Sydney is a special place for me, not only because it is where I grew up, but it is also the place where Grandma, Mama and Papa Buddha resides now whilst I’m working in Hong Kong – and like Papa Buddha did before he retired and I was living with Mama Buddha in Sydney, both Ms. Buddha and I travel back to Sydney to visit them on an annual basis (wished it was more). Because most of the time is rightfully spent with the family, what time Ms. Buddha and I have alone we try to break the routine and try out restaurants which we haven’t had the chance to try or that have popped up during the time we haven’t been around, and 4Fourteen fit the mantra of “casual yet great” food.
The place actually reminds me of what is defined as dining in Sydney, the term casual dining is really something I quite love in Sydney since that although it can get expensive, people are really truly there to enjoy themselves – and not to take photos and dress up and take selfies like people do in Hong Kong. After being seated, we got the menu and I ordered my favourite gin tonic.
We weren’t particularly hungry that afternoon so we selected an entree each and then a main to share – for the entree we selected a pumpkin mash with toast which was superb – and frankly, every time I come back to Sydney, I miss the bread that they make – it is just substantially better than what you can get in Hong Kong.
The other entree we selected was the grilled fish with rhubarb – to be honest, it was a little salty and I know I sound stupid saying this, but the amount of tiny bones on the trout was just unmanageable for my level of skill. Ms. Buddha was more skilled than I but even then she stated that the fish may have been just a tad salty.
Our final course was beef with bacon pieces – the sauce was very tasty, although a little filling (blame our bad appetite for the day) – but overall, the meat itself was very tender although a little too well done for Ms. Buddha and my taste – that said, you could still taste the high quality of the meat being used.
In terms of casual dining places, 4Fourteen was good, but wasn’t the greatest we’ve had in Sydney, although the whole experience reminded me of everything that I missed about dining in Sydney, where service is not uptight like they are in Hong Kong and things are just simple and slightly rough around the edges.