There are some situations where I’m constantly reminded that I’m no longer in my late teens or early twenties with no worries, cares, or responsibilities. One of these situations was a recent birthday dinner that K and I attended for a younger friend of mine at The Commons in Darlinghurst.
Surrounded by university undergrad students who were laughing and telling stories about the last time they got ‘sooooo drunk and wasted’, I couldn’t help but feel out of touch as I reflected on the fact that I’m in my mid-twenties with a ‘professional’ full-time job, a relationship that will most likely lead to marriage, and a mortgage.
On the flip side, the benefits of such situations are clear as well – being surrounded by younger people, you begin to feel younger yourself and learn to leave responsibilities at the door as you indulge in drink after drink and lots of chatting and laughter!
I started my night downstairs at the bar with a cocktail – a gin based cocktail that is about the furthest thing from my usual mojito or chocolate mudslide as you can find! It was surprisingly delicious with a tangy sour aftertaste from the lemon juice that worked surprisingly well with the smooth texture of the egg whites and cream. Definitely a yummy cocktail and one worth trying if you prefer something that isn’t as strong.
When everyone started arriving, we moved up to the private dining room located above the restaurant – a tiny, cosy, eaved space with room enough for up to sixteen diners. With low lighting, candles, and Moroccan-esque placemats, it really sets an intimate and almost romantic scene…which our group promptly destroyed with raucous laughter and inappropriate jokes!
I chose a Sydney Cider to accompany my meal, which came served with an old-style beer mug. I’d never tried this cider before, and really enjoyed it – it wasn’t too sweet, and didn’t have that dry tartness that a lot of ciders can have. A really nice cider to accompany a light meal.
K and I shared a Grazing Plate, which included a variety of cold cuts, terrine, pate, pickles, zucchini flowers, salsa, cheeses, herbed mushrooms with bread and four dips. The highlights here were definitely the zucchini flowers (lightly battered and cheese-filled) and the flavourful rabbit terrine. Unfortunately, the dips were disappointing – they were either too subtly flavoured to be enjoyable on plain bread, or too spicy to be edible in any quantity.
Overall, the grazing plate probably wasn’t worth the $45 – instead I would suggest ordering the zucchini flowers individually as an entree ($4 each) and get the best value for money!
K and I then shared a main dish of the lamb. The meat was soft and tender, with the sour labne combining well with the sweeter sauce and the burst of the juice every time you bit into a pomegranate. The individual elements of the dish worked really well together, and we scraped the dish clean!
Throughout the whole dinner, a waiter ran up and down the stairs to and from our private dining room to bring us fresh drinks, our meals, dessert options, and more. Having that private space was just ideal, and I would highly recommend going with a larger group and asking for that private room for a loud and fun-filled evening.
Overall, I rate The Commons an 8 out of 10 – the food was decent, though not extraordinary, the service was excellent, and the cocktails well made. Unfortunately, you really don’t get much bang for your buck here, with K and I spending $120 on one main and one share plate and two drinks each. It’s an expensive meal for what you get, and not the type you’d want to have too regularly!