Gastro Park, Potts Point
For an early birthday celebration, I was treated to a 10 course tasting menu at Gastro Park at Potts Point. Helmed by Grant King, the menu showcased molecular gastronomy at its finest and each dish was intriguing and had a sense of fun.
Starting with the snacks, it took a few seconds to compute what has landed on our table. Perched on the black stones were a couple of slices of citrus cured salmon and an edible garden tartlet with pumpkin puree. The salmon was delicious with a hit fo zinginess and the tart was full of flavour with an extra crispy black wafer shell.
The last component of the snacks were the Wagyu beef grissini, which were a joy to eat. The beetroot powder and pecorino cheese made a great combination with the thin slices of smoked wagyu.
The scallop ceviche with pomegranate juice was one of my favourite dishes of the night. Firstly, the theatre the dry ice created was magnificent. Opening the shell revealed these delicate slices of scallop ceviche in a vibrant red pomegranate juice. The scallops were melt in your mouth tender and I could have easily drank a few shell-fuls of the pomegranate concoction.
The seared artic scampi was perfectly cooked with the coconut and apple adding a freshness to the dish.
Ever since seeing this dish on Masterchef, I had wanted to try the Liquid butternut gnocchi for myself and it definitely lived up to expectations. The pearls of pumpkin soup is held together by the thinnest of membranes, each uniform in size. Taking each gnocchi as a whole, the pumpkin soup just bursts in your mouth and is an absolute delight to eat. The consomme was equally divine - it's so intense in flavour I felt like I was eating a bowlful of mushrooms! The consomme was a little more cloudy than what I was anticipating, but the flavours were faultless.
The Jewfish had an extra crispy skin and was teamed with a rich roast bone sauce, fried enoki and a parsnip powder and foam which was again, so incredibly intense in flavour.
The pork belly was cooked perfectly, with a rich mixture of spanner crab and pork ‘pebbles’ which were basically like pork crackling broken down into a hundred pieces - heaven!
Cooked for two days in a sous vide water bath and finished on a robata grill, the Riverina short rib was nothing short of amazing. I didn't get a photo of the beef which cut as I was too busy devouring it, but it was still perfectly pink in the middle after 48 hours of cooking! The short rib had just the right amount of fat too and every accompanying element on the plate (the smoked eggplant puree, peas and pods) helped to enhance the star of the dish. My bf and I were so gobsmacked by the quality of this beef we started googling to see where we could buy a sous vide machine to recreate it at home!
On to desserts! The sheep milk's yoghurt, srawberry and pomelo icy pop was a playful palate cleanser.
My bf was trialling a non-dairy diet, and he got a Celery sorbet. I had my doubts but it was incredibly refreshing and I actually really, really liked it.
The Robata pineapple was another highlight of the night. It was beautifully caramelised without being overly sweet. The sorbet by itself was a tad overpowering but when eaten together with the shell and buttermilk, was just perfect. It's a very clean and refreshing dessert where all the flavours just work together. My bf got the coconut sorbet in place of the yuzu version, which was equally delicious.
The final dessert and course of the night is the Chocolate, honeycomb and vanilla sphere. Cracking the chocolate shell open, out oozes the vanilla and honeycomb lava. It's like a Cadbury creme egg but flavoured with cardamom, saffron and ginger - an extravagant end to an extravagant meal.
Gastro Park definitely deserves its hatted status. The food did take a little while to come out, but completely understandable given they often had to make a non-diary variation of each dish. Service was top notch and they were incredibly accommodating with the dietary requirements, offering alternative dishes that were just as high in quality as their standard menu. The food is inventive and creative, making for a memorable dining experience.
Waterman's Lobster Co, Potts Point
On my search for the best lobster rolls in Sydney, I ventured to Waterman's Lobster Co in Potts Point. My friend and I were seated on one of the outside tables, nabbing one of the last remaining tables on a busy Satusrday afternoon.
