Lot. One

Lot. One dining room (Photo: Lot. One)

What a pleasure it is to be visiting the quiet seaside retirement village of Kings Cross on a mid-week night. Those much-loved lockout laws have turned the neighbourhood into a perfect retreat for exhausted Sydney workers escaping the CBD hell. The hell that Premier Berejiklian and her thick-as-wet-cement transport minister have been inflicting on pedestrians, business owners and tourists for too long now.

We’d cross this dangerous construction-zone of a city again, just for Jade’s retro offering of a delicious sticky date pudding.

Anyhoo, it’s a brave restaurant that opens in Potts Point away from the Macleay Street main drag, because the foot traffic in this precinct is way down. And the crowds aren’t as frisky as they used to be. By 8pm more than a few of Potts Point’s senior local residents are snoozing with their dachshunds in front of the TV.

Lot. One was an early émigré from the city’s open-cut quarry nightmare, landing up in the moneyed, elegantly residential Rockwall Crescent. Co-owner Michael Bradley has taken a few souvenirs of the former city location’s eye-catching AUD $5million fit-out with him – some swish lights, a smart zinc-style bar and distressed brick walls. He’s taken the menu philosophy too, which remains international in spirit and direction, and it’s now executed by co-owner and chef Xenia Jade (ex-Jonah’s, Fig Tree – Byron, Saké). The dinner hour begins at a neighbourly 5.30pm and on Saturday and Sunday they’re open for the rest of the day from lunch onwards.

Head chef Xenia Jade with co-owner Michael Bradley. (Photo: Lot. One)

I like the big bay windows looking out on the streetscape, the welcoming red front door and that very classy glass of Ca ‘Del Bosco Franciacorta – Italy’s answer to champagne – on arrival (AUD $18).

No doubt it’s a tough site here and the locals are hard markers, so the chef might need to acclimatise her patrons to some of the more unusually creative items this seasonally-driven menu offers.

On the night we visited, we loved a lush nettle spaghettini with pesto, coral and wood ear fungi, manchego and pine nuts (AUD $24) – fine comfort food – but had to adjust our thinking to a thickly-cut Wagyu MS 5 carpaccio (AUD $18).

“Well-done wagyu comes with a punch in the face,” said Madame Cruella, “but this beef is too marbled for a carpaccio.”

I had to agree.

Don’t wait until the steamed pork buns dry out in a signature dish of steamed pork bun sliders with pulled pork and accompaniments à la Peking Duck (AUD $30) and you’ll find it’s easy to eat, if just a little misconceived. A bizarrely re-imagined, tooth-chilling ‘Turkish Delight’ involving rhubarb & rose gelato, white chocolate crumb, apple, toasted marshmallow, pistachio and fairy floss (AUD $14) seems to confuse childhood and adulthood in a single dish.

On the other hand, there was furious agreement around the table that we’d cross this dangerous construction-zone of a city again, just for Jade’s retro offering of a delicious sticky date pudding (AUD $14), which Madame Cruella helpfully described as a “corset-burster.”

The Lot. One crew are serious about wine and this is good news for the neighbourhood. The by-the-glass choice is thoughtful and priced without greed (2012 Seppelt Private Cellar Shiraz anyone?) and the wine list gives chardonnay the room it deserves.

It remains to be seen, but I hope the locals do the same for this friendly newcomer.

Rating: 17/30

  • How good was the food? 6/10
  • How good was the wine list? 3/5
  • What was the service like? 3/5
  • How was the atmosphere? 2/5
  • Does this place have the X Factor? 3/5

Lot. One

  • Address: 22 Rockwall Crescent, Potts Point, NSW 2011
  • Phone +61 2 9539 6830
  • Website: www.lot1pottspoint.com.au
  • Email: info@lot1pottspoint.com.au
  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday dinner from 5:30pm; Saturday – Sunday lunch from 12pm. Licensed
  • Price: Entrees AUD $4-$26; mains AUD $25-$49; desserts AUD $14

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