It seems the gap between one-hat and two-hat restaurants just got wider!
Inside the warm, elegant room - a perfect respite from the wild and woolly weather outside - you’ll find technical excellence, generosity and a feeling of value for money that belies the high-end price tags.
An elegant, restrained crab consommé is the perfect foil to a plump pair of Queensland Mud Crab Tortellini ($32); showcasing the crustacean’s flavour.
Black Angus Beef ($33) is equally well-handled, in a three-way celebration involving terrine, tartare and ‘black and blue’.
After a well-timed pause, which takes into account the generous portions, mains are equally impressive. At one end there’s a vibrant collection of baby greens with a Crépinette of Pink Snapper and Spinach with Hervey Bay Scallops and Foie Gras Butter ($36).
At the other, a wintery repast of Sirloin and Tenderloin of Organic Ways Veal ($46) that shouts abundance with pine mushrooms, a soubise puree and bone-marrow dauphinoise.
After so many runs on the board, dessert is no longer a question. The standout for me was the Roasted Banana and Salted Caramel ‘Bombe Alaska’ ($18), teamed, at the sommelier’s brilliant suggestion, with a French Distillerie Vedrenne Salt Caramel Liqueur ($18). Match made in heaven – and these days it appears heaven is in Leichhardt! Bravo!
There was also a heaving pre-dessert involving excellent sorbet, and an achingly good pear jube (and I don't even like mixed berry as a flavour)!
My partner's dessert pick was this Date and Armagnac Crème Brûlée with Caramelised Brioche French Toast and Fennel Ice Cream ($18). Fact is, I probably would have LOVED it if I hadn't been eating and drinking salted caramel.
The other highlight of the meal was seeing the produce I eat at home from Feather and Bone, showcased so wonderfully! There's a whole lot of respect going on in Paul McGrath's kitchen, and it's delightful to enjoy as a result.
I can't wait to return, this was definitely my meal of the year (so far). It seems I wasn't alone either! The neighbouring table said upon departing: "Can you tell the chef it was a privilege to be here?" The one after that said: "Thank you very much, we shall return."
134 Marion Street, Leichhardt
Ph: (02) 9568 4610