We started with the New England Clam Chowder which was packed full of flavours from the sea. The chowder was creamy and rich and I particularly enjoyed the meaty clams and the crunchy, buttery croutons.
The White anchovies with shaved beetroot looked spectacular on the plate. The crispy slices of differently coloured beetroot were artfully arranged, interspersed with the cured anchovies which had a great intensity of flavour.
And onto the lobster rolls! The 'Connecticut' style lobster roll came on a buttery toasted brioche roll, which was heavenly - crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. The lobster meat has a subtle sweetness and there was a decent serving (knowing how expensive this is in Australia, it can't compare to the much bigger portions you get in America).
The 'Maine' lobster roll came with tangy Mayo and celery, which still allowed the lobster to shine. I found it hard to pick my preferred version, but in the end, I think the buttery roll of the 'Connecticut' style won me over. You can choose to add a side of crunchy fries (sprinkled with paprika) or pickles to the dish, both of which are great additions.
Good atmosphere and friendly service, I will no doubt be back to get my lobster fix.
Ms Gs, Potts Point
Ms G's is one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney and my last outing there was no different. It ticks all the right boxes in terms of atmosphere, service and food (both in quality and inventiveness).
In recent years, franken food have begun making its way onto menus (e.g. ramen burger, cruffic and cronut to name a few). Here at Ms G's, they offer Cheeseburger springrolls - it sounded too intriguing to resist. Biting into one of these, we felt like we had entered food heaven! So what does it tastes like? Exactly like how you would imagine it would taste - it's like having a bite sized cheeseburger wrapped in deep fried pastry!
The grilled corn on a cob is a staple on the Ms G's menu and paired with the lime and generous shavings of parmesan, is absolutely delicious.
The Vietnamese style steak tartare comes with prawn crackers rather than croutons. The steak tartare was tender with the sweet, salty and tangy notes that Vietnamese cuisines are known for. I also loved the addition of the fried eschallots sprinkled on top.
The photo doesn't do our next dish, the Nasi Goreng hitam justice. It's a twist on the Malaysian classic with the rice fried with chorizo and squid ink. The dish was bold in flavour, with a good degree of heat, and topped off with a sunny side up egg.
For dessert, we went for The BOSS - primarily because it contained kaya French toast, which I discovered whilst holidaying in Malaysia recently. The mixture of coconut, pandan, egg and sugar in the kaya spread is just intoxicatingly good. But that wasn't all that I loved about the dessert - the thai milk ice cream was velvelty smooth and intense in flavour, and the blueberry jam added a touch of freshness. Together with the puffed rice and honeycomb, it was definitely a fun dessert to eat though it did get a little too sweet by the end.
Once again, Ms G's has delivered. It's fun place to go for a date or with a group of friends. The only downsides are the lack of parking and poor lighting for food photos!
Osaka Bar, Potts Point
I have great memories of eating my way through the Japanese city of Osaka a few years back so was eager to dine at Osaka Bar, which is headed up by Chef Kazu, ex-head chef of Masuya. It is nestled on Llankelly Avenue in Potts Point, one of the new dining hubs in the city with indoor and outdoor seating. The menu is a mixture of Osaka specialties, other traditional Japanese dishes and more Western/ fusion offerings.
But first, drinks! Seeing all the sake bottles lined up in the restaurant, my bf and I decided some sake is in order. Not knowing too much about the many variants of sake, we left it up to the restaurant to select one for us to try. We were invited to pick our own sake cup which was a nice touch.
We started with the takoyaki balls, an Osaka street food specialty. The balls were plump with a gooey centre and I loved the fact I could see actal chunky pieces of octopus inside.
The Popcorn prawns were a great snack, crispy on the outside and was accompanied with two tasty sauces: a garlic mayo and a spicy tomato sauce.
