After much anticipation, the team at Rainford Street Social have thrown open their doors to the public, with this weekend seeing the first official Saturday and Sunday trade.
The look of the new space (previously Bird Cow Fish on Crown Street in Surry Hills) is a world away from how we might remember it, with a distinctly relaxed air in the new eatery, courtesy of a brand new fit out.
The new open kitchen, raw brick and rough wood finishes, which arrive courtesy of designer Matt Darwon, invoke something of a refined farmhouse feel. Detailed finishes include fresh blue and white crockery, a glass wine cabinet positioned on one wall, a corner dedicated to chesterfields and a studious-looking bookshelf. Chef Ben Orpwood (previously sous chef at Toko) is in the kitchen turning out seasonal and produce driven dishes, which include spicy Rainford rarebit, mum’s classic prawn cocktail with Mary Rose sauce and rich and hearty corned beef hash-up.
It’s hard to go past the comforting bangers and mash served with a red wine and shallot jus, while grilled sardines are another standout. But make sure you leave room for the Cambridge burnt cream with liquid cheesecake, served in a glass pot – it’s a lovely nod to Orpwood’s British heritage.
It’s a welcoming environment, with dog bowls by the door for canine companions and coffee by Numero Uno.
In its early days, the Rainford team is still finding their feet, so service extends to lunch and dinner only, but we hear weekend breakfast is on the way once the kitchen is confident that they’ve got the right mix.