Hospitality is an art for the team at Stain in Hunters Hill, from the care taken with each dish, to the welcome every customer receives. Owners Tasia Doukakis, Ray Ming and chef Avik Kanjilal have more than 20 years in hospitality together (variously working at establishments including Blue Orange in Bondi and Bottom of the Harbour in Balmoral). They joined the Gladesville Road strip of Hunters Hill when it was just beginning its upgrade.
Everything is made in-house. Breakfasts are silky eggs Benedict stacked with bacon on potato rosti; crisp French toast with a still-gooey centre; and egg-white omelettes with fresh greens and lemon. But it’s the poached eggs with green beans, mushrooms and nigella seeds, served with a steaming teapot of fragrantly herbed vegetable broth that makes a nourishing start to the day.
The menu changes seasonally, but lunches might include blue swimmer crab linguini; smoked trout nicoise; or Wagyu beef burger on a brioche bun with grilled cheese and secret spices. The provenance of ingredients is important to the team; meats come from Feather and Bone, eggs from Gundagai and fruit and veg from local greengrocers to support the small businesses of Hunters Hill. It’s BYO, which works well with the local bottle shop, particularly when specials like slow roasted lamb are on. Coffee and teas are by Toby’s Estate.