The residents of Paddington in Sydney are a lucky bunch as they have the smart and busy Four in Hand pub to hang out in. www.fourinhand.com.au But more than that, they have the food of Chef Colin Fassnidge who I must say is remarkable.

I eat out a lot and most of the time am a bit disappointed in some aspect of the restaurant. But Four In Hand takes the 3 ingredients of a successful restaurant – service, ambience and food –  and does each great justice.  When I do my team building cooking events,  I always speak about these 3 ingredients to my clients because with a great team one can attain this, and success follows.

The room is a perfect place to enjoy your guests company. No big flashy scene. Just time enough, comfort and elegance enought for dining and enjoying each course as it comes.  The wine list is serious, covering a great range of choices at very reasonable prices. We found the Clos Clare 2008 Grenache an absolute standout.  We were in heaven as our table of 8 cherished every drop.

This is a foodie restaurant and all things are done with a style that makes you just sigh with each course.  It’s not tricked up food, but it’s well conceived, well prepared and presented in a understated fashion but still always has the wow factor to create the excitement that food should when dining out.  Every dish at this restaurant was great. You know that is hard to say about most places.

My Roast, Braised Beef stuffed Bone Marrow with Celeriac Remoulade was so rich and inviting I could have eaten three of them.  My partner’s Sashimi Bonito and Tuna with Pickled Cucumber and Snow was simple, exciting and each ingredient was clean on the palate.  The Crisp Pigs Ear with Crab, Roast Corn Salad and Ginger Jelly looked appealing also, which gives credit to Chef’s ability, and perhaps his Irish background in using the whole animal in his menu.  My Jewfish with Salt Cod and Mussels gave my stomach a warm delicious feeling, as with each bite the saltiness of the cod with the creaminess of the fish married so well.  There were so many great dishes here, it’s hard to name them all. But, the whole suckling pig was a standout, and the Spring Lamb 2 Ways with Herb Gnocchi and Braised Fennel was perfect.

My Lemon Curd Parfait with Fennel Pollen Ice Cream and Granny Smith Apple Jelly just made me swoon with happiness at the end.

I haven’t had a perfect meal in Sydney for a long time but, believe me, “this was it”.  You should run to this restaurant and celebrate what food is all about and how the three ingredients, service, ambience and food join forces to give you “greatness”.

This kitchen produces some of the best food in Sydney, consistently, and it has earned 2 Hats deservedly so. What I loved most about it is that there is no pretension here. It’s great food at great prices, all with a sense of style and warmth.

Have you been to Four in Hand?