As tighter purse strings put stress on restaurants, along comes one that seems exactly what these tough times demand. You know what I mean - mains below thirty dollars; a well-priced, evolving wine list (put together by Lara Lees from Pilu at Freshwater), good produce (Vic’s Meats) and excellent five star technique without the stuffiness (owner/Chef Jim Larcan’s resume includes Cable’s and the W Hotel).
As you can see by the sign board above, value shines the hardest here. You can have have three courses (with no surcharges) for $48. They opened on Harris street about six months ago, and the space is surprisingly warm for a modern building.
I started with the Salt and Pepper Calamari ($17) which was so easy to eat it belied being battered and fried.
The Beef Fillet Carpaccio ($18) is lovely and wafer thin; it's served with mushrooms, chives, rocket, grana padano and lemon oil, which is both unusual and suitable the flavour of the beef.
The fresh Egg Tagliatelle ($27) is blown away by the skilful handling of the briny black mussels which are remarkable because they retain their taste of the sea. The pasta is very well cooked, though not the tastiest instance of egg tagliatelle I have had.
Dish of the night easily goes to the 400 Day Grain Fed Wagyu Beef Tagliata with potato Lyonnaise, field mushrooms and red wine jus ($34) which was so well cooked I’d be hard placed to name a better one in Sydney, if value for money is a factor in your equation.
This dish is the pan-roasted Ocean Trout ($29) on crushed potatoes, asparagus, globe artichokes and kalamata olives.
I’m mostly against flavoured crème brulees because you often pay a price in texture - not so with Jim’s original Belgian White Chocolate Crème Brulee ($12) which didn't even need the accompanying passionfruit.
This dessert, the Pink Grapefruit, Orange and Campari Jelly with Summer Berries ($12) was a revelation - quite intense and definitely not sweet. I liked the way it cleansed my palate.
As I mentioned earlier, the wine list is well put together. I drank the 2006 Coroncino 'il Bacco Verdicchio ($52) from Marche, Italy which was a lovely wine that travelled well through the meal. I also had a glass of the latest 2008 vintage of the Josef Chromy 'Pepik' Pinot Noir ($37) from Relbia, Tasmania which is as good as the 2007, and I enjoyed the glass a lot.
I’ll definitely return for breakfast on the huge outdoor terrace.
Shop 1/ 56 Harris Street, Pyrmont
Ph: (02) 9692 8844