Dinner Sun-Thu 6pm-9pm
There's much to do at Panama Dining Room, starting with the three-flight workout required to reach a cavernous warehouse space with huge arched windows. Then there's a pool table, cocktails, occasional DJs, and a menu by chef Ayhan Erkoc (late of Celsius in Adelaide) with intricate, interesting food that defies the expectations created by the well-worn retro furniture. Pickles and dates accompany a superb chicken liver parfait, and shellfish oil and peach frame gooey burrata. Oysters come with finger lime, fried school prawns with fermented chilli mayo, while full-flavoured ox tongue shares a plate with radishes and snow peas. Most of the interest comes from the small dishes, though the ravenous will appreciate larger plates, such as slow-roasted lamb shoulder built for two. The drinks list is well-priced, with a good range of beer and cider, while service, though not particularly well-informed, keeps it cool and collected.
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