Do you liked to get porked? Well, if you enjoy pork in all your dishes, then Pork’d is the place for you. Located on Crown Street in Surry Hills, in the same venue as where Red Lantern used to be, Pork’d is a casual dining restaurant, set up like a New York style cafeteria with small tables in narrow spaces, along with an open bar and an open kitchen. On the walls are pictures with pig related themes, and this theme is carried through in all the dishes on the menu.
Pork’d is run by Pauline Nguyen and Mark Jensen, who has been inspired by similar concepts in the US, where a restaurant may specialise in one ingredient or only a few dishes. Mark then transformed his love for pork into this restaurant.
Apart from the abundance of pork on the menu, the dishes also make use of special sauces from independent suppliers, which makes the flavours of the dishes more unique. There is also a wide selection of craft beers to choose from so customers can wash down their pork dishes with a pint or two.
We visited Pork’d as part of the Instafoodie gathering of around 40 people, and for a special price of $35, we were able to sample a number of dishes from Pork’d. We have included the normal price for each item in our description below.
We Rub You Burger ($12, or $15 with fries)
This burger consisted of pork pattie, roasted red pepper, jack cheese, McClure’s spicy relish, tomato, cos and We Rub You Korean hot sauce. We were given a slider version of this burger to try. Having pork pattie in the burger is quite rare, and immediately upon tasting this, we understood why this is not common, as the pork lacked the strong natural flavours of beef. Therefore, most the flavours in this dish were from the sauce and the accompaniments, with the final result being a spicy and sour flavour with a nice kick from the hot sauce. The addition of lemongrass to the buns provided an element of surprise to this dish, making this an Asian fusion American style burger.
Saucy Sugar and Spiced Belly Kebab ($12, or $15 with fries)
Char grilled cider belly, cabbage dressed in Lillie Q’s sauce, beer braised onions and sriracha mayo served in a charred pita, this was a lighter and more refreshing version of the kebab that we were familiar with. The sauce gave this kebab a depth of flavour, however, the pita wrap was too dry for our liking.
Pigsy Plate ($25), and Ribs served with Sauce and Salad ($27.50)
The Pigsy Plate usually contains a selection of pork cuts cooked low and slow, including Willie Smith Cider Belly, Smoked Porter Ham Hock, Hot Chilli Bacon, Cheese Stuffed Kransky, Pulled Pork Butt, Pickles, Beans and a Bread Roll. However, we were also given a small serving of the Hoisin Hog Baby Back Ribs with it.
The ribs were the highlight – the ribs just melted in our mouths and the hoisin sauce really brought them to life. The rest of the plate was also nice – the belly was soft and tender, the bacon was crunchy and cooked to perfection with a kick of chilli, the crackling was crispy but lacked salt, the other pork pieces were also tender and juicy, and the beans were tasty and well made (unlike the canned ones). The inclusion of a choice of apple sauce and smoked BBQ sauce was very thoughtful.
Maple Ice Cream with Bacon Jelly and Pandan Waffles (not on menu)
Who would ever imagine having dessert with bacon in it? The combination of flavours worked well surprisingly, with the sweetness of the maple ice cream balanced by the saltiness from the bacon jelly, while the pandan flavours in the waffles provided a refreshing backdrop to this dessert.
We really liked the innovative and unique concept from Pork’d. We especially like how they are supporting small independent suppliers, through use of their sauces. We are also encouraged by their attempt at promoting sustainable eating, by using most parts of a pig in all their dishes, so there is minimum wastage. This is the place to try out if you are interested in trying something different from your average burgers, kebabs and roasts.
Address: 545 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Phone: (02) 9690 2298
Opening hours: Tues to Thurs 5pm til late, Fri and Sat 12pm til late
Accepts all major credit cards
Note: Special thanks to Pauline Nguyen for allowing us to take photos with you. Also a great shout-out for two new up-and-coming bloggers, who are in the above photos with us, Michiellaneous Foods and Delicious Sydney.