Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

Friday, 5 October 2012

The Devonshire, Surry Hills

The October food month has had me flicking on a keen eye for good deals. Many restaurants have experienced that infamous rise in prices and uni budgets aren't exactly that great. Just missing out on Star Grazing at Star City by a couple of days, The Devonshire on Devonshire St comes out as a very appealing alternative on Thursday. 

It's not exactly a difficult choice picking between A la carte or the degustation. 3 courses from the A la Carte will run you roughly $75 whereas the 8 course degustation is $80, undeniably one of the most cracking deals in the city. Well, besides a something from Mcdonalds of course, although it would hardly impress a fair lady. Factor how cheap that is on top a 20 per cent discount at Full Society (25 for me as an apology because they rescheduled me) the already impressively priced degustation becomes 64 dollars. Yes I had to double take too.

Salt fish brandade with caper sauce
Deep fried, the salt fish brandade is a quick mouthful aided very well with a nice little tartare.

Bread with salted butter and house churned honey butter
House baked bread came fresh out of the oven with two butters. It's nutty gorgeous sweetness instantly recognizable, it was the honey butter had me wanting more.

Roasted and poached beetroots, balsamic mousseline, woodside goats curd, pine nuts and olives
A instantly lights up with the mention of beetroot and it seems like beetroot is a huge trend lately, beetroot everywhere. Not that i'm complaining. With the beetroots cooked two ways, a sweet and sour mousseline, and classic flavours, it's very cheffy and goes down happily.

Cured loin and tartare belly of king salmon, crisp quail egg, confit potato and broccolini
The softest piece of loin is matched superbly with a creamy addition of the tartare counterpart. It's the curious deep-fried quail ball that I found amusing and savoured last. I'm being little pedantic but it could be even gooeyer. 

Spided pork rillettes, pickled belly, celeriac and apple remoulade, radish, sage and crackle
Deepfried yet again, I didn't have this but you know good crackling's to be had when a gunshot fires off in a restaurant. Either that or I should run.

Fennel and bocconcini risotto cake with anise carrot puree and fennel salad
An aranchini ball is presented next, wonderfully creamy and well cooked, which goes down well with the striking carrot puree and aniseedy fennel salad.

Pan seared sea mullet, avocado vicysoisse, roast garlic and brioche crust
A mullet was presented next, well cooked and accompanied with a texture driven avocado salsa, a little creamy vicysoisse soup used more as a sauce and crisp garlic.

Mayura Station braised Wagyu short rib, anchovy beignets and smoked pepper hollandaise
It's a little salty and the fishy anchovies are a bit much but even so, I was instantly won over by the core ingredients. Melting Wagyu RIB, dazzlingly orange hollondaise, salty anchovies; it's like someone discovered all my favourite ingredients and put them into one dish although I'm not sure where a triple cream vacherin, Pacific oysters, marron and golden kiwis would go in there.  

Banana mousse, coconut ice-cream and peanut praline
Pre dessert came next. Again, with such a respect for texture, scooping out sugary simple mouthfuls of peanut praline and banana mousse from the shot glass of deliciousness was a delight but didn't work quite so well as a palate cleanser.

Selection of three cheeses with lavosh, fruit bread and quince paste 15
We can't seem to leave with out ordering cheese of some sort these days. It was a nicely presented plate of cheeses but I instantly dove in for the triple cream brie, it's creamy mild flavour and gorgeously gooey texture not going beyond me.

Red velvet cake, chocolate sorbet, malt ice-cream and cognac jelly
It's hard to resist the intriguing use of slightly bitter Cognac with a similarly bitter chocolate sorbet; it's a richness on top of richness that is slightly allieviated by the more familiar yeasty flavour of the malt ice cream. 

Devonshire tea creme brulee, scone ice-cream, cherry jam and whipped cream 15
It's not every day you're having a devonshire tea creme bruleé in The Devonshire  restaurant on devonshire street so I couldn't leave without trying their signature dish on top of our degustation. I've never been big on scones because they're always so dry and insipid but this dish flips that on its head. Served in a teacup (of course) the brulee was wonderfully smooth and velvety and each component tastes as it's meant to be although in a much more fun (for lack of better words to describe) way.

I'm going to be honest, the 2 dollar booking (normally 10) and the lure of the recent chef hat was what made me notice The Devonshire but I come out feeling it was much more than that. Full Society discount or not, The Devonshire has to be one of the most banging value for money deals around. So much so that the temptation arises to order more. Intentional? I think so. 

While not particularly confounding and mind boggling, the food is done with such restraint, control and balance that each dish quietly mesmerises you in perfect harmony rather screaming out for attention. Service was quick and efficient and our waitress was incredibly charming. My only qualm is that the apéritif list is very limited and could do with a few more additions. 

Headed under the very accomplished Jeremy Bentley, deft hands make what is a very memorable night. Well done indeed.

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No, we aren't the most amazing gastronomes or chefs. Heck, half our team doesn't even know how to cook... well. However, what we really love is eating. And lots of it. We enjoy that occasional freebie, filling up that craving for a midnight snack and finding a 20 in our pockets that we thought we never had, and using that as an excuse to go out eating. As we battle the ongoing war on uni student poverty, we'll bring you the most swoon worthy recounts of our latest foodie adventures.

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