If you have been following my Instagram feed you will know that I’m currently not actually in Sydney but Japan! I’ll hopefully get around to editing and reviewing all the photos I took before uploading one massive Asia post to cover Hong Kong and Japan, but in the meantime check out my Instagram feed as I’m no doubt doing a lot of eating 😀
I wrote this post about two weeks ago and I’ve set my posts to be released on my usual Monday time of 7.30AM AET; it’s not that I’m terribly organised (just moderately organised), but I like to write a review or recipe post while the experience is still relatively fresh in my mind. Night Owl and I were visiting The Buffalo Club in Darlinghurst for our mid-week date night as we’ve had this place on our go-to list for some time now. If you like cheese, pasta, and more cheese – with wine – this is the place for you.
Head on left out from King’s Cross Station and it’s a ten minute or so walk and on your left. Buffalo Dining Club is an absolutely minuscule establishment, but as we had arrived early we were relived to be able to snare the last available table for two outside on the sidewalk as the interior looked decidedly cramped. There’s a clipboard menu for wines, cocktails and soft drinks, and I go for a medium-bodied red Primitivo – Tornicola 2013, Salento Puglia – Italy ($15 a glass) while Night Owl opts for a refreshing Aperol Spritz. I can’t remember the price of her’s but it may have been around the $15 mark as well. It came with a Sicilian green olive – apparently a traditional element of Aperol Spritz’s which I have never understood.
It’s a chalkboard menu, and it simply is cheese, sides, and pasta. You select a cheese and two sides to go with it (additional sides are $6) and it comes with bread and crackers. We decide to try something different from the usual soft milk cheeses and go with a Scarmoza from Campania, italy – a wood-smoked cow’s milk cheese, and sides of Pecorino crusted eggplant and chorizo with brussel sprouts.
It was a very large plate of food that could be easily had for dinner itself! The cheese was mild and smoky, not sharp at all, and a harder cheese that went well with the saltiness of the chorizo. The brussel sprout leaves had been separated and fried or baked ’til deliciously crispy and charred. although were a tad on the oily side. The eggplant batons were generously crusted and cheesy – probably the best crusted eggplant I’ve ever tasted.
We are glad at this stage that we arrived shortly after they opened because by this time there’s a steady stream of couples and groups arriving to see if they can snare a table, with not much luck. While we graze on the remnants of a starter, we watch with amusement a Jeep attempt to reverse parallel park into a spot just enough to fit a motorbike.
Our waitress then came out with our pasta main, the much-anticipated Cacio e Pepe ($20): salt, pepper, olive oil and parsley in a pecorino cheese wheel. There’s a few places that do this now, but I’m fairly sure that this was the first place to start this in Sydney. The wait-staff will come out with the freshly-cooked hot spaghetti and toss it around in the cheese wheel, digging lightly into the cheese wheel with the tongs to mix little delicious nuggets of sharp cheese crumbs into the pasta. It’s rich, indulgent, and extremely gratifying.
I’m extremely full at this stage but Night Owl makes doe-eyes at me when the waiter suggests Tiramisu ($12) for dessert and so of course tiramisu is ordered.
It’s a solid chunk that arrives – quite heavy on the mascarpone but richly pungent with coffee and liqueur. I have a few half-hearted mouthfuls but concede defeat as I look about four-months along at this stage. I can guarantee I will be back to try out more of their other cheeses and pastas though!
Buffalo Dining Club
116 Surrey Street
Sydney NSW 2010
(02) 932 4052