Sometimes things are just not meant to be. When Impromptu Dining opened late last year, it looked like it had everything – a creative but refined menu, good prices and a good atmosphere – but it didn’t work. Just 10 months after opening, it’s been reborn as et.al, a more casual eatery designed to suit its alleyway surroundings.
Joining the new venue is ex-Four in Hand Dining restaurant manager Stephen Craig and ex-Berowra Waters chef Daniel Backhouse is returning. “We wanted to do a switch up to make things a bit fresher and brighter,” says Backhouse. “Before, we were pushing fine dining for a cheap price but now we're more about the local bistro vibe. More relaxed food. Nothing fancy.”
There’s nothing radical on the menu but that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of ideas either. The soft pumpkin ravioli, somewhat of an early signature dish, is cooked in a brown butter dashi and sprinkled with rocket and sesame; a massive 600-gram Scotch fillet for two is doused in a black garlic butter; and sausage rolls are stuffed with homemade blood pudding and served with a beautiful maroon beetroot ketchup.
Brunch is croissants served with coffee butter, spicy maple-bacon butties and crab and corn toasties. “At Impromptu we changed things at least once a week but here we'll keep it pretty standard, just change it seasonally,” says Backhouse.
The restaurant has also received a face-lift from Giant Design’s Chris Wilks. The linen curtains, back bar and open-air dining remain but all the shared tables are out. Instead there’s plush banquettes, more lighting, more seats and a forest green and white palette. The wine list has also been shaken up – the focus on minimal intervention organic and biodynamic bottles remains but it’s now broader in scope and more international.
7/24-30 Springfield Avenue, Potts Point, entrance via Llankelly Place (02) 8018 6722
Fri–Sun 11am–3pmm, 5pm–10pm