Sliding open Pilot’s barn-like, timber door and stepping inside is like collapsing into the arms of a great mate. They’re forgiving (and informative) when you don’t understand something and willing to pour you a taste of a drink when you can’t decide.
It stocks exclusively Australian booze and its dining room, fitted out by local design firm Capezio Copeland, is a sight for sore eyes. It’s accessible enough that your parents will enjoy it, but haute enough that you know you should probably keep your mitts off the fine-mesh curtain.
The menu here changes each week, if not twice, and like all good restaurants it has a focus on locality and seasonality. Flavours are familiar, dishes are complex, but the presentation is almost confusingly simple. As is the menu.
On any given day you might find something like Cabbage e Pepe, a dish of soba-like toasted buckwheat spaghetti with cabbage and parmesan sauce and tons of pepper. The potato salad here is warm, made with roast-potato cream, chives, radishes and compressed apples. It’s also – wait for it – potato-less. There’s also a piece of meaty kingfish that sits in a bowl of smoked buttermilk sauce with pickled nashi pear (when those products are in season). Make sure to check the website to see exactly what’s on the menu for the day.
The extensive list of non-alcoholic drinks (including a fig leaf oil and tonic and a smoked Bloody Mary) are almost good enough to make you want to bypass a glass of pet-nat, although they’ve got plenty of those too.
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