For our last meal we went to a restaurant that like to push the boundaries and offers a Discovery menu. The six amuse were quite good and fun and not very filling while we both thought the celeriac and scampi dishes were lacking in big flavors. The scampi could’ve used salt or been cooking in ghee. The fish was great and was K’s favorite and while I liked it too the pork and duck really did it for me. Just don’t like how the protein was hidden under veggies on a few dishes.
Miso – olive, thyme
Pomme Souffle – vinegar
Carrot – farro, linseed
Pecorino – artichoke, sumac
Daikon – sesame, nam jim
Shiitake – white soy, kaffir lime
Celeriac – bone marrow, hazelnut, apple
Scampi – nasturtium, seaweed
John Dory – kohlrabi, macadamia, horseradish
Pork Belly – mushroom, leek, turnip
Duck – radicchio, date, foie gras
Parmesan – black garlic, Sauternes
Fennel – sorrel, cucumber, passionfruit
Pine – black sesame, raspberry, eldferflower
We had the chef’s table so got to see all the action
For my friend’s last night in town we headed over to the Bunker for their tasting menu. It was relatively short and we were able to make the steep climb back to our accommodation. He and K went for the seafood options while I chose the meat options, unfortunately the hunters couldn’t get a boar so my first course was venison instead. The food was excellent and it felt like we were in a NYC 70s steakhouse with the dark wood panels and a fire place, the pictures from 70s movies like James Bond and Breakfast at Tiffany’s just added to the time warp feeling.
Mozzarella, Tomato, Balsamic
Scallops – cauliflower pannacotta, roasted pork emulsion
Venison – loin & rillettes, artichoke hearts
Abalone – black foot paua beignets, smoked oyster gribiche, parmesan croute, aromatic cream
Hare Loin – horopito braised leg, confit kumura, sour cherries, kawakawa juice
Salmon – saffron clam skordalia, roasted fish soil, gaspacho gel, kale
Lamb Backstrap – shoulder ragu, noisette potatoes, minted broad bean yoghurt, juniper juice
Kiwi Pavlova – strawberries, mascarpone, kiwi fruit granita, pistachio crumb
Brie, Blue, and Manchego
We were recommended JSH by the host at another restaurant we wanted to dine at but they were full. K and I will be going in a few days but unfortunately my buddy will already be gone by then. It was a very good recommendation, I’m always wary of going to a steakhouse since it’s an easy meal to make at home and I was seriously considering having the duck breast but after reading about how their different types of cows are raised I decided to take the chance and get one. I was not disappointed, even my friend who shares my opinion was highly impressed with it, perfectly seasoned and cooked.
I went with the Wakanui Blue cattle are grass fed initially then finished on grain for the last 70 to 90 days. Like the grass-fed equivalent Angus, it has characteristic fat marbling running through the muscle but due to being grain fed the marbling is much greater and more intense throughout.
The ravioli were light and flavorful, the sauce wasn’t too strong so could really taste the meat. The marrow was great and a lot of it, much different than in the US where sometimes only get 3-4mm of marrow since the bone is so thick. There was a bit of meat and gristle on the other side of the bone and SSW and I went cavemen and picked them up to get as much off as we could, I suspect the kitchen anticipated this since it was seasoned with some salt. Both he and K went for the venison and it tasted great, just not as good as my steak. The onion rings were so good I asked if they had been cooked in beef tallow but it was canola oil. I have no idea how they got them to taste that good but I’d go back just to get a basket that I don’t have to share.
Roasted Bone Marrow
Venison – goat cheese, beets
Wakanui Rump Steak
Best Onion Rings Ever
After a day of walking around Sydney for a bit I was ready for another tasting menu. Thankfully this meal was shorter and featured lots of seafood so it was a bit more easy to get through. My friend asked me which meal I liked better and it’s almost impossible, Tetsuya is much more subtle and smooth in creating his dishes compared to Attica’s bold, contrasting flavors. The trout and duck were my favorites. The duck tasted like Chinese roast duck, I could eat that skin for days.
Spanner Crab – yuzu kosho, clam vinaigrette
Kingfish – pickled daikon, ice plant
Confit of Ocean Trout – apple, witlof
Gold Band Snapper – radish, avruga
Duck Breast – jerusalem artichoke, turnip cream
Wagyu Sirloin – king brown mushrooms, kale
Tetsuya’s Chocolate Cake
I chose the Australian wine pairing over the international one. Two of the wines are made exclusively for Tetsuya’s.
My main reason for visiting Melbourne was to eat at Attica. After watching the Chef’s Table episode I knew it was a meal worth traveling for. Like a lot of top restaurants these days, Attica only sells whole tables and I didn’t know anyone in Melbourne. Thankfully a friend in Sydney did and I had a lovely dinner companion and didn’t have to attempt to eat two meals.
Everything about the meal was incredible except some of the wine pairings. Had a sour beer and I’m not a huge fan of beer and there was only one red. Had a sherry that was very nice and the two dessert wines were good but a tad too sweet. The flavors in each dish were great and my new friend and I both agreed there was great textural elements. The vegemite in the pie wasn’t very strong, in fact it was one of my favorite dishes. Really hard to pick a favorite savory dish since they were all so different. The pork was melt in your mouth, avocado super fresh, blood pudding tart extraordinary, carrot super sweet, succulent lamb…you get the picture.
Cook’s Leaves and Sour Cream
Aged Santa Claus Melon
Pearl Cooked in Paperbark
Smashed Avo on Toast
An Imperfect History of Ripponlea
Gazza’s Vegemite Pie
Scallop and Wattlesoy
Kangaroo, Wattles and Waxflower
All Parts of the Pumpkin
Grilled Marron with Desert Lime
Jumbuck (sheep) and Tulips
Hot Jam Doughnut and Gumbi Gumbi
Camel Milk Ice (little black specks are ants)
Whipped Emu Egg with Quandong
We somehow still had room for more dessert after dinner. The pastry chef Janice Wong is now famous in Asia for her desserts that really are works of art and still taste great.
Shades of Green – pistachio sponge, coco mousse, pandan ice cream
Cassis Plum – cassis bombe, elderflower yoghurt foam, choya granita
Chocolate H2O – 65% dark chocolate, salted caramel, kochi yuzu sorbet
Back to Peranakan cuisine for dinner but this time it’s a modern take on the dishes. We ordered the “ah-ma-kase” based on a friend’s suggestion whose been dining at Candlenut through all three iterations of the restaurant. Ahma means grandmother and chef originally took his grandmother’s recipe and started playing with them, since then he’s progressed to creating even more dishes, all of which are delicious.
Iberico Pork Secreto – dried shrimp chili, laksa
Roast Duck Curry – shallot, chestnut
Squid – squid ink, tamarind
Red Snapper – chili sambal, garlic chives
Kueh Salat – bangkit crumble, coconut sorbet
Bulah Keluak ice cream, chocolate, chilli, warm, chocolate espuma
“Mango” – sago, lime and mint granita
Mao Shan Wang ice cream, durian, koeh rose