Bar H rests deep in the loll of Surry Hills, plating up Asian dishes that I can only describe as sensual. The restaurant and bar is narrow and small. The large window invites us to do some invasive people watching. It's particularly fun when flurries of Surry Hillsters (see what I did there? In case you didn't, I combined Surry Hills and hipsters) are dawdling around.
I'm here because Miss D and I had purchased a deal on Spreets for a 6-course banquet to share between two people. First up is the duck broth - of which we get one small bowl each. There's a sweet aroma that's quite enticing. I can't finish my bowl, but this is mostly because the sweetness and heat of the soup isn't ideal on this very balmy evening.
The pickled cucumber salad, however, is exactly right for this kind of weather. And on top of that I'm also a huge fan of cucumber salads. This particular salad is refreshing and delightful, with a good amount of spice thrown in for good measure.
This delicious bun is filled with tasty pork, and served with chilli and coriander. I love a good pork bun, so this was probably the dish I was most looking forward to. Fortunately, I wasn't disappointed. The bun is soft, sweet and flavoursome.
Despite my aversion to cuttlefish, I try a little bit. I'm just not a fan of the texture, but Miss D inhales it, so I can only assume she likes it. In the meantime, I take solace in eating the mushrooms.
The chicken with ginger and shallots is deep-fried and oh-so-good. The photo doesn't do it justice. It's not overly gingery, which I appreciate. I declare to Miss D that this is my favourite dish, which it is, until I try the braised beef.
The braised beef with Sichuan eggplant is my favourite dish of the night. The beef just falls apart and the eggplant has soaked up every smidgen of flavour in the cooking process. My mouth is in a happy place.
We also get a bowl of steamed rice and a tangy herb salad on the side. Both are beautiful accompaniments for the braised beef.
At Bar H they 'love a star ingredient on the plate with a balanced supporting cast'. And I wholeheartedly agree. Their attention to the sauce in every dish is commendable. And as Miss D points out, the dishes are very authentic. We're normally skeptical about up-scale Asian fare, but you know what, we'll make an exception this time.
Dishes arrive swiftly with very little waiting time in between, but the drinks don't make it to our table quite as efficiently. Quite the contrary. I actually ask the waitress where my cocktail or wine is at least three times. But no matter, I'm more interested in the food anyway.
Bar H has $10 cocktails during happy hour, which is between 6 and 7pm. Tonight's cocktail of choice is the Meiwi - a lovely concoction of vodka, pomegranate juice, rambutan and fresh lime. I love rambutan and I love sour cocktails, so this is the perfect way for me to start our meal. So much so that I have another one halfway through the meal (at which point it starts costing $14.50).
Note: The Spreets deal was $79 for all dishes including one house wine or beer per person.