Never one to pass up a free lunch, I was delighted to be invited to Astral Restaurant by Table4Ten. If you're not aware of their work, they are a charitable organisation who raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia using people's appetites! Their 2010 event will see 150 of Sydney's, Brisbane's and Tasmania's finest restaurants donate tables of ten across four consecutive Tuesdays in September. The aim being to get 1500 diners to start a conversation about prostate cancer. Did you know if you're over 40, you can rule out your risk with a simple blood test? It was shocking to hear that this disease (which is largely treatable if you detect it early enough) kills up to 3000 men per year - so go get tested (no gloves required)!
The first course I enjoyed came from Fiona Hoskin, who normally can be found in Launceston, Tasmania. It was a Tasmanian Ocean Trout Tartare with Tobika Caviar and Tomato Consomme, and I enjoyed the way it let the beautiful fish triumph.
Sean Connolly's dish felt like I had stepped into an enchanted forest. In terms of flavour, the Certified Angus Beef, Hollandaise, King Mushrooms, Miso Seeded Mustard and Jus Gras was right on the money. He's currently doing this dish with ethical foie gras; I suggest you run (not walk) to get some! His gorgeous toadstools had potato bottoms and shitake tops with king brown creme stuffed inside!
Our final course was another visual masterpiece by Kym Machin from Urbane in Brisbane. He nursed the eggs on his lap during his flight! Kym called it Chai, Yoghurt, Chocolate, Almond and Honey - a cacophony of flavours that jangled in an utterly compelling way in your mouth; urging you to take another spoonful. The egg was a joy to crack open, and chai is my new favourite ingredient in cocktails and dessert.
So... go get that blood test, and check out the website for Table 4 Ten because you too can participate! There's a chance to bid on a Table4Ten dining experience in your own home with a three-course menu by Sean Connolly!
Level 17, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont
Ph: (1800) 700 700