Having pre-dinner drinks is a great way to start an evening at Origin Grill & Bar. Decked out in dark wood and dotted with plush leather chairs, Origin Bar has a convivial vibe that makes you relax immediately. We enjoy the namesake Origin cocktail, a gin-based thirst-quencher made with spiced pineapple and sugar cane. We also have our eye on other intriguing cocktails such as Leaf The Curry (think curry leaf, tamarind, cardamom and aged rum), and tempting bar snacks (poached lobster roll with trout caviar, anyone?). Alas, dinner beckons.
In contrast, the adjacent Origin Grill, with its high ceiling, light wood floors, well-spaced wooden tables, and hand-stitched leather Tripolina chairs in teal, is quiet. The affable staff enthusiastically relate the restaurant’s emphasis on ingredient provenance – line-caught fish and sustainable seafood and meat are used.
Sydney-born chef de cuisine Heidi Flanagan does a splendid job with the quality ingredients. Dishes, simply yet exquisitely prepared to allow the produce to shine, are hearty and satisfying.
For starters, a dish of raw tuna from the Philippines with whole edamame beans, served on crispy, wafer-thin vegetable-and-seed flatbread, tease the taste buds with fresh, lively flavours, and a lightly spicy avocado-and-jalapeno cream packs just the right punch. The Fish of the Day – line-caught by fishermen in small boats off the coasts of Indonesia and sent to the restaurant daily – is grilled to perfection and served whole, accompanied by a
bed of greens and half a lemon.
Origin’s highlight is the fine selection of beef from Australia, Japan and Ireland. While the Snow-Aged Full Blood Wagyu A4 from Niigata, renowned for its marvellous buttery texture, is enticing, we decide to go for the 500g 35-day dry-aged grass-fed ribeye on the bone from Longford, Ireland, because the prospect of a beefy, succulent dry-aged steak calls out to us. It does not disappoint. The beautifully seared medium-rare steak is crusty on the outside and tender and pinkish red on the inside, with a mellow meaty flavour that lingers on the palate. Perfect with a red from the sizeable wine list.
In the day, the dining area is bright and cheerful, making it a fine spot for entertaining guests. Origin’s express lunch menu is particularly ideal for business lunch. Take your pick from two or three courses, and choose from tantalising starters such as chicken liver and brandy house pate or octopus charred with smoked paprika, served with spiced tomato jam and eggplant puree.
Mains-wise, you’ll have a choice of three types of steaks (striploin, rump or flank steak) served with vegetables. Non-meat eaters can opt for the grilled sea bass fillet or spaghetti with jumbo crabmeat with white wine cream sauce. For desserts, a daily selection of luscious cakes (keep an eye out for the chocolate fudge cake) awaits.