We’ve been trying to do a date night a week at the moment since we’ve both been really busy at work. We thought this week we’d try a new kid on the block, Reay’s Place.
Rey’s Place has moved into the spot that use to house Trunk Road, which we were huge fans of. Rey’s is Filipino food – something that I’m a little familiar with but not something that you commonly see around.
Coming into Rey’s, it feels a lot like Trunk Road still. It has the same layout but an awesome bar has sprung up at the end of the room. It looks fully stocked for a good night out.
While waiting for the boy, I decided to start with a cocktail. I went for the Reay’s Gone Coconuts, which was a take on the traditional Pina Colada. It was lovely and refreshing without being too heavy but best of all, it came in a tiki head glass that looked like it belonged on Easter Island.
The boy arrives and we get stuck into the menu. Being such a small space, there’s one host/waiter/bartender taking care of everyone upstairs but he’s super friendly and knowledgable about the menu. We go with all his recommendations except the salmon ceviche (the boy doesn’t eat salmon).
First up arrive the chicharon. If you haven’t had this before, OMG, don’t (but do). It is so good, it’s like crack and I could eat bowl after bowl after bowl. Essentially, it’s deep friend chicken skin and it goes golden and puffy almost like a less fatty pork scratchings.
It’s served with a soy and vinegar dipping sauce, which has the right punch to cut through the fatiness. It goes so well with our beers and I can see us stopping in for a beer and some chicharon on our way for a night out quite regularly.
After a few jokes about how we couldn’t work there because we’d always been stealing pieces of chiharon (our waiter did say that it is very dangerous), our next dish arrived bao sliders.
And they were very kindly delivered by the chef from downstairs.
The bao dough was made into literal burger buns and filled to the brim with pork and crackle. They were delicious. They were soft, melty and meaty. The spring onions on the side were a good touch. I ended up putting them directly into my slider because it needed something sharp to cut through the fattiness of the pork and mayonnaise but that’s a personal preference.
The mains arrived. To be honest, we’d tossed up between the suckling pig and the oxtail stew. Both sounded amazing on the menu and oxtail can sometimes be hard to find around Sydney. The waiter convinced us to try to the suckling pig – it was the house speciality after all.
We really weren’t disappointed.
The pig was wonderful. Sometimes suckling pig can be dry but this had been cooked with love and was so juicy, it spilled out of the meat. Soft and melted in your mouth with amazing crispy crackly on the side.
We also loved the sauces served with it. More of that vinegar, soy sauce with again, did an amazing job cutting through the pork with just a hint of chilli in it. There was also a pork gravy like sauce on the dish as well – again it was delicious with just a hint of spice and heat.
We also ordered a water spinach, tomato and onion salad and rice on the side, which made great accompiments.
Dessert, for me, was a little disappointing. There were two choices on the menu – a coconut sorbet and a banana spring roll. The waiter did talk up the banana spring roll as being amazing and it definitely looked unreal coming out of the kitchen but since I’m not a big fruit fan, we opted for the coconut sorbet instead. It was yummy but, nothing too fancy.
We wandered off into the night, happy and full. Rey’s is an awesome addition to the neighbourhood and somewhere you’ll probably find us for dinner and for a quick stop off before a night out (chicharon!)
163 Crown Street