Birthdays are really just an excuse to go out and eat. Every year I treat myself to some fine dining, because what is life if you don't enjoy the finer things in life? (Well every year I've worked...) Literally all my savings go into food. This year decided to go somewhere 'cheaper' (*cough under $200pp) since I've already gone around the world in both Europe and Asia, and have long well reached my food quota for the year. Decided to come here since the chef was on MasterChef as a celebrity chef (who lost but that doesn't really affect the quality of the restaurant since when was reality tv all that real...). This place is a fusion between Italian and Japanese (so many post-Jap feels...). Be prepared for a photo spam.
Different side of Sydney
The restaurant is actually quite quiet around this area, so it's nice to come this side of Sydney.
Cute tea set
Went for the 8 course degustation for lunch $115pp. Normally they have the 5 course menu for lunch, so you have to call them up if you want the 8 course for lunch. I think price wise it's decent since you get a few snacks, and a petit four to finish. Even though the blinds were drawn it was still quite sunny. The main problem was dealing with moving shadows when taking photos...
Snack: snapper jelly with fish mousse and Neptune seaweed
The flavours of this jelly reminded me of miso soup rather than a fishy taste. It was really flavourful and you have the slight creaminess from the fish mousse inside.
tapioca with seaweed
So crispy and love the way they used seaweed as a seasoning. Interesting how they placed it on top of the the raw veggies.
soft cheese- not too cheesy, and yes it was soft.
Jap steamed egg custard with shell fish oil and caviar
Loved the presentation of this in a scallop shell on top of the sea shells. The flavours were quite interesting and not too salty. I do prefer the crab steamed egg custard I had in Tokyo since it was more eggy/flavourful.
Brioche bread + breadsticks
This is probably one of the best brioche breads I've ever had, probably even better than some French bakeries. From far away they looked like muffins. It was still nice and warm when it came on the table and super easy to pull apart. Super soft and flavourful, didn't even nee the extra butter on the side. Since it's not your normal complimentary sourdough, they do charge $4 for each additional bread, which is pretty cheap if you compare it to Asian bakeries where it's just all air inside. If only I could take one of these brioches home...Breadsticks were average, but I did notice you only get them if you have the 8 course tasting menu.
Veal, yoghurt, jerusalem artichoke
First time having raw red meat. I was too scared to have steak tartare in France just in case I got sick. I do love my steak pink inside, but having it completely raw is a new experience. It was surprisingly nice, and the flavour of it reminded me of a cross between salmon/tuna, texture wise sort of was similar to sashimi. The yoghurt added a lovely creaminess to it whilst still being light. Loved the crunch of the jerusalem artichoke, if only they were readily available in packets to buy off the shelf...
Agnolotti, parsnip, truffle (added more truffles-$15)
It's almost the end of winter and I missed the beginning of my favourite season since I was overseas, which also means that the truffle season is almost over. I am a massive truffle fan, and if I could have truffle everyday, I would. So it made sense to pay the extra $15 for some shaved pieces of truffle. If you had the 5 course lunch, you could opt to add truffle in the pappardelle (below), but it was in fine strands, rather than seeing the fine grains of the truffle. I found the truffle they used here smelt good but it didn't taste as strong compared to other truffles I've had. The pasta itself had a parsnip sort of liquid cream inside which bursted with flavour. The sauce was supposed to have some truffle flavour already, but couldn't really taste that much.
Pappardelle, duck, hazelnut
I love when I see duck on the menu since it's my favourite protein. Although it is more in a ragu form, it really complemented the flavours of the pasta. It was super flavourful, probably because it was cooked in individual saucepans with a large slab of butter. The pasta was super silky and cooked al dente. Loved the crunch from the hazelnuts as well.
Lamb, celeriac, chilli kosho, carrot puree
Lamb was super soft and melt in your mouth. There was quite a bit of fat though since they used the shoulder. Loved the plating of the sheet of celeriac. The chilli kosho wasn't actually that chilli, and helped complement the spices in the lamb (slowly building my chilli tolerance). The puree was super sweet and tasted like pumpkin more than carrot, pretty sure they said it was a carrot puree. There was a rosemary (?) powder sprinkled on top as well.
Granny Smith Apple: green apple sorbet, liquorice mousse, finger lime
My favourite dish was this apple, it's unlike anything I've seen or tasted before! It's a real apple with the top cut and stalk still intact, then they core it and hollow out the apple, before putting in a mousse, sponge and green apple sorbet on top. How do they manage to make the apple hollow inside whilst keeping the skin intact? I loved how it was presented on gum leaves, and they sprayed a food scent on it, so it smelt even more like a super fresh and sweet granny smith. I love a bit of theatre in food and it delivered. The sorbet was on of the bests ones I've had and really kept true to the flavour of the granny smith without being too acidic. Couldn't really taste the liquorice mousse, but loved the burst of the sour finger lime, making this dessert really refreshing and not sweet.
cute candle (which I slightly burnt my finger and left wax all over the table for them to figure out how to clean once it dried....)
Douglas Fir ice cream, rhubarb, extra virgin olive oil
Another refreshing and light dessert to finish. This is not your normal ice cream, since it was super light and texture reminded me of foam from a foam gun. It tasted sort of like pine, well the scent of the fresh Christmas trees. The olive oil helped to cut back the sweetness of the rhubarb, which I did find was just a tad bit too sweet.
Petit four: pear and rosemary friand
For once, the petit four wasn't chocolate. Although it does seem a bit stingy giving one petit four, for the price you pay it's ok. The friend was quite buttery inside with a crisp edge. It did have pieces of pear and rosemary sprinkled on top. Again, needed to go with 8 courses to have the petit fours.
If you're after something a bit different and not too pricey, I think LuMi does a pretty good job. I would even come back here just to have the apple and brioche bread again. Too bad there's no a la carte here...