472 Richmond Rd
(09) 360 6207
Tuesday - Friday
4pm - 11pm
Saturday - Sunday
3pm - 11pm
Whenever I walk into a good neighbourhood restaurant, I find myself filled with a sense of community, of warmth and shelter. That was what I felt when I walked into Siostra – cosy and happy, as if I was surrounded by family. I suppose the family aspect was no surprise, given that I knew the restaurant was run by sisters Esther and Beki Lamb, and that “siostra” actually means “sister” in Polish. The restaurant was full at 7pm on a Wednesday evening, and with the most diverse clientele, too – families spanning at least three generations, small children, young couples, old friends. Siostra feels like the dining room for a whole neighbourhood.
The menu is designed for long, lingering meals. You begin with a selection of bar snacks that include freshly shucked oysters, devils on horseback and octopus and chorizo skewers with ouzo aioli. You drink from the petite perfect wine list and settle in. Then, you move to something more substantial, perhaps a delicate fish crudo, bursting with freshness and served with blood orange, finely sliced radish and sesame seeds. On one visit I ordered a special of scallops, which arrived in their shells on a bed of cauliflower puree, with lentils and and crispy guanciale – a delight. Keep an eye on the specials board, it changes daily and is the place to find gems like this.
You move onto charcuterie now – house-smoked lambs tongue rilletes, jamon serrano, bresaola. You might be running out of space, but if not, you can move on to the main event. Order the lamb ribs with hummus and harissa, or the fish of the day, or the skirt steak cooked perfectly medium. The journey can continue into dessert, but that’s a feat of endurance I am yet to achieved.
My experiences at Siostra are so rich and comforting, filled with good conversation and hearty food to match. In the winter, they do Sunday Roasts, and most recently they’ve made Tuesday night a burger night, with a different offering each week. It’s very good here, very much worth a visit.