Located in the Old Rum Store at Chippendale, Eastside Grill is a great addition to trendy Kensington Street and brings, as its website states, 'Grill dining with NYC attitude and Japanese flair'. That it is with its classic New York underground feel in the decor and its flavours of Japan from Michelin-starred chef Stanley Wong.
It's classy and stylish with dark tones and timbers, art on brick walls, interesting lighting and a bronze bar cabinet that reaches the ceiling whilst a traditional Japanese Binchotan charcoal grill in the kitchen adds a distinctive taste to the menu options.
A range of steaks, pork, lamb, beef, chicken, duck and seafood dishes can be chosen where Japanese twists come in further in the flavours and accompaniments. We ordered our mains and whilst we waited the manager delivered a basket of fresh bread with Parmesan salsa. The Parmesan was easily detected but I'm not sure what the other flavours were. In any case, it was a nice start to our lunch.
Our mains arrived in a timely manner and my son tucked into the Mixed Grill he had ordered, consisting of Mirror Dory, Tiger Prawn, Octopus, Hanger Steak and Lamb Sweetbread with Chimichurri (a green sauce similar to pesto) whilst I tucked into my Crispy Chicken Kara'age with Chili and Yuzu Kewpie (a citrus dressing), and the addition of a side of hand-cut chips with truffle aioli topped with seaweed.
The octopus was a highlight for my son along with the Chimichurri sauce, however, the lamb was a bit undercooked for his liking. My chicken pieces were unique in their taste and went well with the chips and the tasty aioli. Both meals contained new taste sensations for us which made for a wonderful experience.
The best was next to come. Dessert is always a favourite part of any meal for me and my sweet tooth and the reason I chose a lighter main. A selection of sorbets and gelatos can be had along with an artisan cheese plate, New York style cheesecake and Green Tea Tiramisu but it was with the Apple Plum Turnovers with Rum Raisin Ice Cream and fruit that I went and the Mile High Espresso Chocolate Cake with Creme Anglaise that my son chose.
Wow, wow and wow what a way to finish a meal. The huge ganache-layered cake with a base garnish of berries was an amazing standout and, even with my tasting of it, half had to be taken home as my son was full to the brim. The turnovers were wonderful too with the rum raisin a nice subtle flavour in the ice cream surrounded by crumble, grilled peaches and berries. A variety of textures and flavours made this a winner dessert as well.
We didn't have much in the way of drinks, except for some water and a lemon lime bitters, but available from the bar is a range of wines, bubbles, beer, cocktails, spirits and Sake. For a full list of food and beverages as well as prices, visit the website here and hover over the menu tab to see the different menus.
Eastside Grill are also available to hire for private events and have special events, such as Chef's Table Dinners, with themed dinner dishes selected and explained by the chef and his team, making it a unique and personal experience. These table dinners are on the first Wednesday of each month and can be booked online as food alone or food with wine pairings.
Whether it's for lunch or dinner you dine, Eastside Grill emanates Manhattan's meatpacking district with its industrial chic look and turns it into a mix of gourmet American and Japanese flavoured dishes that delight the senses.