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Published June 8th 2016
Upper Class Fine-Dining Right By the Harbour Bridge
I was always bit sceptical about fine-dining restaurants with an incredible view thinking the food expectation does not match up to the setting, or that the dish may taste too experimental with no substantial value. Let me say from the outset, Sails on Lavender Bay does not have these problems.
Sails on Lavender Bay is a quiet, hidden treasure of Sydney's north. It is a well-positioned waterfront restaurant right on the prestigious Lavender Bay with stunning iconic views of Sydney Harbour, the Bridge and the Opera House.
The restaurant is modern and suggested an elegant setting. It is decorated with floor-to-ceiling glass windows to allow a lot natural light in, as well as to showcase the million dollar spectacular waterfront views, Harbour Bridge, and surrounding picturesque scenery. It is a small restaurant, but the clever use of mirrors and glass create a spacious feel. The general ambiance is inviting enough with some reservations.
One of the best parts about Sails is the fact the food is well presented. If aesthetics are important to you as tastiness, this definitely is the place for you.
This is the stunning view when I walked into the restaurant.
We started off with an amuse bouche - a lovely blue cheese tartlet with walnut. The blue cheese curd was rich, smooth and creamy and it was topped with a roasted crunchy walnut for a lovely textural contrast. It was a very simple, clean and fresh dish to start the meal.
Entree - Hiramasa Kingfish Tataki $28.00 (Pickled daikon, salt & pepper tofu, miso, black sesame, shiso)
One thing that really impressed me was the presentation of the dishes. I was definitely enticed by the Hiramasa Kingfish Tataki. It was a stunning beautiful dish that looked almost like an artwork. The lightly seared kingfish was fresh and tender. It was served with tangy pickled daikon, crispy salt and pepper tofu and a miso black sesame sauce to balance the dish.
It was a lovely dish which ticked the aesthetics box and showcased the natural flavours of the kingfish perfectly. Our entree was so good that we wished there was more!
I was in the mood for some seafood, so I chose the Special of Day which was an assortment of seafood in a tomato-based broth. I held my breath when they served the dish. Initially it looked like a simple classic light soup dish with beautiful meaty barramundi, scallops, mussels, clams and a grilled king prawn.
On the palate, the barramundi fillet delivered a pleasant taste sensation with an almost fall-apart flaky texture contrasted with the crispy oily skin. The soup broth was delicately flavored with seasonal root vegetables.
We could taste the soft natural sea flavour in the soup and I believed it was enhanced by the seared scallops, mussels and clams. Also, the crispy grilled king prawn added texture to the dish. Overall, it was a very nice put together dish in a beautiful composition.
Main Course - Roasted Grimaud Duck Breast $41.00 (Carrot purée, Israeli cous cous, witlof, toasted almond, orange, watercress)
This dish was all about the richness and flavour of duck. It was beautiful roasted, tender and succulent with dominating flavours. The vibrant carrot puree looked healthy and the large plump Israeli cous cous and the charred witlof paired with the duck very well. The zesty orange gave this dish an extra dimension.
I really liked the plating presentation as it added to visual appeal to the dish.
Between our lovely selections modern Australian entree, side dishes and the mains, our meal was satisfying and delicious. However we were so full so we skipped dessert. We concluded our wonderful lunch by taking a post-feast stroll in the Lavender Bay lookout area and enjoyed the stunning harbour view.
Dining at Sails on Lavender Bay is such a wonderful experience, you can travel the world but there is nothing more beautiful and tranquil than a fine gourmet meal by the Harbour. I don't think I will ever grow tired looking at this view. Perhaps I should start look for real estate here.