‘Where I Eat’ is a series of stories profiling where Orange’s best chefs like to dine out in the city. This is number two …
Richard Learmonth is the reason the menu at Sisters Rock Restaurant has had a complete overhaul in the past 12 months, so it comes as no surprise the head chef admires innovation when he’s dining out.
The man running the Borrodell Vineyard restaurant said he’s not usually a sweets fan, but when it comes to the dessert at Charred Kitchen and Bar he opts in.
“They have an incredible pastry chef [Hyeonju Jeon] doing really different, really cool things,” he said.
The Sydney-trained chef honed his craft alongside Charred’s Liam O’Brien at Bistro Moncur – a French restaurant in Woollahra.
Mr Learmonth said it came as no shock to find the restaurant his old workmate established two years ago producing “the best food in Orange”.
“Liam keeps it interesting. He’s always changing the menu. Takes a modern approach and is not afraid to do things differently,” he said.
While he admits getting out to dinner is difficult when you’re the head of a small team trying to bring your own fresh ideas to the city’s food scene, he said when he has visitors in town and wants to show off the best of Orange he goes to Charred.
“There’s definitely a need for a restaurant like that. I think it’s still underappreciated but I’m sure he’s [Mr O’Brien] building up a bit of a following,” he said.
When dining out with girlfriend Rebecca Janek, the Sisters Rock chef said they regularly opt for a bottle of red wine and he likes knowing Charred Sommelier David Collins has the knowledge to always choose something they’ll like.
He said if a restaurant’s service, food and alcohol are on point, it’ll keep him coming back.
“You want to feel that there’s a lot of care about the experience and attention to detail,” he said.
“If you get all those three things right you’ll have something really special.”
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