The D’s Bar & Dining

Jackie McMillan
25th Nov 2023

Marrickville, you’ve changed! In a suburb known for its live music grunge bars where food often plays second fiddle, The D's Bar & Dining certainly breaks the mould. As we enter, there’s a live jazz trio playing with no electronic intervention, just the natural sound of their instruments. Featuring a piano, double bass and a chick playing a reduced, restaurant-friendly drum kit, the threesome of talented musicians lose themselves in the music. Sliding onto a padded banquette we’re quickly served by a confident and skilled (proper hospo) floor team. They back the food, inclining me into the best spring roll I’ve eaten despite me not being big on deep-fried. The D’s spring roll ($24/3) is all thriller no filler with just king prawns, edamame and Japanese scallops bundled inside. 

The floor team’s other recommendation, beef pho tartar ($24), takes top notch Phoenix M8 wagyu and teams it with clever cubes of pho jelly where star anise gives way to rich bone broth. Topped with chives and fried onions, the team advise us to scoop it out onto tapioca crackers for a satisfyingly crisp bite. The same beef is employed in the wagyu noodles ($38) which promised a lot with pork lard, Sichuan and egg yolk, but didn’t quite live up to the hype with the cooking of the beef and fresh egg noodles taken a fraction far. 

The attractive central bar puts out an impressive list of spirits, and the cocktails seemed interesting enough, but seeing the 2022 Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay ($112) on the list meant my night was all about wine. Penfolds have created a Chardonnay that motors through creamy cashew and lemon sharpness to a lingering finish that strokes every part of your mouth. I enjoy it by itself. I enjoy it against owner/chef Lucas Doan’s (ex-Mr Wong) straight up banh khot ($29) served with fresh greens and umami-rich house pickles. This dish is a nod to the Vietnamese part of Doan’s dual (Cantonese) heritage. I even enjoy it against over-sweet white miso caramel poured over Glacier 51 toothfish ($45). This dish takes a fair bit of charred lemon balancing, prompting me to ask, is there nothing this wine can’t do?