With the barrage of notices about new restaurants coming from all sides, sometimes a worthy older one slips through the cracks without proper attention. Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Bayswater Road, Concrete Blonde is tucked inside an elegant little alcove of boutique shops and luxury apartments in Potts Point. Concrete Blonde feels less like a restaurant and more like a destination. It’s a lively, kinetic space with flames, water fountains and rotisserie grills. There is a floor-to-ceiling glass encased wine cellar and fluro-lit features while wrought iron drain pipes dramatically hang from the exposed concrete ceiling.
The glamour, however, isn’t reserved soley for the decor. Head Chef Ian Oakes, together with General Manager Emmanuel Benardos, have created a restaurant that matches food with service. Ian and Emmanuel first worked together at The Grand National Restaurant in Paddington and their efforts were awarded with one chef hat for four consecutive years.
At Concrete Blonde, Ian has created a menu that reflects the diverse nature of our country –Asian, European, Mediterranean and Modern Australian — diners can take a quick trip across the globe. But this isn’t just any fusion food. It is food that has been so seamlessly combined that it feels as though it is a cuisine in itself. A fresh and balanced entree of seared scallops, truffle puree, celeriac and apple is an elegant reminder that food can indeed be art. The truffled puree has a subtle depth that, combined with the tartness of the Granny Smith apple slithers, compliments the mild sweetness of the scallops. There is always a reason why a dish is a signature dish, and Ian’s marinated baby tuna, crushed pea salad and goats curd is one of the best. While it may appear simple in nature, the combination of flavours, textures and quality of produce make this the restaurant’s stand out dish. Mains such as slow roasted Mirrool Creek lamb shoulder with garlic puree and Jerusalem artichoke and pan roast barramundi with crushed Dutch crème potatoes are the types of dishes that you would happily order over and over again.
They say it takes two to tango and with Ian and Emmanuel at the helm, Concrete Blonde is in full swing. And, just a quick tip, make sure you pay a visit to the space-age bathrooms where “modern” would be a conservative adjective.
Read more about Concrete Blonde here