Dreamer, wordsmith, mum of two - I enjoy the outdoors, good food and good company. Subscribe to my articles to follow what I've been up to, and like those articles you want to see more of so I can tailor what I write to my audience.
I'm fairly tight-fisted when it comes to spending money, so would usually baulk at having to fork out the kind of money associated with a fine-dining meal at one of the leading restaurants in Australia. There are so many more worthwhile things to spend the money on, right? Then I found out that I needed an operation which would result in permanent changes to my sense of taste. Suddenly, the need to experience those once-in-a-lifetime meals became a bit more urgent.
Want to have dinner at the three-hatted restaurant voted best in Australia for 2016 by the Sydney Morning Herald? Don't mind if I do!
The first thing you notice about this place when you walk in is that the ambience is a combination of relaxed precision and efficiency. It doesn't have a snooty feel to it, and yet you know that what you'll be getting will be top notch. Simple wooden tables, down lights in a line, and big glass windows: the feel is modern, clean and ready for business.
Entree of raw wagyu shoulder with grilled enoki mushrooms
I have always been a fan of the delicious moistness of a big juicy wagyu steak, and the rarer the better. So raw wagyu? Hell, yeah! The grilled enoki gave this whole dish a surprisingly strongly smokey flavour, which worked well as a counterpoint to the deliciously gluteous texture of the fat-marbled cut of wagyu.
Entree of slow roasted organic beetroot, raddicio butter
Our vegetarian-dish ordering friends said the entree of slow roasted organic beetroot and raddicio butter was delightful. Unfortunately they were too mean to share, so I can't confirm this, but it certainly looked a treat on the plate.
Main: Robata grilled New England lamb, walnut cream, corn meal
I can never go past a duck on a menu. There's something about the strong gamey flavour that calls to me. I loved the way the sweetness of the cherries married with the smokey, gamey flavour of this succulent slab of meat, with lashings of buttery bread sauce to help it slide down your gullet. Sublime.
Dessert of perfumed fruit, mango, mandarin curd, long pepper ice cream
This was a welcome refreshing end to the meal - light, clean, and healthy! With the plethora of fruit, I was able to feel smug about my health-promoting dessert compared to the more sinful choices that my compatriots ordered. Quite honestly, while I worship chocolate, with the richness of the previous dishes, I needed something light and cleansing at this point in the meal - not something that would tip me over into indigestion-land.
Dessert Set Valrhona chocolate, chestnut cream, blackberries
Unfortunately a lot of the dessert is hiding under the the caramel snap in the above picture. Just be assured that it was very delicious (or so I'm told - again, no sharing - what is with people?!) and decadently rich.
I have to admit having dessert envy when I saw this dish, which a friend ordered. I think it was a mistake putting the word 'salad' in a dessert dish name - it's an underwhelming name for a simply divine concoction. Judging from the noises my friend made while eating this, it was really good.
We spent about $300 per couple that night, but we had champagne with our meal and a few glasses of wine each, and... bleargh - yeah, that night got a bit blurry. From looking at the internet, it appears that others have managed to only spend and recommend allowing $150 per couple, but I think that would be a pretty dry dinner or perhaps two, rather than three courses.
Would I recommend eating here again? If you're happy to fork out the dough for a really nice meal, most definitely. Be aware that with all the accolades it's recently received, this is not a restaurant you can just rock up to and expect to get a table at. We were only able to secure a table on a Tuesday night at 8pm two weeks in advance - and that's even with telling them my sob story about my operation. We were a larger group of eight people however, so a couple may be able to squeeze in with shorter notice.