It’s been a while since I’ve visited a new restaurant on the block, and since my mid-year plans had changed quite suddenly, I decided I’d have the budget to be able to check out a new powerhouse created by some big name people.
Since I usually only go to highly sought after places, I had no idea if I needed a booking or not… and decided to try a walk-in. Yay, I was instantly seated!
I was going to order a mocktail or pass on drinks altogether, but something on the list caught my eye. I’ve seen a bottle floating about called Doppelganger by Brave New Wine in some of the super hipster restaurants, and I absolutely love the name. Plus, it’s an orange wine, the hip thing to drink right now. They had it available by the glass, so sure, why not!
It was nice, but since I don’t drink and my tastebuds are pretty poor, plus the fact that I prefer light bodied red wines, means that I have no idea how to describe the taste. Oh well!
The menu is designed to be shared, and features lots of things on sticks! But first, oysters. These ones were from Duck Bay, Tasmania. They came with condiments of sorrel (I think?) vinaigrette and hot sauce, so I put a bit of each on them. Given my recent Tasmania experience, I was pretty sure these oysters would be so-so (Tasmanian oysters taste infinitely better in Tasmania, as opposed to South Australian oysters which I find taste similar outside of South Australia), and yeah, they were okay, but I’ve been spoilt lately so I’ll say no more.
Garden crudites with sunflower cream and yuzu kosho. What delicious veg! I especially loved all the pickled vegetables. I dipped everything in the sunflower cream, but to be honest, it was the flavour of the vegetables that I was enjoying the most. The beans were pretty boring so needed the cream, but the sugar peas were so good by themselves!
I agonised between the beef tartare and the fish crudo, and in the end chose the beef. For me, the beef was pretty standard – it didn’t blow my mind so my favourite tartares are still from wherever it is that I mentioned it last. That being said, the potato crisps were fantastic! And the cured egg shavings! The crisps were super thin and crispy!!
Also, this was on a bed of oyster cream. The oyster flavour was just right, and a nice touch to the dish.
Okay, things on sticks time! I really liked that they served “beef intercostals” but it makes me wonder if there’s a more common name for it. The king oyster mushroom with soy cured yolk was a must for me, because I love mushrooms. In the background is an octopus stick with squid ink Kewpie. When these came out, I actually forgot that that the mushroom came with egg, so when I saw it in the middle of the plate, I asked how to eat it! The waitress said I could just dip the things on sticks in it. Because of how much the yolk had condensed though, the dipping didn’t really work, instead I just scooped it onto my food. And wow, it was one amazing egg yolk. I don’t think I’ve had soy cured yolk before, and I loved it!
And dessert was grilled pineapple with roasted rice ice cream. I knew I wanted this as soon as I saw the pineapple on the menu, and my mind instantly thought of Dinner by Heston’s pineapple display in the kitchen, because that was an amazing sight. It was covered in a ginger sauce which worked so well with it!
The ice cream was super melty (as opposed to me taking pictures of it since I usually am acutely aware of how long I spend between the food arriving, me taking shots and then eating it), and the flavour of roasted rice really came though. The feeling the ice cream gave me was a lot like the chamomile ice cream from Celcius – it was very “feel good” and an appropriate end to my meal. I was very pleased with this and it was my favourite dish of the night.
I was really full after all that, but probably only because I ordered the wine – I dehydrate instantly from it so I had about a litre of water on top of all the food. I was a little surprised at the bill because it came in at over $100… which is fairly expensive! That being said, I don’t usually order wine, and I don’t usually order four oysters. If I deducted them from the bill, I would have hit my estimated spend of $70. Hence, I can’t tell if this place is actually more expensive, because I don’t know if I would have ordered an extra entree instead.
Also, while the food was nice, there was nothing particularly standout about it (except for the dessert), so I kept thinking back to Petition Kitchen, which also does share plates, though the menu structure is different. I think I like Petition better because it’s more my style, plus it’s marginally less out of the way. However, if you’re in this part of town, it’s a great place to have a meal with friends.
Hooray for trying new things!