The impressive Hibernian Place development has enlivened the eastern end of the CBD and Arthur and Co adds to that lustre. Under the guidance of owner Graham Arthur – who has cooked at many of the best spots around town – Gordon Street Garage, Balthazar, Il Lido and Duende – Arthur and Co is a sleek, well set up establishment that flows from indoor dining through to the covered al fresco area looking onto the lawns of Hibernian Place.
Open for breakfast and coffee and at lunch time offering both an a la carte menu and a range of salads and baguettes (for example- Roasted pumpkin with caramelized onion and dukkah; or Spiced Cauliflower, chickpeas and couscous).
It has a snappy wine list with representatives from SC Pannell, Forest Hill, La Violetta, Arfion, Express Winemakers, Nick O’Leary and Blind Corner among them.
I stopped in on a sunny day last week, sitting in the outdoor area, and began with a glass of SC Pannell 2017 Amuse Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay blend (aromas of roasted nuts and stone fruit, crisp palate with flavours of lime, peaches and spice) and went on to a La Violetta 2017 Yé Yé Rouge (a blend of Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Pinot Meunier, it is brightly coloured with fragrances of plums and cherries, and a spicy palate of juicy red berries and spice).
The lunch menu offered among other tempters Fried mushrooms, with Jerusalem artichokes and cheese wafers; Crispy school prawns and white bait with burnt onion aioli; Beef cheek pie with cabbage and pears; and Crispy fried chicken with smoked eggplant, tahini and honey.
For me, a couple of small dishes was more than enough – Cured salmon with radish, potato tartare and linseed crisps; and Zucchini with chilli, roasted garlic, almonds and parmesan.
The succulent salmon was served with finely sliced cucumber and radish, with a couple of crisp linseed crackers and a scatter of herbs – simple, well done, enjoyable.
The second dish – zucchini “noodles”, mixed through with sweet roasted garlic, crunchy almonds and slathered with grated parmesan – I didn’t spot or taste any evidence of chilli, but there was a pleasant and refreshing sharp citrus dressing. Despite the lack of chilli it was another well turned out dish.
Arthur and Co, as I said, adds to the range of exciting and innovative outlets in the Hibernian Place development – it has a wonderful relaxed ambience, the food is interesting and original, and the wine list well curated. Recommended.