Okonomiyaki is another specialty originating from Osaka so we were definitely eager to try it. We opted for the pork filling and mixed with the cabbage and egg, was utterly delicious. It came wrapped with prosctuitto which was a bonus.
The confit duck is Chef Kazu's signature dish and it's easy to see why. The slices of duck were cooked at 65 degrees, resulting in melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. The miso and honey mustard melded with the blueberry sauce was a genius combination. The flavours worked really well together and this was one of our favourite dishes of the night.
Next was the Slow cooked beef tendon which had a lovely gelatinous texture. The flavour of the sweet miso broth was spot on and we could easily ate another couple of skewers.
The grilled wagyu was the chef's recommendation and again, he was right on the money. The wagyu rump, cooked medium rare was super succulent and it came with a delicious peppery steak sauce and creamy cod roe mashed potato.
Since it was a rather cold night, we ordered the Osaka-style oden, a Japanese style hot pot. It's a very homely dish with a soy and mirin based broth, containing fish cake, Konnyaku (yam cake), hard boiled egg and our favourite beef tendon.
If you love deep fried food, then this is the right place to visit as it serves a wide selection of Kushi Katsu skewers - which literally translates to deep fried skewers. Even better if you a member of Washoku Lovers (a promoter of authentic Japanese restaurants), as they offer you two complimentary skewers when you dine. We opted for the salmon belly and the eggplant varieties. The coating of bread crumbs results in them being super crunchy.
I love the tapas style menu which is perfect for sharing. The food is great value for money and it's great to see a restaurant showcasing the food of Osaka.
Sashimiso dined as a guest of Osaka Bar. All opinions are my own.
Cho Cho San, Potts Point
I had been eager to try Cho Cho San ever since it opened and a workmate's farewell was just the right excuse to venture to this Potts Point eatery. Things did not go exactly to plan as we were told our table was given away, despite us being on the phone with the restaurant just minutes earlier telling them we were on our way. They did seem rather apologetic and after a drink at The Bourbon, we eventually got our table right alongside the bar. I loved the interior of Cho Cho San - it has a very minimalistic yet elegant feel. For ease of ordering, we opted for the $65 Feed Me menu.
First up was the pickled vegetables which was tangy and refreshing, and whetted our appetite for more.
Miso and eggplant is a wonderful combination - Nasu dengaku is one of my favourite dishes to order at a Japanese restaurant. Cho Cho San has done a different take on these two ingredients - teaming the lightly fried egglant which is satisfyingly gooey on the inside, with a tasty miso sauce. It is the ultimate bar snack and I had to stop myself from eating the whole plate.
Next up was the Petunia ocean trout. The photo doesn't really do it justice. Thickly cut, the fresh sashimi was superbly balanced with just the right amount of soy, mirin, black pepper and wasabi. Normally, I am not a big fan of wasabi but in this case, it did not overpower the dish at all. This is one of the dishes I could order again and again.
The King prawns with Kombu butter was slightly hard to eat elegantly with the utensils provided, but oh so tasty and charred just the right amount.
The udon noodles, pork and chilli sauce was a very hearty dish and devoured by all. The chilli sauce had quite a kick to it and the udon noodles still retained a springy texture. The whipped tofu (which at first I thought was egg white) added a nice contrast.
A giant plate of iceberg lettuce then landed on our table. Extremely simple, but somehow still rather tasty. The ponzu dressing imparted a fresh flavour onto the dish and was a good palate cleanser before we moved onto dessert.
Just when we thought the food was over, one of savoury dish arrived and it was the Japanese style charcoal chicken. The yakitori glaze on the chicken was amazingly flavoursome and I have no idea how they managed to keep the meat so tender.
All night, we had seen scores of the Green Tea Soft Serve waffle cone leaving the kitchen and finally, it was our turn. The green tea ice cream had a good hit of matcha although I would have preferred it to be slightly less sweet. It was a refreshing end to a very satisfying meal.
I am eager to come back and try the a la carte menu next time!
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