Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans - John Lennon
Published February 25th 2015
For an edgy and exquisite fine dining experience
You can never have enough good food in a lifetime. To quote one of my favourite authors - Elizabeth Gilbert, "...is it so awful to travel through time with no greater ambition than to find the next lovely meal?". I agree with the sentiment whole-heartedly.
Every fine dining experience is akin to a journey of the senses. Here are 3 of my recent favourites, outstanding in every aspect of taste, ambience and service. In fact, two of them were awarded two hats respectively in the Good Food Guide 2015.
While it is no Heston Blumenthal, the food here is pretty gastronomical. Nestled between the Kings Cross and Potts Point, this aptly named restaurant is situated at the corner of a quiet laneway, away from all the hustle and bustle. Sleek and modern, the contemporary interior sets the mood for an exquisite dining experience.
An à la carte menu is available for those who want something more casual, otherwise I would recommend going for the tasting menu, with an option of 7-course ($140 pp) or 10-course ($170 pp). The highlight for me was the liquid butternut gnocchi with mushroom consommé. Why? Because you will be greeted with an explosion of flavour when the roe-like gnocchi pops in your mouth.
I will always be baffled by the fact that Riley St Garage was not awarded any hats this year. Not only was the food spectacular, the rustic charm of the converted warehouse immediately won me over. Maybe it was the funky jazz music, or perhaps it was the exposed brick walls. Somehow I find myself in a cross between London and Manhattan, or that's what it reminded me of.
A few tips: Definitely go for the oysters. I preferred smokey soy truffle over mignonette jelly, foie gras, but who said you can't sample them all? Also, I would recommend going for à la carte rather than the tasting menu. Fish n chip tartare and field mushroom risotto were two stand-outs for me.
It is apparent that the restaurant prides itself on simplicity based on its menu. Not over the top nor overly ambitious, it is not trying to get too many things going on at once, hence you can be assured that every dish is perfectly crafted with the right balance of flavour. The banquet menu is affordably priced at $65 pp, which I have to say is pretty damn good value for money.