Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Four In Hand, Paddington

And so flipping blogger decided to collapse on itself suddenly when I just finished this post and whatever I did to this post magically deleted itself. Starting from scratch at 2am in the morning while the adrenaline is still running. Not a good way to go. But I was keen to get this post out seeing as it's been a while since I actually went to Four In Hand. Which is brilliant mind you. The place where I had my first drink. And before that was a magnificent lamb shoulder. Ahhh the memories.

There's been a bit of remodelling done since the last time I've been here. The colour palette is the same; giant mirrors with their signature lamb shoulder written across it, the paintings and the stark black and white colour scheme but there's a certain cheeriness that the front house and comfortable seating arrangement injects into the mix. Naturally, we're never around Paddington so we opt for the decently priced 8 course chef's tasting menu for 135 dollars.

Butter is served in a cool marrow bone...

Oysters with Wakame
...and the oysters are brilliant with wilted wakame and arrive with shells covering the precious insides.

Amuse Bouche
An amuse of fish soup is wonderfully aromatic with touches of pungent citrus but it's rather one dimensional.
Crab Taco
However, crab taco sets the theme with a wonderfully imaginative mish mash of deep-fried pork skin, fennel and mayo with Alaskan king crab and we're instantly excited for what's the come.
Ham Hock Potatoes with House Bacon, Poached Scampi and Sea Herbs
I'm also not the most keen on anything pork related but this would make a solid argument on pro-pork. A deep salty broth, ridiculously tender scampi teamed up with super crispy pancetta and pork hock and baby new season potatoes cut right through with a scattering of foraged samphire and seaweed. Magic. 

Charred Lambs Tongue with Crisp Rib, Mint Jelly and Seared Cucumber
The smoky tongue and refreshing pickled cucumber and mint combo is almost as brilliant but the carnivore in me was crying out for a little more meat and a little less everything else.

Swede Soup with Pickled Seaweed and Mushrooms
Soups are a common thing here but I'm definitely not complaining. This one is a perfectly heartwarming thick swede soup with strewn mushrooms and wonderfully tart seaweed which cuts through all the richness.

Roast Chicken with Chicken Bread, Celeriac and Prunes
Usually one would bat an eye to anything reminiscent to a home cooked meal but Four In Hand nail their contemporary take on the Sunday roast chook. You get a marvelously tender breast, bread soaked up with chicken-y roasting juices, a rich little splodge of chicken liver parfait and little florets of broccoli to complete the dish.

Colcannon 10
Colcannon is like the decadent mashed potatoes you get at restaurants but Irished up with fennel, parsley and spring onions. It's rich enough that you'll want more but healthy enough that you won't feel bad doing so.

Milk Poached Veal with Braised Beef Brisket, Veal Tongue and Crisped Kale
Beef 3 ways is always very exciting to have served up to you. Backed up with crisp tempura-ed kale, shavings of wasabi like horseradish and dressed with its own juices, it's complete and comforting and very enjoyable.

We love the whole at the front table scrapping of their own rooftop honey. Not so much the left over wax that results from chewing it. 

Lemon Verbena Parfait with Vanilla Cucumber and Rooftop Honey
That aside, it's perfect, the aromatic verbena parfait with the cucumber oddly working, being neutral enough that it fits and adds to the deft lightness.

Licorice Poached Quince with Parsnip Ice-cream
Savoury vegetables in dessert continues with the last course but I don't quite get it this time. Salted crisps of parsnip, sugary quinces and licourice do work but I suffered from a little envy as a plate of 'chocolate and cornflakes' slides by our table and I craved a little something more normal.

Celebrity chef or not, Colin Fassnidge's Four In Hand hasn't missed a beat since the last time I've been here. For the newcomers, don't let the Fassnidge's whole nose-to-tail affair, which peeps out occasionally, intimidate you. Four In Hand, for the most part is wonderfully inventive and deeply comforting and yet refined and that's refreshing in a sea of pedantic nuanced fine diners. Straight bang in winter, there's no where else I'd rather be. 

Four in Hand on Urbanspoon


heh i love the presentation of the butter!

Argh I hate it when Blogger does that! I try and save regularly, and also Copy All just before I hit save. Love that they serve the butter in marrow bones here!

The dishes all look much too pretty!

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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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