Our dining experience began with the chef's appetiser of dashi custard, spiced tuna and pickled radish. I usually associate custard with dessert so a savoury combination was new to me. The dashi flavour is subtle and perfectly matched with the tuna and the radish cut through the richness. An amazing start our degustation.
First course is mushroom soup poured at the table over the fried kale, confit mushrooms and sour cream. Talk about pure unadulterated mushroom goodness and crunch of crisp kale, nicely finished with the Charles Sturt Reserve Sparkling 2009 from Tumbarumba NSW.
Next was a raw melt in your mouth Bonito or tuna, Jerusalem artichokes accompanied by goats curd and parsley. I've never had a Jerusalem artichoke before so at first instance it looked gnarly in appearance with a crunchy texture. The taste was cross between an artichoke heart and the best potato you've ever had, nutty and sweet.
Raw bonito, jerusalem artichoke
The largest roast king prawn I've ever seen was next on the tasting menu with bottarga (salted cured fish roe), whitlof, radish and prawn bisque. Such a tasty bisque that I wanted to mop it up with my complimentary slice of bread. This dish was matched with Grove Estate (a favourite winery of mine) "the partners" cabernet sauvignon 2012 from Young NSW which was subtle in taste and not overpowering on the palate.
Our last main was a rich slow cooked veal shin with a smooth parsnip purée, creamed brussel sprouts, speck and gremolata. This was the last savoury dish of the night. Hubby absolutely loved this dish but it was a tad too rich for me. I enjoyed the matching red, Brangayne Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (another favourite winery of mine) from Orange NSW.
Veal shin braised in red wine
I loved the pre-dessert of mandarin granita with a yoghurt sorbet. Definitely going to have to ask for the yoghurt sorbet recipe, it was sooooo good.
Our meal ended with a warm layered caramelised apples topped with mille feuille, star anise ice cream, apple gel and a dot of lemon balm matched with a not too sweet tamberlaine reserve noble chardonnay 2010, Hunter Valley NSW.
Will Cowan-Lunn, the head chef, impressed us again with the sophisticated menu and beautiful presentation. The staff were very welcoming and attentive to our needs.
If you haven't been already, you have to try a dining experience at nineteen23. In my books it's as good as the three hatted restaurants in town. Tell me if you agree.
Degustation at nineteen23
$85 per person or with matching wine $125 with vegetarian options as well.