Black­out bright­ens up Lind­field

New own­ers have amped up the menu

Monthly Chronicle - - Dining Out Locally - Jenny Bar­lass

There’s lit­tle doubt the North Shore is cry­ing out for cool bars like the ones pop­u­lat­ing Crows Nest and the in­ner city. That said, Ki­plings in Tur­ra­murra gets it right if you can ace a ta­ble.

There’s enough cash slosh­ing around the North Shore and plenty of thirst - what’s stop­ping bar own­ers from hav­ing a crack?

Thank­fully some­one has - in July Black­out in Lind­field was taken over by new own­ers. With them comes a fresh menu with some un­usual ad­di­tions show­cas­ing chef’s global back­ground.

Black­out is a po­tent mix - tapas and live mu­sic. And if you want a cock­tail, there’s plenty of those on of­fer too. Pre­vi­ous own­ers had, by Tripad­vi­sor ac­counts, let the place slide into a des­per­ate culi­nary wilder­ness, so we were keen to see if an in­jec­tion of fresh tal­ent had turned its for­tunes around.

For­mer restau­rant man­ager, Brazil­ian Ana Tan­dale, is front of house while chef hus­band Mum­bai-born Kunal, who’s Cor­don Bleu trained and has worked in some of the top ho­tel restau­rants in town, pre­pares mod­ern tapas be­hind the scenes.

It’s a Fri­day night when we visit - bare brick walls, soft in­dus­trial light­ing, cosy ta­bles, a long bar and some live mu­sic greet us. With all the right in­gre­di­ents, it soons fills up. Word has got out.

From an in­ter­na­tional se­lec­tion of 16 tapas that took us around the world, we started with mini stuffed crisp savoury donuts - light cre­ations not un­like puri, which were filled with pota­toes and chick­peas as well as tamarind and car­damom - served cold and sur­pris­ingly de­li­cious.

Then a rapid suc­ces­sion of some over-zeal­ous or­der­ing, in­clud­ing del­i­cate, lightly bat­tered ri­cotta filled zuc­chini flow­ers, crunchy polenta chips with ai­oli, and a high­light - the Goan fish taco.

It was here chef’s In­dian roots shone, the spiced bar­ra­mundi per­fectly bal­anced in a del­i­cate lit­tle roti-like cir­cle of wrap bread with a pineap­ple and cu­cum­ber salsa, charred corn and sour cream. This was a won­der­ful, funky con­coc­tion with just the right amount of zingy heat, which earned the so­bri­quet “Mexico meets Ma­haraja” from fel­low diner Ben.

Equally as thought­fully cre­ated were the ten­der fried baby squid, seared scal­lops on a parsnip puree and the San Choy Baw meat­balls done Greek style.

Our me­an­der down the dessert lane re­sulted in a sen­sa­tional quar­tet of chur­ros stuffed with salted caramel, tossed in cin­na­mon sugar. Fin­ish­ing off with cof­fees would have made it ideal but they’re not do­ing post­pran­dial hot drinks - yet.

Don’t ex­pect to walk away re­plete from an evening of tapas din­ing - it’s lit­tle more than de­li­cious sin­gle (or two) mouth­fuls on each plate. That said it’s per­fect if you fancy an evening of drinks with friends in a re­laxed set­ting, with some de­li­cious light food to ac­com­pany them.

A som­me­lier-se­lected wine list in­cludes great choices from South Africa, Italy and South Amer­ica, while cock­tails range from a zingy Ly­chee Pas­sion to a Dark and Stormy.

And the mu­sic? Mur­ray James on Fri­day nights lights up the place with Johnny Cash, Oa­sis, Amy Wine­house and Ed Sheeran cov­ers while on Satur­day Por­tia Bri­ana en­ter­tains din­ers.

This lit­tle gem is a long over­due ad­di­tion to the North Shore restau­rant and bar scene - visit it now be­fore var­i­ous hous­ing de­vel­op­ments in the area mean it may next year be swamped and ta­bles scarce as hen’s teeth.

Chef Kunal Tan­dale A se­lec­tion of tapas Tem­pura Zuc­chini Flow­ers Co­conut rolls with gin­ger and mus­tard seeds tem­per­ing Mini savoury crispy donuts stuffed with pota­toes and cheese, with a tamarind sauce

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