From the people who brought us Lotus Dining, The Resident is a different beast, bringing Mediterranean flavours and Australian ingredients to life. Overlooking Hyde Park, the restaurant is helmed by Pablo Tordesillas, formerly of Brisbane restaurant Ortiga. Drawing on his history growing up in Spain, Tordesillas unites the traditional and contemporary on The Resident’s dinner menu.
Designed by Paul Papadopoulos of DS17 (the brainchild behind Alpha Restaurant and Lotus at The Galeries), the restaurant’s interior is muted and refined with a melange of marble, copper, and oak.
Grab a cocktail to start – the Penthouse Punch ($20) is a lush blend of Dark Matter Spiced Rum, fresh pineapple, pineapple vinegar, and house made pine and apple bitters.
One-bite wonders like the crunchy croqueta ($4) with an intensely smooth potato filling and sourdough draped with jamon iberico ($5) are absolutely worth ordering. Order these per person or if you are anything like me order four croquetas for yourself. From the specials, we also grab the ox tongue on a thin grilled rectangle of sourdough, bursting with rich and deep flavours.
When the fried cuttlefish with egg, and potato ($18) arrives at our table, we’re advised to stir it all up. Underneath the nest of thin, crisp potato matchsticks is a 62-degree egg and some small pieces of cuttlefish. It’s a fantastic balancing act of crunchy and creamy textures.
Next up are the cardoons with black baba ganoush and taleggio ($16). The cardoons, a thistle-like plant, are deep fried and crowned with black dots of baba ganoush. The morsels are quickly devoured, but I can’t place the taleggio flavour, which for such a strong cheese is surprising.
From the larger charcoal grilled share plates, we settle on the Spanish mackerel, piperrada, and watercress ($24), an outrageously tasty and well-executed number that pairs well with a side of Roman beans, Kipflers, black olive, and sofrito ($18).
As we near the end of our meal, we’re pleasantly surprised by dessert. The spaghetti squash milhojas ($15) with crema and pepitas is not only utterly beautiful but also unique. The milhojas (more often known as mille-feuille) is layered perfection with squash incorporated in several ways: in its pure spaghetti-shaped form, in a smooth cream, and speckled with squash seeds.
We also take on the three kinds of cheese with housemade lavosh and carrot jam (1 for $12, 2 for $24, 3 for $30). While the carrot jam isn’t to my taste (I think I noted hints of citrus peel, which I don’t love), the lavosh is thick and flavoursome. Finishing dinner with Holy Goat La Luna and a Roquefort is a no-fail plan.
The Resident is operating as a cafe during the day and as a restaurant at night.
Address: 18 College Street, Darlinghurst
Hours: 7 days 7:30am-3:30pm (Cafe); Thurs-Sun 12pm-3pm (Lunch); Mon-Sat 4:30pm-11pm (Bar); Mon-Fri 5:30pm-10pm, Sat 5:30pm-9pm, Sun 4:30pm-10pm (Dinner)