I was invited to try the menu of Bare Grill on Bourke, a restaurant in Surry Hills famous for its Raclette cheese wheels that are melted and scraped onto its dishes. When I arrived, I was greeted by our waiter, also named James, who suggested we let him pick the best items from the menu for us and we were more than happy to oblige.
The first dish to come out was the Lamb and Watermelon Salad. I’ve done some weird things with watermelon (try watermelon and cracked pepper sometime, it’s pretty good) but never in a savoury salad. The watermelon and lamb work together to create a sweet and salty flavour combo which, coupled with the smokey BBQ dressing, is delicious! Bonus fact, one of the guys I ate with said he was able to reproduce this at home with his kids and they love it!
I let James know that I was feeling waffle fries and asked if he had any. He suggested their Epic Fries. Waffle fries topped with pulled pork, bacon, smokey BBQ, spiced aioli and spring onions. The fries were crispy and I found the toppings to add a lot of flavour without being too overpowering. Each ingredient added another layer or texture to the dish. I’m ordering these again next time I’m here!
Our next salad was the Chargrilled Eggplant, Mushroom and Zucchini with Raclette Cheese. The Raclette is one of the main draws on Bare Grill on Bourke and, watching the video above, you can see why. I found the cheese to be very soft, being melted very recently and very light and creamy in flavour. It went perfectly with the charred flavour of the grilled vegetables. This is a great vegetarian option to enjoy the Raclette cheese.
Our last starter was something new; their Mac and Cheese Rolls. In this dish, Bare Grill on Bourke has rolled up mac and cheese, crumbed it and deep fried it. Sitting on a bed of aioli and greens, it was an interesting way to serve mac and cheese. The rolls were crispy on the outside and soft and cheesy on the inside. Very well done but by this time I was getting pretty full!
It seems I hadn’t had enough Raclette cheese yet so the next dish to come out was The Herbivore burger. It was a tower of BBQ field mushroom, tomato, beetroot and iceberg lettuce topped with American cheddar, aioli and a solid serving of the melted Raclette cheese.
The Herbivore was recommended as a very solid burger and I have to agree. It’s a great way to try the Raclette cheese on a burger vegetarian style! The BBQ field mushroom was full of flavour and very juicy. There was more than enough in this burger to satisfy the hungriest of people. One of the tastiest vegetarian burgers I’ve had in a while.
So it turns out James was also a sommelier so he came over to provide his wine recommendations. He brought over a 2013 Cabernet Merlot from McWilliam’s Estate for us to pair with our heavy meal. It was a perfect match. Not too dry but not too sweet either, with a very nice peppery flavour.
I had a great time visiting Bare Grill on Bourke and while the spectacle of the Raclette cheese wheel coming out was impressive, I’m impressed that it tastes as good as it looks! Their menu is well thought out and every ingredient brings something to every dish. It’s great when a place like Bare Grill on Bourke lives up to the hype. Definitely stop by when you get the chance.