42 Market Lane, Manly
There’s quite a bit of sand in the desert that is Manly Town; plenty of bars, restaurants and coffee shops all with something to offer, yet few are unique. Cured.Manly, though, is a place with a bit of something different going on…
No grill, salamander or deep fryer and hardly a kitchen to speak of; however there is an array of cured meats sourced from the finest providores in Sydney, sought after cheeses flown in from around the globe, and a wine selection you wish you had at home.
Jeremy, the founder, has been hosting the world’s high flyers for the last 15 years, literally. His first flight as an attendant was a decade and a half ago and he’s now one of Virgin’s top First and Business Class air hosts entertaining the who’s who on long-haul flights with passengers often requesting him by name. He’s certainly achieved mile-high status and fortunately for us he’s brought some of that experience back down to earth. Cured meats, nose-tingling wine and mouth-watering cheese are on the menu this evening, and there’s a fine selection, too.
I’m sat in front of the hanging meats’ window; Prosciutto, Bresaola, Salami, Speck, Aged Pork Belly, Cacciatorini are on display… and I’m greeted with a glass of Mac Forbes ‘P3’ (Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier), which is chilled, fresh and rosy with red fruits at the fore sinking down beautifully with a smooth, herbal finish.
I may have a seat for one but I’m not alone for Vince Jones & Grace Knight (think rendition ‘I’ve got you under my skin’) is entertaining us with, albeit through the speakers, fitting mood-music.
How the menu works is simple and up to you; choose your wine(s), choose your cheese(s), choose your meat(s) and keep ordering as you like. Of course the very friendly and informative staff (Jeremy, Anna & Matt) will guide you along the way with various, delicious, paring combos.
A tasting plate (with the help of Jeremy’s knowledge) is brought to the bench; prosciutto, bresoala, pecorino and oak-smoked cheddar with ‘the picklery’ complementing the board; Italian olives, pickled fennel, red onion, spiced capsicum and preserved pear, and served along side is a bread basket with Flinders Range Single Origin Sourdough and crackers. I don’t know where to start, anywhere will do.
Massive amounts of simple and complex flavours just keep presenting themselves with the cheese, meat and pickled veg pairings not to mention the 2012 Capitolo Uno (Costantino) Nero d’Avola which meats the board halfway (pun-intended).
Ones palate can certainly taste that everything has been freshly sliced and cut; prepared individually, and the savoury flavours demand that time is taken to work through the best of what is on offer. In this case the hard cheese, soft meat grouping works beautifully together along with fresh bread allowing you to get a bit lost in the flavour workshop that is going on in your mouth. The pickled veg cleanse the palate between bites and the next combo is as surprising as the one before.
Just when I thought my tastebuds had done enough I’m presented with a (seasonal) d’affinois Truffle cheese; rich, creamy and loaded with texture and of course there’s a half a glass of Barossa Shiraz to match. They’re quite good with surprises here, ‘try this, it goes well with that’. And it does.
DISCLAIMER: Sydney Chic dined as a guest of Cured Manly