Friday, 1 October 2010

avido, paddington restaurant

After an awesome and inspiring lecture by Noma’s Rene Redzepi, launching the Crave Sydney International Food Festival, my friend and I venture off to Paddington to try out Avido on its opening night.

As we entered for a late supper, the room was bustling with satisfied tables finishing their meals in a long narrow dining room of chipped stone walls studded with wooden spools.

The friendly staff were quick to get us a drink and chat us through the specials as we settled in.

The fit out is dominated by the black knotted artwork of Sarah Parkes, twisted through the lighting, and a tiled bar with a row of orange stools.

It looks great.

Confit Kurobuta pork belly with lemon thyme gnocchi, savoy cabbage & apple salad $29
It’s clear chef Jamie Thomas really knows his meat after stints at Victor Churchill and with Fergus Henderson at St John Restaurant. The pork belly came out meltingly soft and crowned with a shard of perfectly crisp crackling while the lamb shoulder just fell to shreds under the gentle pressure of a fork.

The flavour of the confit Kurobuta pork dish ($29) was wonderfully balanced. Sweetness from cubed apples, sourness from the lightly pickled cabbage and a herby homeliness from the gnocchi. It was a perfect spring dinner.

Braised shoulder of spring lamb, cavolo nero, fregola & anchoide dressing $28
The lamb ($28) was also delicious. A generous portion of shoulder sat atop textured black cabbage and was dressed with crispy sage, a pool of rich lamb jus and an anchovy sauce drizzled over fregola pasta. Divine.

Other interesting dishes on the menu included pickled beetroot salad with red onions, Treviso, walnuts & goats curd ($18); a salad of button mushrooms and dandelion greens ($18); linguini with sautéed lamb sweetbreads, peas & mint ($27).

The wine list is quite diverse with around nine by the glass. I settled with a Malbec from Argentina’s Mendoza region ($10) and, as I sip the smooth nectar, ask myself why I don’t drink malbec more often.

Dessert was simple and damn good. A tart case of crumbly shortbread filled with sweetened rhubarb compote, topped by orange segments and almond pieces and finished with a scoop of liquorice ice cream.

I assume the friendly floor manager bubbling with nervous energy was owner, Ian Summers, who told us a wine garden will open in a back courtyard over next few months. Just in time for the summer.

It was a superb meal from a great little restaurant that’s sure to take off fast. I can’t wait to try out the wine garden courtyard.

Avido Restaurant & Wine Garden
438 Oxford Street, Paddington

View Avido in a larger map

Avido Restaurant & Wine Garden on Urbanspoon


  1. How was the talk? I was supposed to go last night but I have the flu! :(

  2. Hey that's my arm behind the pork belly! I was the eater of that dish and can confirm Anna's praises. I would just add that the gnocchi was the best I'd eaten in my life: so delicate and pillowy soft. I'm not usually a fan of gnocchi due to the normally heavy texture, but this one was heavenly and such a simple balance to soak up the melting pork belly fat!


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