As Sydney feels the wrath of the lockout laws and Melbourne nipping at the heels of our nightlife, there appears to be nothing left to do but get crafty and creative with the city’s existing watering holes and heritage-listed icons.
A prime example of this clever kind of conversion? Harpoon Harry in Sydney’s Surry Hills, and more specifically, its recently launched Dining Room, led by resident chef Morgan McGlone.
Harpoon Harry, which was once the sticky-floored Macquarie Hotel, was given a much needed face-lift in 2014 and has since evolved into a multi-faceted public bar, after-hours hipster hotspot and fine dining experience…Did we mention there’s two floors of luxe hotel rooms upstairs for when you’ve had a few too many?
Most recently, however, Harpoon Harry enlisted Morgan McGlone, of Belles Hot Chicken fame, to inject a little of his experience smoking, pickling and fermenting in the kitchens of Sean Brook’s HUSK in Charleston and Nashville (and perhaps past-life experience as a model booker at Next agency in Paris), along with his penchant for Southern American Flavour into the recently launched Dining Room.
The result? Mouth-watering and approachable Instagram-worthy dishes perfect for a casual date or late night dinner.
“People might share a couple of entrees like the Fraser Island Crab Ravigote, Pickled Green Tomato, Endive or Beef Tartare with Smoked Oyster, followed by the Steak Dinner For Two and a dessert. Or some might just want to order all sides and have a glass of wine and that’s great,” says McGlone.
If that doesn’t get your tastebuds going, how about this? Other Dining Room recommendations include Cloudy Bay Storm Clams with Green Garlic Butter and Bottarga, and Riverine Pork Chop with Five Hour Cabbage and Sauce Gastrique.
“The pork chop is brushed with a gastrique sauce of sorbent smoked pork stock aromas, and grilled over cherry wood and iron bark.”
“This dish is really about wood and meat flavours. The cabbage is blanched and we put it on top of the grill for five hours, basting it with apple cider vinegar and turning every thirty minutes.”
To wash down your share plates is an extensive drinks list designed in collaboration with McGlone’s good mate James Hird. “Having spent time with Morgan in South Carolina, it was apparent that whiskey and beer were intrinsically linked to low country cooking. I really liked the idea to work a strong range of whiskey into the list as it really enhances the drinks program,” says Hird. We can feel your ears pricking up already.
With a passion for sustainable growers, McGlone and Hird’s wine offering is strong with natural acidity and brightness, while an after dinner bourbon trolley features rare picks from Kentucky, Pappy Van Winkle.
So there you have it. For the whole Harpoon Harry experience, including McGlone’s mind-blowing menu, we recommend starting your evening with a pre-dinner cocktail on the open-air terrace, following up with dinner in the Dining Room and a late night drink, or 10, in the lounge.
The Harpoon Harry Dining room is open now, serving dinner from 6pm Wednesday to Saturday nights.