Its been a low week. We had to spend our last moments with Nick before he is based in Sydney. This is especially sad since we have made many good memories with him. All the best with private equity!
To celebrate (if we should call it that), he took us out for dinner at Clark’s of North Beach. A partner at PwC told me this restaurant is voted the best BYO restaurant. I was very excited to try. Nick and Jay went with the degustation ($100 + supp). Degustations are normally too much for me so I went with a 3 course meal. However, I did taste every single dish.
The amuse bouche is a Spanner Crab Croquette. The waiter set it down, explained the dish and then poured fish broth over the croquette. Because of this, the croquette retained its crunchy coating. The spanner crab went very well with the very fluffy mashed potato. It was a good sign. If the amuse bouche is a synopsis of the meal, the meal is likely to be a fancy mixture of delicate and somewhat rich textures. The broth had japanese seaweed which led me to expect a bit of fusion in their dishes.
Linley valley pork belly, crackle dust, apple textures (Part of the degustation)
The dish was beautifully presented however expectations were not met. The pork was a little overcooked to Nick as you would expect pork belly to be moist and very soft. I realised that its because Nick did not get a fatty part. The crackle that sandwiched the pork ball smelled really porky… if you know what I mean.
This is excellent. The veal was tear jerkingly soft. The sweetbread crumbed and fried was delicious. (note to self: I’ve never had sweetbread any other way) Sweetbread is neither bread nor sweet. It is usually part of a throat gland. The pickled carrots added a much needed twang. This dish had great balance.
A piece of whiting, possibly pan fried to a crisp, was laid upon mousse that wasn’t fluffy all the way. The snapper in the mousse was whole and chunky but gave way easily. When all was combined and eaten with the creamy sauce, I understood the rationale of having a crisp piece of fish to top it off.
The egg was cooked at 60 degrees for 2 hours leaving the yolk soft but not flowing. The yolk enveloped the very salty flavours from the smoky ham hock. There was an interesting mix of broad beans, peas, peanuts and mung beans. The butter brioche served on the side goes veryyyy well with this dish albeit lovely on its own!
Despite chicken not being mentioned, the meat on the far bottom right is actually compressed chicken breast. The dark roll of meat sitting up is duck breast tightly rolled, poached and then pan fried. The boudin in the middle was really a piece of confit leg coated in creamy white sausage (boudin blanc). I thought it was interesting that ginger cookies crumbed over the foie gras epsuma.
Thin strong thyme sauce was served on the side.
The lamb was sweet, the sweetbread crunchy and the boudin blanc was very flavourful. The potato was amazingly cooked – the potato was firm yet had so much buttery flavours.
The pre dessert is the delightful Irish Cream Espuma with popping candy. Espuma is another term for foam.