I'm a teacher, musician, blogger and uni student living in Sydney and always dreaming about living & experiencing a new corner of the world. Visit my blog at www.jessiejournals.wordpress.com.
Published August 20th 2015
A fine restaurant with a neighbourhood feel and casual vibe
For some fine dining restaurants you pay for the location, for some, you pay for the quality. Argo Restaurant, located on the North Shore's Pymble, was definitely a fine dining restaurant for their top-notch quality food. Argo owners Juraj and Voytek appreciate the importance of quality food and friendly service, so they set out to create Argo Restaurant with a neighbourhood feel where one can enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner with friends, family or colleagues.
While the food is dubbed as modern Australian, there is undeniably some European infusion too. This is because Juraj and Voytek drew on their Slovakian and Polish heritage as well as their experience in Italian food to bring a variety of flavours to the menu.
Upon walking in, we were immediately greeted by some of the friendly waiters and waitresses, who immediately showed us to a readily available seat. It was a Sunday night, and my comrades and I were serendipitously surprised by the fact that there was Sunday night live music. The vocal-piano power duo provided an European vibe with their cabaret-jazz style. I tried to look this duo up on Google (2 of Hearts) after my trip, but unfortunately I could not find anything. Please comment below if you know any information about them, as my experience at Argo wouldn't have been completed without them.
As expected, this fine dining restaurant didn't have a billion choices, which was a huge relief for us as we would've otherwise spent at least 30 minutes pondering over our orders. We all decided to go with items on their 'Grill Menu'. For a full list of menus, click here.
While waiting for our food, we immersed ourselves in the overall restaurant vibe while constantly smelling the salivation-inducing aroma from the kitchen. From the boutique wine cellars on one wall to the modern painting on another wall, Argo had a perfect amalgamation of tradition and innovation. Looking around, we could see groups of various sizes- couples wearing suit and tie attire, big family outings, lone diners, friends' outings. Argo sure accommodated for everyone and anyone.
Our food arrived shortly after. A comrade of mine had a rack of 'Pork Ribs' ($55), which he chose with 'potato puree (a fancy way of saying: mashed potato) and slaw'. He said that the coleslaw had a perfect balance between the vegetables and the salad dressing. The mash potato was the perfect consistency, with a hint of some type of sauce to give it its smooth texture and a punch to its flavour. Although, the pork ribs were the highlight of his dish. Having always favoured light flavours, pork ribs had ever been on his agenda in restaurants. However, he said that Argo's pork ribs did not have an overpowering BBQ sauce- a downside of most pork ribs that he's tried. Because it didn't have too much sauce on the ribs, he was able to neatly finish the dish without a huge mess. Upon finishing the dish, he finally said that it was "probably the best pork ribs he's had." The only downside was that it took him a while to finish the dish, as he completely underestimated the size of a pig.
My other companion had a ￼￼￼￼￼￼'250g Sirloin- O'Connors pasture fed beef' ($28) with 'potato puree and slaw.' Again, she obliterated the slaw and potato puree- evidence of the deliciousness of these two components of the dish. However, her favourite aspect of the dish was also the meat. She said that it's rare to find restaurant that would cook beef to her request- they'd either overcook or undercook them every time. Nevertheless, Argo served the piece of steak akin to a dictionary's definition of a steak cooked to medium. There was a large pink band in the centre, but primarily greyish-brown throughout. She also declared that the beef was really quite tender and juicy, unlike a lot of other restaurants' tough and hard-to-cut steak. 250 grams of meat later, she craved for more. Go figure!
I had a '200g free range kangaroo loin served pink' ($27) with 'potato puree and slaw.' If you've been reading my previous articles, you would've realised by now that I try to order kangaroo dishes whenever I can. Like my friends, I really enjoyed the slaw and mash that complemented the dish, but my favourite part was also the meat. The individual pieces of meat were cut so equally and intricately so that your knife barely had to make an effort. The roo meat was very succulent and tender while preserving its smell and taste at the same time. Thinking back, this was probably one of the first roo dishes I've had where my declaration of "I loved that roo dish because..." didn't involve the sauce that accompanied the meat. It didn't need any sauce. It didn't need more words to describe it. It was simple yet intricate. It was perfect.
I should also mention that while we were dining at Argo, we suddenly saw the Gold Coast Titans NRL team and their managers enter in this restaurant. They seemed to highly enjoy the experience as much as we all did, because as they were leaving, they were shaking the hands of some of the waiters, waitresses and even the singer.
I'm not trying to be bias, but my friends and I all agreed that Argo definitely provided one of the most relaxing and fulfilling restaurant experience we've had. Tip: You can sign up for their Birthday Club and receive a free meal on your birthday. I've certainly done so without hesitation!