Why worry about Monday when you can have a Stressless Sunday? That's the premise at Ormeggio at the Spit, where you can have a six course dinner for $79. Amazing value for a two hatted restaurant. The beautiful view of Mosman Bay is not bad either.
The menu changes each week, depending on what seasonal produce is on offer. We started with some Sourdough and whipped ricotta with a sprinkling of chives. It's good quality sourdough, served warm and the whipped ricotta was a great alternative to butter.
We started with the Eggplant and tomato consomme, a very delicate and fresh dish. The eggplant was incredibly soft and the consomme, whilst there wasn't a lot of it, packed a punch of flavour.
Next was the Pan fried kingfish with puffed rice, broccolini powder and mussel water. The fish was cooked remarkably well and the puffed rice gave it a nice crunch. Although I didn't get much of a mussel flavour, it was still a very delicious dish to eat.
The Tagliolini was also cooked to perfection. Whilst the serving looked small, the mascarpone made it an incredibly creamy and decadent dish. I loved the hit of umami from the bottarga (fish roe) too.
The single meat dish of the night was the Lamb with coffee crumble. The lamb was braised, formed into thin sheets then fried, giving it a crispy crust on the outside. The coffee flavour was strong but not overpowering and worked in harmony with the sour cream emulsion and the black garlic puree.
Dessert was simply titled Textures of lemon and almond. It consisted a lemon and almond sponge, with almond ice cream lemon and almond puree, vanilla crumble and lemon granita. It was light and refreshing, but felt a little bit more like a palate cleanser/ pre-dessert than a full dessert.
All in all, Ormeggio is a great showcase of modern Italian cuisine. With friendly and professional service, water views, it's not a bad place to spend a Sunday evening.
Walking down the spiral stairs of Restaurant Hubert past thousands of miniature spirit bottles, you are transported into another world: the red drapes, candlelit tables, timber paneled walls and a baby grand piano catches my eye. It feels warm, romantic and full of character. It's hard to believe this used to be the site of a Chinese restaurant with a pagoda and a fishpond!
We started with the Ouefs en gelee, made with soft egg yolk, bonito jelly, trout roe and avruga. It's a rich, textural dish and had the umami flavours that are more commonly associated with Japanese dishes.
We couldn't go past the Duck liver parfait with maple syrup jelly. It was deliciously creamy and intense in flavour. The maple syrup jelly helped cut through the fattiness of the parfait. I simply couldn't stop eating it.
We were recommended by our waiter to order the Malakoff, it's everyone's favourite, we were told. It was hard to argue with that after taking a bit into the golden crust and being rewarded with a gooey ball of Gruyere cheese with a hint of mustard. Definitely one you don't want to share with too many people!
Just as impressive was the Steak tartare, a quintessential French dish. The wagyu topside had a great texture, mixed with the egg yolk, chives, capers and cornichons. It was topped by a generous mountain of fries.
For mains, the whole chicken or duck sounded tempting but a bit too big for our table of three, so we opted for the John Dory provencal. The basil and olive oil sauce was just simply outstanding and really the star of the dish, going perfectly with the poached John Dory fillets and the pippies.
The sides were just as impressive. The Pommes Anna is basically crispy layers of potato served with a buerre blanc sauce. It's hard not to love carbs when they're done like this!
We were intrigued by the Kimchi gratin and it did not disappoint. It packs a punch in terms of flavour and heat.
Onto desserts and we started with the Melon en surprise: a Santa Claus melon hollowed out melon balls with sorrel jelly, finger lime and young coconut sorbet. It's an incredibly refreshing dessert with a light sweetness and I loved the pop of the zesty finger limes.
Our second dessert was the Le Grand Macaron. The tartness of the raspberries was balanced by the sweetness of the rice cream and it was another joy to eat.
Hubert is a wonderful sensory experience and definitely lived up to the hype. I will definitely be back to try the Roast duck, of which they only have a limited quantity per day. Bookings are limited to group of 6+ but you can always take a seat at the bar whilst waiting for a table.
Hidden away from the bustling Military Road in Neutral Bay is La Puerta, a great place to dine if you are a fan of Latin American cuisine. The restaurant design features red, black and dark wooden hues with a dramatic mural depicting two dancers in the midst of a tango.
The food is made for sharing and we started with the Tiradito. Thin slices of kingfish have been marinated with Aji Amarillo (a chilli paste), dressed with lime juice and red sorrel leaves. It's similar to ceviche, wonderfully fresh, tangy with a bit of heat.
I love my grilled corn and La Puerta’s Mazarcada Corn is just as delicious as the ones I’ve tried at Mamasita or Ms G’s. The corn was topped with a generous amount of grated haloumi cheese and a delicious spice mix.
For the bigger dishes, we opted for the Grilled giant octopus with chorizo and crispy potato. The grilled octopus almost tasted meaty, and the capsicum chutney together with the aioli made for a great flavour combination. It was definitely a moreish dish.
Can’t say I’ve tried Pork belly with avocado puree so I was a little apprehensive, but it turned out to be a great combination. The pork was incredibly tender with crispy crackling, and finished off with a chorizo crumb. The smoked potato and avocado puree provided a good balance to the bold flavours of the dish.
Onto dessert and the Popcorn and soursop ice cream sandwich definitely caught my eye. I love the taste of soursop, but have usually only found it in some Vietnamese restaurant as an ingredient to a smoothie. First time having soursop ice cream and it was very refreshing and perfectly offset the sweetness of the dulce de leche-laced popcorn brittle. It was definitely a fun dessert to eat.
La Puerta has a lovely ambience and it's definitely worth a visit to experience some South American cuisine, tapas style. There’s an extensive cocktails and wine list too, featuring mainly Chilean and Argentinian varieties.
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