James Metcalfe moved over from the UK long enough ago for it to not matter, but there’s one thing from the motherland he carries with him in everything he does: bloody good food.
It’s been his calling card from his old days back at Becasse and The Bellevue and now at his newest and nicest venue, Saint George in Chippendale.
Metcalfe is the dude behind W & Co catering in Pyrmont, which – if you’ve sampled before – knows how to do everything from a basic white sangga to a full-blown array of cakes and everything in-between. So, he’s taken the concept of quality food done damn well, turned it up about 250% and bought a restaurant to really show off what he can do.
The menu is well-rounded, mostly comes with matched wines and features a tonne of waiters and waitresses who love the food as much as they do their wine and are happy to talk your head off about one, t’other or all of it together in a degustation you simply can’t say ‘no’ to.
Saint George does breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner; each menu for which is perfectly curated and offers a real showcase of what the kitchen can produce.
Think smaller dishes like smoked haddock croquette and smoked whiskey mayonnaise, medium sized dishes like a salad of heirloom tomatoes, pickled peach, herbed mascarpone and olive dressing or thirlmere chicken liver parfait, rhubarb, hazelnuts and toast.
When it comes to full blown mains, they work with things like squid ink risotto, confit squid, garlic, parsley and lemon, roast pork jowl, mangoes, spices, pickled white radish and Asian herbs, or for the more brave, a caramelised pigs head, spiced pineapple and star anise emulsion. Before you panic, though, the pigs head is the prettiest dish you’ve ever seen…