LL Wine and Dine
Sex sells, especially in Kings Cross. The grittier side of the eastern suburbs has chosen red as its colour, so it’s appropriate that LL Bar and Grill also adopted it for its interior. The scarlet-walled LL has a rather colourful history, having been a porn bookshop, Ecstasy, an illegal casino and swingers club in the basement.
The founders, the three Barge brothers (Matt, Chris and Tim), have since opened Bondi’s Paper Planes and plan two venues in Bali and New York. But Sydney’s food scene moves on quickly and so have they. LL isn’t as new as it once was, but the Japanese fusion food is still ahead of the competition.
Serving yum cha and cocktail jugs during the day, LL operates more as a mod Asian diner in the evening, with live music on Friday and Sundays.
The menu is rich. An entrée of crispy tofu is surrounded by a sweet tar-like moat of black sesame and tahini sauce, finished with seaweed and nanami togarashi, and is wonderful. Chef Jin Kung’s mains are just as inventive – try the crispy pork belly in a palm sugar, kaffir lime leaf and rice vinegar syrup, or the Singaporean king prawn curry with coconut cream.
There’s bar and table seating, as well as outdoors and a small, cosy underground cushioned area (the aforementioned swingers club).