It’s been a bit quiet on here but with good reason. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I’ve been eating myself silly in Japan for the past 2 weeks! Now that I’m back, we’ll be returning to regular broadcasting but keep an eye out for some Japan posts coming soon!
But first, let’s talk about pig. With a name like Swine & Co, you’d expect this restaurant to serve pork, pork and more pork – and you’d be right. Set in the space of what used to be Bavarian Bier Cafe on O’Connell St, the area has been revamped to a bar on the ground floor, and a dark, cavernous restaurant below ground, complete with swine decor and punny welcoming signs.
While we wait for our food, we’re treated to a bread basket which has slices of white and rye bread, paper thin flatbread and the best grissini I’ve ever eaten! They’re all swaddled with a small dish of butter in a cloth basket.
We’re also surprised with a complimentary amuse bouche to start the night which was a small piece of seared tuna on a cucumber jelly with creme fraiche and dill.
It wouldn’t be right to not have a pork starter at a place called Swine & Co, so we chose the crispy pigs tail to kick off our porcine journey. The pigs tail was flattened and crisped up on one side, and paired with some pine puree, pickled mushrooms, grapes and pistachio.
The tuna crudo with white anchovy, capers, white balsamic and watermelon was something a bit lighter to balance out the meaty menu. The dish was served on a slab of pink salt which lent a salty flavour to the cubes of tuna. Each piece of tuna and watermelon was so perfectly cut that it was hard to tell whether you would get a salty hit of tuna or a sweet hit of juicy watermelon!
The steak tartare was a pretty dish to look at, with some chopped seasoned raw steak, mustard wafers, cooked quail eggs and some mini toasts on the side. It wasn’t a traditional steak tartare in presentation, and I thought there were quite a lot of things going on the plate, but the flavours worked really well together. I was particularly fascinated by the paper-thin mustard wafers which surprisingly packed quite a lot of mustard flavour.
It took some time for the main event to come out, but it was well worth the wait. The suckling pig is cooked on a rotisserie inside the kitchen and if you take a peek inside, you can see it rotating slowly over charcoal. We got a sizeable hunk of suckling pig on the plate with some crackling and celery salt, baby fennel and pork jus. The pork was a tad dry, but this was greatly helped by the silky pork jus that we poured over the meat. It didn’t look like a lot of meat but there was enough for 4 of us to share.
We also got the dry-aged rib eye on the bone which was cooked to medium rare as requested and had some nice grill marks on the surface. The best part about this was that it came with a side of grilled shallots and roasted bone marrow!
Desserts have been on my mind since the beginning and this chocolate mousse was a surprise favourite. The mousse wasn’t overly sweet but airy and light, and I loved the homemade earl grey marshmallows and shards of honeycomb scattered across the plate.
And how could anyone see doughnuts on offer and not order it? These doughnuts arrived in a pool of vanilla creme anglaise and a dusting of sugar on them. They weren’t filled with anything but were the perfect vehicle for the green apple sorbet in the centre, which was super apple-y!
We were all pretty full and satisfied after all that delicious food. And yes, we may have felt a bit like pigs but hey, I think that’s allowed (and possibly encouraged!) at Swine & Co.
Swine & Co
16 O’Connell St
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 9009 0990
Open Monday to Friday, 9am til late