essence restaurant, darling harbour, sydney nsw 2500, originally uploaded by Vanessa Pike-Russell.
Tasting plate consisting of baked cauliflower custard with parmesan crisp, pressed braised pork cheek with apple chutney, pan fried dory fillet with confit cherry tomato and aubergine caviar and thai style duck salad wiith seared scallop and palm sugar dressing. ($35 including a glass of Brown Brothers wine, James Squire ale or mineral water)
First we sampled the thai-style duck salad with seared scallop. An amazing blend of flavours, with the duck salad’s thai spices contrasting the gentle flavour of the scallop which was cooked to perfection.
Next was the pan fried dory fillet – sweet and succulent, melting in the mouth with a light buttery taste, causing everyone at our table to moan with happiness. So much flavour within the aubergine caviar which was enhanced by the fresh, sweet flavours of the tomato.
After that, A hit with the males at our table was the braised pork cheek with apple chutney. The crackle was crispy with the meat succulent, complemented by the sweet sauce.
The last portion of the sample platter was a still-warm baked cauliflower custard with parmesan crisp. All but one of the custards was perfectly made, with one person being disappointed that the custard had separated a little – causing a pool of milky water at the bottom of the cup. The flavours were gentle and soothing with the Parmesan crisp not adequate for dipping into the cup but a tasty accompaniment nonetheless.
We followed the sample platter with a shared plate of goats cheese tart ($16 for 4 pieces).
I have to say that it was my favourite part of the lunch – and that is an amazing statement since I absolutely loved the scallop and dory portions of the meal. The goats cheese melted in your mouth, complemented by the pastry which was warm and flaky, the freshness of the rocket balanced out the flavours. Utterly brilliant. By the time we had enjoyed the last bite we were already planning on returning for more.
11 Lime Street, King Street Wharf
Sydney NSW 2500
Monday – Friday 12pm – 3pm
Monday – Saturday 6pm until late