Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Public Dining Room, Balmoral

Beach-side eateries are hot property this time of the year. Despite the weather being quite bi-polar, what with the threat of rain every second day, there's no shortage of beach goers making their way to the ocean for a good swim. What better than to eat right after a swim.

Unfortunately, a part of me abhors public beach toilets. M i rite?! So no swimming for me. 

With a waterside diner comes the requisite focus on all manner of seafood. And a clean and spacious interior with ceiling high windows which helps bring great views and light in. Fine food with a totally casual atmosphere - now that's something I could live on.

We kept going on about how good the bread was; soft, slightly elastic and sour interior, toasty crusty with soft butter. Magic. No weird new combos, just good old-fashion sourdough.

Clair de lune bouton 4.5ea
Rusty wire 5.5ea
Rock oysters 4ea
Oysters get premium treatment here at Public Dining Room. Whilst not the same broad selection displayed by Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay, there's a great respect here; shucked to order to retain a lot of brine and served fresh with a squeeze of lemon. I particularly enjoyed the Clair de lune which had an ample amount of salty brine and had a brilliant creamy texture. Props to them serving it on 2 separate plates for easier consumption.

Strozzapreti, eastern king prawns, nz clams, chilli, zucchini, sardinian bottarga 24
The pasta is similarly brilliant, really spot-on al dente strozzapretti, a simple broth-like seafood reduction, perfectly cooked prawns and clams with a dusting of grated Sardinian bottarga gives it a brilliant complexity and depth.

Fried zucchini flowers filled with four spiced gruyere & ricotta cheese, mustard seed royale, pinenut pangrattato, lemon verbena 24
Zucchini flowers are easily share-able and you'll definitely want some. It's spiced so that the gruyere and ricotta inherits some of that usual blue-cheese twang. Finished with a dip into pine nut and mustard seed combo and you've got a great little entree.

'Melting' Huon valley tasmanian salmon (sous vide), snow pea puree, shimeji mushrooms, beurre blanc & hazelnut 37
Now for the star of the day and easily the best cooked salmon I've ever had, without question. Sous-vide brilliantly; it's a mix of sashimi like freshness with the flaking qualities of cooked fish. Total mind screw. 

mmmmm epic flakiness
It was a lot of fun just gently pulling apart the fish and enjoying the suprisingly melt-in-your-mouth flesh. The unusually foamy beurre blanc (white butter sauce) threatens to overload the richness save for earthy addition of shemeji mushrooms and fresh snow pea puree.

Grasslands pasture fed eye fillet mushroom frcassee, parsley sponge, black garlic 45
Cooked more of a medium than the medium-rare we asked for, the beef dish easily pales in comparison to the previous salmon. Pairings are a bit ho-hum with the lucid green parsley sponge providing a nice splash of colour but failing to provide anything in the flavour department. However there's the more gustier splodge of pureed black garlic which gives an addictive sweetness that brings it all together.   

Earl grey crème brûlée with apple compote & berries 17
It's hard to resist dessert here with their varied selection. Creme brulee looks tempting, with it's strong earl grey flavour, crackly top, silky smooth custard and pureed apple sauce hidden underneath. Tart raspberries and blueberries are a godsend as any other fruit would have been an overload of sweetness. Perfection in a mouthful.

1950's bathing cap bombe - strawberry & chocolate ice cream, toasted italian meringue, frilly bits 18
My choice of a bombe alaska is almost as successful. There's hardly any resemblance to a swimming 'cap' and the chocolate ice cream was way too icy to be perfect. However, the meringue was nicely toasted which coated a clean and fresh strawberry sorbet and the prized moist chocolate cake underneath. 

Layers remained distinct and the dehydrated strawberries are a nice cheffy touch but the floral 'frilly bits' could be toned down a touch as I find their dry texture a little jarring. 

Four tastes of valrhona, aero style 12
The little gravels of hard edible chocolate really don't give anything an it feels like it should be more of a bonus petit four but nevertheless their 'aeros' are seriously good. These are melting, puffy and a sweet tooths joy. Chocolate connoisseurs will find much joy in picking these up and tasting the different flavours; my favourite being the salted caramel one (of course).

Casual Spanish music in the background, sweeping beach views, relaxed 'villa' like ambiance -it feels like you're right in a holiday. 

Still, with the limited transport to the area it would be hard to draw me from my hibernation in winter - save for that flipping amazing salmon, oysters and great dessert selection, I just might make that trek again.

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what a lovely venue and that bombe alaska looks freaking bomb!

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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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