I’ve walked past this place for ages, and finally one evening, a group of friends and I decided to go to Surry Hill’s Mecca of meat, 4Fourteen. Located on the corner of Fitzroy and Bourke streets, this restaurant is large and popular, attracting diners who respond to head chef Colin Fassnidge’s nose to tail philosophy on food.
4Fourteen is a spacious restaurant. The bar is its centrepiece, and dark timber tables of varying sizes are scattered around it. As you walk in, you immediately face the open plan kitchen. I love it when the kitchen is on display. It means diners are treated to a behind the scenes look, removing the mystery that surrounds the cooking of great food and making it more accessible. This kitchen is fascinating to see. It’s fast, efficient, clean and professional. It perfectly matches the great quality of the food being delivered on the plates.
The only negative about our chosen venue, is it’s very noisy. 4Fourteen features high ceilings causing the conversation of all diners to echo. It was so loud that no more than four people in our group could be part of the same conversation at one time. The people on the ends had to lean in to be heard. They are obviously aware of the problem though, and have tried to fix it by installing roof panels. Unfortunately they’ve been unsuccessful.
Once we were all seated, our very helpful waitress came over to help decipher the menu. She translated some of the more unfamiliar ingredients, and explained that the menu was broken into three main sections: nibbles; small dishes which could be considered entree size, and larger dishes designed to share between two or three people. Some of these came in an even larger size, enabling you to share between five or more. This meant that although the prices seem quite steep at first, they were actually quite reasonable when viewed as a meal for two or more with sides.
With this in mind, we ordered one small dish; one large dish; one extra-large dish, and three sides. Between the six of us, this was definitely enough to leave us all feeling satisfied rather than uncomfortably stuffed.
I began with the corned silver side beef ($34 for two), and I actually muttered oh my god several times as I was eating it. It is a sweet and unctuous dish, and so moist it melts in your mouth. The beef brisket ($64 for four) was also a great choice. It was smoky, soft and full of flavour. The tomato salad ($14) was fresh and light, and included a very generous amount of mozzarella. The sweet potato ($12) was creamy, and the carrots with mint yoghurt dressing, tonight’s Marty’s Farm Veg dish ($14) was a solid option. For the small dishes we ordered chicken bread ($14), of which was a delicious concoction of chicken stock soaked bread, baked and topped with liver pate. So yum.
All the sides were good, but the meats were the stars of the show. Half way through our meal we were distracted. Dessert had been delivered to the table next door and it looked fabulous. We literally all turned and stared.
When our time came, choosing a dessert was a negotiation just as complex as a Middle East peace treaty. It required debate, compromise, and the final decision to order three and share.
The roast pineapple ($16), my personal favourite, was light and fresh with interesting flavours and textures. And as a friend said, a sophisticated dessert. The white chocolate sandwich ($14), their signature was also a fantastic dessert. More indulgent, the rich caramel was complimented by the smooth and cool white chocolate mousse. The last choice, the honeycomb peanut butter block ($14) was good but comparative to the others. A bit one note and not as exciting.
Happy to be out with great friends and full of great food. It was an excellent weeknight dinner out. One that I hope to repeat soon.
Where: 72a Fitzroy Street Surry Hills NSW.
Why: For the love of meat
Cost: Approx. $40 per person
When: Monday – Saturday for dinner from 6pm.
Tuesday – Sunday Lunch from 12noon
Good for kids: No
Take away: No