Seems like a lot of the restaurants these days have a bar on the side. It's a nice touch having daily specials scribbled on the mirror behind, watching the barkeep flip a cocktail or listening to the therapeutic sound steaming of steaming milk.
I decided to take an old friend along to dinner and I was really intent on her trying a degustation. It's the must have experience for any Sydney foodie but unfortunately budgets can be quite limiting. I thought of Vini and their $50 regional dinner but they were booked out weeks in advanced and I hear Jamie's Italian can be quite the nightmare to get seats for. Fortunately being the planner I am, I have multiple backups and we were soon on our way to District. Sorry for the weird angles and everything, I'm still trying to learn how to use a camera.
|District crispy chicken wings, chilli caramel 16|
We started off with chicken wings. Yeah I know anyone can basically make chicken wings and these were pretty ordinary if not for the amazing caramel that came with it. Seriously forget bottled sweet chilli sauce, this chilli caramel was so good I could drink the stuff. It gets better when it starts slowly crystallizing and you get all these little crispy bits along with the aromats like ginger, lemongrass, chilli, sesame oil and other asian flavours. The lemon water on the side is a clear indicator you should use your hands to eat these, I mean how else would eat chicken wings?
|Seared Scallops, cauliflower, chorizo, Pedro Ximénez 22|
Cauliflower puree, pork and scallops are best friends. How could you go wrong with them? This was well executed and the scallops were cooked to perfection, seared on the outside and opaque in the middle.
|Kingfish, wasabi snow, soy tapioca, radish|
You get kingfish cooked two different ways, fried and seared. Personally I'm one for searing fish, it's basically two textures in one, your seared cooked outside and your fresh sashimi in the inside. Wasabi snow was pretty cool, hot and cold in the same mouthful and it really plays with your mind. That and a generous serving of big roe and you get a wicked dish. I usually loath the use of radishes in general because I find them overpowering but these were used sparingly enough that their flavour was very subtle.
|Duck Confit, ras el hanout, carrot, orange, ginger 28|
Duck was deliciously cooked, skin crisped up and all with a really warming blend of spices, although the meat could use a few more hours confiting to ensure it's more fall apart. Add carrots and a parsley oil and you have the perfect autumn dish.
|Peanut Butter Parfait, chocolate cookie crumble, banana 14|
Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter, I love Peanut Butter. It's Peanuts and It's Buttery and that equals happiness and obesity. That was an unintentional rhyme, I swear. I see anything with these words and I immediately order away. Speaking of which I bought another 3 bags of Reeses so there goes my anti sugar diet. Anyway this was delightful because peanut butter and banana are the perfect match. The parfait was dense and smooth and bruleéing the tops of the bananas really adds a simple unique texture to bananas. The banana puree brings it all together and the cookie crumbs are really there for an extra texture.
|Blueberry Eton Mess, blueberry sorbet 14|
I've had a fascination lately with anything Eton Mess ever since Montpellier's version of it (Refer to Montpellier Eton Mess). There something about a deconstructed meringue that really appeals to me. Blueberries were superfresh, sweet and soury and the meringue had just the right amount of sweetness but that quinelle of blueberry sorbet was really something else. Watery and sweet, yet distinctively blueberrily, it just lifts this to a whole new dimension.
Remove the white linen, throw in some wooden boards, plank floors, retro colours, abstract art, hard wooden chairs and a serve-it-your-own jug of water and basically any restaurant calls itself casual dining. The food certainly has that Assiette vibe. Despite the restaurant bistro fit out, the food doesn't really pull off the rustic look all that well. Give it a wooden board and it's still meticulously plated and the food can get quite busy at times. Nevertheless the food is delicious and well thought out and the produce is very fresh and seasonal. I'd happily come back here again in a heartbeat.