Sixpenny has opened earlier this year to critical acclaim. The unusual suburban location hasn't stopped die hard foodies from visiting this humble restaurant with the small restaurant seemingly unable to keep up with the attention.
There's an elegant simplicity about the dining room, little personal flourishes here and there and a private dining room out in the middle with a view of the kitchen. It's a small area but is in no way claustrophobia inducing. Music is uncontroversial and likeable, turned to a mild comfortable volume. It's dark timber all the way with soft round edges easy on the eyes.
|Bread, Marscapone Butter, Vinegar Potato Crisps|
|Cheese & Onion|
|Pickled Pear, Peach, Ricotta, Green Almonds and Rose Geranium|
|Crab, Silky Macadamia and Camomile|
|Roast Sweet Potato, Nettles, Fish Roe and Whey Sauce|
|Snapper, Brown Butter, Walnuts|
|Snapper, Pumpkin Seed Cream, Soft Leeks|
|Coorong Hanger, Smoky Cabbage and Mustard Leaves|
It's a delight to finish it off but in slowly savouring the parts I couldn't help but also notice how incredibly tiny one of the radishes were and it's utterly fascinating.
Yoghurt Whey Meringue, Camomile Ice Cream and Honey
|Native Ginger, Poached Green Strawberries, Rosella|
|Beetroots, Mead, Steamed Brioche and Honey Ice Cream|
And yes, it's all true. The humility you hear so much about from Sixpenny, it's all there. The chefs are all soft spoken and humble, a surprise given their remarkable achievements with both head chefs being heavy hitters in the restaurant industry; receiving a number of accolades including both being the recipients of Josephone Pignolet Young Chef of the Year awards . It's quite nice when they quietly bring out your dishes but they quickly jump at the opportunity to launch into a full scale explanation when given the chance.
Take head chef James Parry for example, their resident horticulturalist who also happens to be a chef there. He passionately went into great detail to us about every single vegetable grown in their backyard plot as well as their farm in Bowral such as the lettuce which he grows being placed in harshers conditions and apparently tasting better; survival of the fittest analogy as he put it. Hey, food as good as this, I'll take his word for it.
There's a lot of painstaking love that goes into this like something as simple as their multiple mint leaves going into our tea, the native ginger in our sorbet or the flowers for our garnishes; every process is considered, from the cultivation to when it makes its way to the plate. I found it enlightening to say the least and you appreciate it so much more; thank you. It's a rare side to the back house you never see at the front and those willing to probe deeper will find greater enjoyment out of Sixpenny.
Simple, down-to-earth (intentional pun) and nature driven. That's how I'd describe the food and it's very much a reflection of the mentality behind Sixpenny. The flavours aren't punchy but rather very restraint and well thought out. The combinations are unique yet aren't coma inducingly complex and I'm all the more for it. You'll hear many comparisons between the acclaimed Noma and Sixpenny, the main one being head chef of Sixpenny Daniel Puskas a former chef of Noma. Even so, there's a lot of confidence and quiet pride here that it seems like they're doing their own thing. Very well I might add.
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