So continuing the theme, another catch-up and another fantastic Sydney restaurant on Friday. This time, I headed to the Eastern suburbs to The Chiswick – a gastropub style restaurant hiding between Edgecliff and Bondi Junction.
When I arrive at The Chiswick my first thought it “Oh crap – have I been bought to the only place in Sydney that I need to wear heels at?” as I follow a group of very fashionably dressed high heeled ladies up the garden path (literally!). However, once inside (despite being found by the IT crowd) The Chiswick is casual, warm and lovely. The staff greet me warmly on arrival, take my coat and I’m quickly shown to my table.
But first things first for a Friday evening catch-up, a cocktail. I peruse the cocktail list and opt for a grapefruit spirtz (which tastes a lot like an Aperol Spirtz). Based on prosecco, it also contains campari, grapefruit cordial and grapefruit juice. It arrives quickly and goes down a treat as we review the menu.
We’re initially told that the entire menu is meant to share however, I would say that the nibbles, small plates and sharing platters are to share, the mains are for single eating (although you can do what we end up doing and order lots of small plates and sides and share two mains between three).
We started with three small plates: scallops, artichokes and sashimi. The scallops arrived first and comes with puree celeriac. The menu said it also came with truffle but honestly, I couldn’t taste it so I’m going to ignore it. The scallop was, however, perfectly seared. It was caramelised on the top and only just cooked in the middle – absolutely gorgeous little mouthful of food. The celeriac puree was sweet and smooth and matched perfectly with the scallop.
My choice was the winter salad of globe artichokes with horseradish dressing (which you can just see in the background of the above picture). The horseradish wasn’t very strong but the globe artichokes were beautiful. They were rich and full of flavour and perfectly cooked – tender but still with a little bit of resistance in them. There was something dark and crispy on the top but I wasn’t sure what it was. It was like a burnt potato crisp but I really wasn’t sure and it wasn’t very pleasant.
The last small plate that we chose as a start was the Trevally sashimi with sesame, yuzu and coriander. The fish was gorgeous (and I normally don’t like white fish sashimi). It was soft and melt in the mouth. The sesame and yuzu came as a paste type accompaniment and worked really well with the fish. I definitely went back for seconds and thirds.
Next came the mains. They initially said that everything was meant to be share but looking at the mains, it had obviously been designed for a single person. We share a steak (I’m going through a phase – I’m sorry) and the gnocchi (as my friend is going through an Italian phase and needs to try gnocchi wherever he goes). We also add the chips and steamed greens on the side.
We ordered the steak medium rare and was served with garlic butter and, roast parsnip and grain mustard on the side. The steak was a blushing medium rare at the table and the butter melting into it. It was melt in your mouth gorgeous. That’s all I have to say. The parsnips were nice – soft and creamy at the thicker bit and crispy crunchy at the bottom. I could have done without the grain mustard as it didn’t really taste of anything.
The other dish we chose (due to the Italian fetish) was the parmesan gnocchi with mushrooms and sage. The gnocchi were like little pillows of fluffy goodness. I couldn’t really taste the parmesan in them however, since they were sauteed there was a great crispy caramel flavour on the outside so I’ll forgive them. The mushrooms were lovely and soft with crunchy sage leaves and a generous amount of butter to coat. All in all a very nice dish.
We also got some chips with black aioli and steamed greens with chilli and lemon on the side. The chips were delicious and even better was the black aioli. I have no idea what went into that aioli that made it black but it was creamy and had a slight curry flavour to it. The chips were obviously triple cooked. There were crispy and crunchy narly bits on the outside and soft, hot potato in the middle.
The greens weren’t anything to write home about. It was a nice plate of well cooked broccoli with still a little bit of bit and flavoured with lemon and chilli. It was exactly what it said on the tin.
At this point, we lost one of the party to work (boo!) but the ladies stayed on to gossip, drink coffee and eat CHOCOLATE! For dessert, I ordered the Chiswick Hazelnut Rocher and two spoons. It tasted just like a Ferrero Rocher but in posh dessert form. It was a stunning chocolate and hazelnut mousse on top of a chocolate crunchy biscuit (which I think might have had popping candy in it… mmm… ) and was served with a refreshing vanilla ice-cream and more chocolate crumb. I loved it. It was warm and smooth and creamy. If you visit The Chiswick and you love chocolate, I really recommend this one!
We tipped out of The Chiswick five hours later and happily sated! It was a wonderful meal and the food, while the flavours weren’t as strong as I would have liked with some of the dishes (like the horseradish and the mustard), it was still an absolutely fantastic meal. The atmosphere was calm and relaxed and the food was well worth the journey.
Next challenge, to negotiate CityRail home to pack for my flight to San Francisco in the morning.
65 Ocean Street
Woollahra NSW 2025
T: +61 2 8388 8688