Watts on Crown, Surry Hills

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watts on crown surry hills

watts on crown surry hills

watts on crown surry hills

Open for just over two months, I had met the chef and owner Hamish Watt when he was the chef for the Botanic Gardens Restaurant. Formerly of Rockpool in Sydney and London's Kensington Place, he was kind enough to share his recipe for the perfect apricot stuffing (which still remains in our household as our favourite roast stuffing). He still does Sunday roasts here and the emphasis is on value for money with mains less than $30 to attract locals. It is also open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and during the day everything is cafe style while at night, it turns into a bistro with white tablecloths.

watts on crown surry hills

watts on crown surry hills

The downstairs room is welcoming and nicely decorated without feeling overwraught and we sit down at a table by the window. Upstairs is chic and sleek and there's a little grass lined balcony for street watching. Hamish's wife Tiffany works the floor with a friendly and easygoing manner. Prices are indeed excellent with entrees around the $14 and $15 mark and the mains have fish choices at $24 and the rump steak topping out the menu at $28.  Service is very friendly and attentive.

watts on crown surry hills

Scotch egg with mustard mayo $7

We started with a couple of items from the "small plates" menu. You don't often get scotch eggs on a restaurant menu (nor haggis, which was on the website's menu) so curious to try it, we ordered it. It comes split in half with a pot of mustard mayonnaise. The outside is a satisfyingly crisp and crunchy sausage meat and the inside is a boiled egg and there are crispy pieces of deep fried parsley on top.

watts on crown surry hills

Figs and prosciutto

The figs are fat and juicy and come enveloped with crispy prosciutto. On top are deep fried basil leaves and collected at the bottom is a syrupy balsamic glaze. There is a lovely sweet and salty contrast and I can't help but think that I might put this on a pizza at home.

watts on crown surry hills

Ceviche with seaweed and sesame salad, wasabi dressing $15

The ceviche is tangy and fresh with lemon and comes on top of a generous portion of Japanese style seaweed salad which is one of my favourite salads. The seaweed salad balances the tangyness of the ceviche very nicely and around the edge is some wasabi dressing for a little kick.

watts on crown surry hills

Char grilled squid with black pudding, rocket and green chilli salsa $15

The char grilled squid comes as a generous portion of squid with a slice of black pudding, a rocket chiffonade and a green chilli salsa. The black pudding and squid go together very nicely and if I could wish for anything, it would be some more of the black pudding for the amount of squid (but I am a black pudding fiend! ;) ).

watts on crown surry hills

Roast kangaroo fillet with rhubarb, braised red cabbage and agro dolce sauce $26

The roast kangaroo fillet is what they are known for and they serve it here with sweet poached rhubarb which imparts a vanilla fragrance, some fabulously food braised red cabbage, wilted spinach and crunchy macadamia nut halves. The kangaroo is served more cooked than I prefer it as it is best served rare or medium rare but it isn't tough at all and the agro dolce sauce is a nice accompaniment to it giving the lightly gamey meat sweetness.

watts on crown surry hills

Eton Mess $11

"Do you have enough room for dessert?" I ask Mr NQN.  For Eton Mess, he certainly does and it arrives looking divine. I like it when you still get some crunch from the meringue on an Eton Mess and this one is served with the sweet, stewed rhubarb with vanilla and star anise and little meringue drops and larger swirls. Finishing it off are dollops of rich, whipped cream and sweet syrup. I think that if he weren't sitting in the window, Mr NQN might have licked the plate ;)

watts on crown surry hills

We've been busy watching these two adorable French bulldogs playing with their owner outside. The female one loves  food and attention jumping up for food and cuddles constantly while the male sits quietly at the owner's feet. Hmm, no parallels here of course! ;)

So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever licked a plate in a restaurant?

watts on crown surry hills

NQN and Mr NQN dined as guests of Watts on Crown

Watts on Crown

368 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010

Tel: +61 (02) 8068 0461

Open 7 days a week, breakfast, lunch and dinner

http://wattsoncrown.com.au

Bookings recommended for dinner