With the imminent closure of inner west favourite Blancmange (last service Saturday 4th May) looming, it makes a local restaurant hitting the ten-year milestone all the more impressive! So I headed in to Restaurant Atelier for one of Chef Darren Templeman’s celebratory ten-course degustation menus. They’re on every Saturday in April, meaning there’s still one dinner remaining (and it’s an absolute bargain at $100/head).
The menu gave me the chance to revisit some of my favourite dishes, like duck egg (now Kangaroo Valley hen’s egg) Atelier, a wild concoction of onion soubise, foie gras and ocean trout roe presented in the shell.
I also found some new favourites, like thinly sliced jumbuck carpaccio with white soy and pickled cucumber...
...and this smoky coal-cooked West Australian marron tail with burnt eggplant puree, duck hearts and sprout tops.
Darren’s stayed in the game this long because his food is great and forever evolving. He was kind enough to send out one of my personal favourites - this abalone, pork jowl and enoki on nasturtium leaf. It's evolved even since the last time I ate it!
We were all enamoured with the truffled brie ice cream on this Woodside goat's curd with yellow carrots, salsify and jamon iberico dish.
I also love the flourish of dining room cooking, so appreciated the beautifully cooked 'beef tea' of Master Kobe wagyu sirloin, charred cos and chestnut mushrooms poured at the table.
There was also liquorice cured New Zealand venison loin with fig, bronzed fennel, pickled onion and nasturtium...
... and the list goes on! In the dessert courses I loved the tonka bean zabaglione with strawberries, black pepper and balsamic presented as a verrine the most.
Of course there was also a pretty palate cleanser of cider apple jelly with Pyengana cheddar and celery, and his signature souffle, sorbet and milkshake dessert as well!
If you've always been curious about fine dining but haven't felt comfortable jumping to one of Sydney's big hitters, this is a great interim step. Darren's been cooking at least at a two-hat standard for ages (regardless of what those milliners say) and I hope he is cooking for a long time to come...
22 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Ph: (02) 9566 2112