Ormeggio at the Spit offers Contemporary Italian cuisine in a spectacular waterside setting, overlooking Middle Harbour and Pearl Bay. This is one of the most popular fine-dining restaurants on the upper north shore.
Ormeggio has gained the prestigious Two Chef Hats in the Sydney Morning Herald's Good Food Guide 2015 and has been a hatted restaurant since opening in 2009. With such a standing, it placed Ormeggio in the same league as Tetsuya.
Whilst this is an award-winning fine dining restaurant, it is not overly priced. Six degustation courses only costs $69 per person. Considering the water views, fine surroundings, attentive table service and elegant sublime dishes, I think Ormeggio offers the best value fine dining by the water on the posh north shore. If you are seeking to impress without breaking the bank, this is probably it.
We arrived promptly at 6 o'clock, the classy restaurant was already dimmed with soft lighting. Each table was positioned with precision, and glasses sparkled next to the candlelight. While we were waiting for the waitstaff to show us to our reserved table, my first focus was on the low ceilings and somehow it created a confronting crowded feeling. However, that first impression diminished when we were shown to a nice table by the window looking out to the waters.
Our hostess was efficient and obliging. Once we were seated, she briefly explained Ormeggio's unique Sunday degustation. As a diligent hostess, our allergies or dietary requirements were politely inquired of.
Soon after a loaf of warm homemade sourdough ($9) from Ormeggio Bakery was served. It was a large pre-dinner 'bread roll' and my initial thought was to forgo the bread to make room for the upcoming 6 courses. My friend prompted me to give it a try as the crusty bread was warm and mellow soft on the inside. It was a top quality bread and tasted amazingly delightful with the complementary ricotta cheese and sea salt.
Our first course was the signature Biodynamic veal tonnato.The vibrant red veal tartare was topped with translucent radish slices and it just looked elegantly dainty on a large white plate. It tasted fresh and flavoursome with anchovies, pinenuts and tuna mayonnaise. I would not have thought veal can taste this tender, melt-in-your mouth delicious. It was a great first course to start off.
The second course was the hand rolled tortellini filled with liver pate and artichoke. The tortelli was cooked perfectly al dente and it tasted smooth with the parmesan foam, The shaved olive added saltiness and complemented the pate flavours well. My friend did find the pate was a little overpowering.
Our third course was the John Dory fillets with creamy chickpea puree, crispy kale and a dollop of squid ink. The John Dory fillets were pan fried to perfection. They were tender soft and tasted delicious with the hommus paste. The kale added crunch and I would love a bit more of kale than just a leaf. I suppose, with fine-dining, it's more about artful presentation than eat to your heart's content.
Our forth course was this creamy luscious-looking pumpkin risotto. It was cooked to al dente and there was a bite-texture to every grain. I know this was a perfectly cooked risotto but I preferred mine to be on a softer side. It was rich in taste with a strong cheese flavouring. It was a good comfort food in fine-dining style.
The fifth course was a slow cooked lamb shoulder, goat yoghurt, heirloom baby carrots, mint oil and coffee crumbs. Now, doesn't that sounded like an exciting, innovative combination of flavours? The lamb was indeed tender and moist and the hint of coffee just lifted up this dish considerably.
If I had not guessed the theme of this degustation meal, then our dessert dish was the biggest give away clue.
Our final sixth dish was the carrot sponge dessert. It was a stunning looking dessert with cookie and carrot crumbles and a lemon grass sobert at the centre. The balsamic & caramel sauce sure put a smile on our faces.
The entire dining experience was sensational. It was the superb attention to details and the elegant presentation that added so much to the experience. This certainly will not be my last meal at Ormeggio as they update and change their menu frequently. I felt so cheered up and asked my friend when we could come back again.
This is a great Italian fine-dining restaurant for any very special occasion or anniversary. A tasty menu like this easily fetched up to $300 per person anywhere else. Did I mention, Ormeggio is an award winning 2 hats restaurant? With such a great heartfelt price, it is so worth it even if you live in the Blue Mountains.
Booking is highly recommended. Your chance for a table at a spontaneous walk-in is 0%.