Previously, I had been to the Standard for a drink but this time we decided to eat as well, and glad we did, the food was well put together, had lovely flavours, showed flair and innovation, and tasted great – what more could you want? Well priced, too….
There were three of us and we didn’t linger inside but headed through to the sanctuary of the shaded garden area out back, and then on up the stairs to the secluded retreat on the deck above the sea container that serves as the outside bar. This is a delightful little hide-a-way from where you can look across the roofs of surrounding buildings and over to cranes outlined against the city skyline, or down on the diners and drinkers at the garden tables below.
Looking over the menu – not huge, but with some quite interesting and innovative offerings and designed to share – we set on a spanner crab salad, garlic clams, and seafood charcuterie plate. The brilliant little wine list offers six rosé wines and of those we chose a Charles Melton Rose of Virginia, one of Australia’s best of the style, dry, smooth and refreshing. A couple of the extremely friendly and obliging waiters came upstairs, one took our order and the other brought our wine up to us as we chatted and awaited the food.
Our meals came out before too long and we set about demolishing them.
The crab salad was made up of bitter greens, witlof and the like, with segments of orange and pink grapefruit to offer a citrusy sweet contrast. The dressing of buttermilk and herbs added another flavour component, but the highlight was the medallions of spanner crab scattered throughout. They were tender, sweet and delectable. This was a light dish of contrasting flavours and so very appetizing.
Our bowl of garlic clams was sublime – a good number of molluscs in shells, cooked in a creamy, cider based sauce, with an abundance of sweet, savoury roasted cloves of garlic, with toasted sourdough to mop up the juices. This was an excellent dish.
The seafood charcuterie, served on a long board, comprised a couple of good sized pieces of marinated King George whiting escabeche style; a can of salty, oily white anchovies, some thin slices of gravlax made of ocean trout, with pickled vegetables, a small bowl of chutney, and more toasted sourdough. The whiting was tender, piquant and flavoursome; the gravlax succulent. This was a very enjoyable dish, well put together and well presented.
The Standard is a stand out fairly new place on the previously neglected Roe Street which is now rapidly acquiring a number of new and good spots to eat and drink. The Standard the best of them, I think.