LL Wine Dine
Not many restaurants in Sydney have a history quite like LL Wine Dine. While the neighbourhood has since flourished into a hipster haunt, the clever trio of brothers who own it aren’t in hurry to forget its roots. Instead of binning a stash of vintage porn magazines they discovered during renovations, they created a tasteful collage of scantily-clad minxes on one of the walls. With red banquettes and oriental, dark-wood interiors, drinkers prop themselves up at the narrow bar for cocktails like Big Trouble in Little China (42 Below Vodka, coriander, pineapple and vanilla) and linger for creative Asian cuisine in the front dining room or cosy rear, where seating is arranged in intimate nooks and over a split-level. LL’s Sunday dumplings and cocktail jugs are sure-fire crowd-pleasers. So is the signature dish – Mao’s pork belly buns, which disappear far too quickly between sharing friends. Order widely and order plenty. It’s all good stuff – like black tea and star anise-smoked duck breast, crispy tofu with tahini and black sesame sauce and the old favourite – san choi bow with spicy lemongrass, lime and crunchy croutons.