The two-hatted Sixpenny had been on my go-to list for a while and it certainly delivered in terms of flavour, texture and service. We were seated in the private dining room, where we had a full view of the kitchen watching the chefs weave their magic.
Our 8 course degustation started with a trio of snacks. Side note: each dish is brought out by the chefs and they take great care to explain the dish to you. The Green tomatoes, grown in the Blue Mountains, looked like tomatoes but tasted like sour grapes. The Pumpkin Scallop is a tasty morsel of confit pumpkin deep fried and topped with some pumpkin seed salt. My favourite of the snacks though were the Cheese gougeres. They were delightfully fluffy, covered with a layer of cheddar shavings. The filling of cheese combined with the green tomato jam was simply delicious.
The Spanner Crab with Clam Butter and Trout Roe was a very delicate dish, with quite a strong hit of saltiness.
The Venison Tartare looked striking as it hit the table, though the tartare itself was actually hidden under a layer of hazelnut shavings. The combination of the earthy beetroot with the sweet hazelnut and the gamey-ness of the venison is genius.
Potatoes are often just a side accompaniment but here at Sixpenny, they take centre stage. The mini cylinders of potatoes are cooked in an oyster butter emulsion and paired with slices of raw mushrooms and mushroom powder. It's amazing how so much umami flavour can be generated from such a simple selection of ingredients.
The Spanish Mackarel with Radicchio was another highlight. The mackerel was beautifully cooked but the star of the dish for me was the tomato and fermented cucumber essence. It provided a lovely sweetness and contrast to the bitterness of the radicchio.
Onto the last savoury course of the meal, the Lamb rump with roasted leek and caramelised pumpkin juice was another good dish, but lacked the wow factor of its predecessors.
The pre-dessert was another deceptive simple yet spectacular dish. The Mead Vinegar Custard was silky smooth and together with the frozen beads of raspberry and the intense flavour of the strawberry consomme definitely made my tastebuds sing.
The Feijoa Granita with the white chocolate cream and white chocolate disc was slightly on the sweet side for me.
Our final dish was the Cocoa Ice Cream with Wattleseed Caramel and Toasted Farro. The ice cream was super smooth and the addition of the toasted, salty farro added a really interesting dimension to the dessert.
In the unassuming suburb of Stanmore, Sixpenny lives up to its numerous accolades and deliver a great fine dining experience.
12 Micron, Barangaroo
12 Micron is an establishment situated in the new dining precinct of Barangaroo, complete with its own dessert bar helmed by Darren Purchese. First thing I noticed about 12 Micron was the enormous, modern space (able to seat more than 220 patrons) with a brilliant harbour view.
We were excited to get to the desserts but decided to have some savoury dishes first before the sugar hit. The menu is focused on Australian produce and we start with the Lobster omelette. It was a classic dish done well, with generous servings of lobster.
The Moreton Bay Bug rice paper rolls were disappointing in flavour and serving size, given the price charged.
The Goats cheese tortellini, on the other hand, was beautifully executed. The tortellinis were plump and the burnt butter sauce was spot on.
The Flinders Island lamb was beautifully cooked. I quite enjoyed the texture of the damper and the seared sweetbreads were very tasty.
The Suckling pork came with crispy crackling and the preserved riberries added a nice touch, though serving size is again a little small.
There were a number of dishes on offer from the rotisserie, visible in the open kitchen. We picked the Duck with duck fat potatoes. The duck was good, without being spectacular. By this stage, we were ready for the dessert onslaught and this is where 12 Micron really shines.
There's an option for a 3, 5 or 7 course dessert degustation but we opted to go a la carte. We started with the Pistachio, green tea and yuzu creation. The Pistachio and green tea mousse was delicate and pillowy, as was the green tea sponge. The gelato was smooth and creamy and the pops of yuzu and blackcurrant added some bold colours and flavours to the dish.
The glass of Coconut, passionfruit, ginger and mint was delicious in every way, and it was fun searching through the layers to discover all the different elements.
The deconstructed Gin & Tonic dessert had more components than I could remember. There was the lime and lemon curd, frozen cucumber and lime parfait, white chocolate mousse and marshmallows just to name a few. Somehow, all the ingredients work together and really delivered on the flavour of a G&T.
Another favourite of the night was the Smoked Vanilla ice cream with plum, Barossa Valley Wanera and Thyme Sable. It's the first time I've had ice cream with a slice of cheese, and surprised to say, it worked amazingly well together! The cheese manages to temper the sweetness of the plum sauce and the honeycomb.
Olive oil, chocolate, toast ice cream and smoked salt was another exciting combination that worked beautifully. The olive oil jelly was light and creamy at the same time, the chocolate ganache was incredibly rich with the bread ice cream providing some much needed relief.
The Rose, Apple, Strawberry and Beetroot dessert definitely caught out attention with its striking red colour and wonderful fragrance. The crystallised rose petals was a bit too sweet for my liking, but I did enjoy the apple sorbet which was very refreshing and the moist beetroot sponge cake.
Just when we thought we had conquered the desserts, a plate of complmentary petit fours (actually, threes) arrived on our table. I found the raspberry jellies much too sweet, but the mint biscuit was tasty, as well as the dark chocolate truffle.
The design of the restaurant is impressive, from the segmentation of the space down to the beautiful cutlery and crockery. The desserts are clearly the star of the show and why you should pay 12 Micron a visit. Not only do they look amazing, but the creations are playful, imaginative and full of unexpected flavour and textural combinations.
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