I had ordered The Deli ($14), a lovely combination of salami piccante, capocollo, salami finochetto, serrano jamon, radicchio, olive and provolone. I had been in an antipasto mood all day and this delicious sandwich of deli meats was perfect between two layers of crusty, soft buttered bread.
Lara Croft had opted for the Grilled fish of the day ($26), which that day was a barramundi. It came with a celeriac and potato puree and sauce vierge.
While crispy-skinned and well-cooked, the barramundi was a little on the skinny side (probably closer to the tail). While the celeriac and potato puree was fluffy and buttery, it was a tad underseasoned and the addition of a cold sauce vierge contrasted a little oddly. I think it could have been improved with perhaps a warm salsa verde or even a beurre blanc sauce.
Nonetheless, it was a pleasant casual meal in a refined setting and with it simultaneously acting as a well-known city bar, there’s a wide variety of drinks on offer. I couldn’t help but notice Lorraine’s Patisserie downstairs on our way in, and I do believe that I shall be making a visit there very soon.
Palings Kitchen & Bar
Level 1, ivy
330 George Street,
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9240 3000