It is unseasonably cold in Sydney town. The kind of day where the sunshine only affords temporary respite, before yielding to bitter cold night… at least to my tropical sensibilities. This is the kind of night that calls for video nights in and warm hearty meals, preferrably cooked by someone else!
Enter Onde, a French Provincial-influenced “diner” in Darlinghurst. Though their web site lists establishment in 1996, I’ve only known about them for the last couple of years. I wish I knew sooner.
Their meals are based on the philosophy of simplicity, honesty and “produce-driven” food. This equates to fresh Australian fare, served as French classics.
They don’t take reservations so we call ahead to check for availability (they no longer have sittings). Thankfully, it’s early and the crowds haven’t flocked. We brave the elements to secure a vacant table.
V isn’t very hungry so for starters, I have the Braised Rabbit and Witlof Salad with Hazelnuts, Dates and Mustard Dressing. The serving was on the large side; it could be a light meal by itself. The crisp witlof and the tender fibres of rabbit are a great match; the sweet slices of date and crunchy hazelnutgiving the dish an interesting contrast. The entrees menu is filled with similar surprising dishes.
For mains, V has the Tuna with Corn, Lentil and Vinaigrette with Fingerlime. It’s perfectly seared on the outside and blue inside.
I have the Confit of Duck with Carmelised Apple, Mesclun and Walnuts. It’s an interesting combination with the tender duck maryland. The nuts in the dishes I had were very well suited.
Lastly, do yourself a favour and check out the wine list. It has a mix of French and Australian wines from which the knowledgeable staff are more than happy to make suggestions.
The word? Hearty meals with a French twist, whipped out by friendly, efficient staff at very reasonable prices. A favourite.
346 Liverpool Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
(02) 9331 8749