This new kid on an old block may still be finding its feet, but the excellence of the Chestnut Velouté ($21) gives a glimpse of the technique that the kitchen is capable of.
It’s pricy, even for the pointy end of Pyrmont, but there is work on the plate and a surprisingly fabulous Italianate interior.
Dine at marble tables with comfy leather-backed chairs, set under chic chandeliers.
A visit to the bordello style loo is essential (check out the floor tiles)...
...as is a peek through the porthole into Mathieu Astier’s domain. Fishes are his strong suit – unsurprising with the geographic proximity of the Sydney Fish Market. (Bread ain't bad either.)
His Carpaccio of Kingfish, Compressed Watermelon and Huile Vierge ($21) will eat better in a few months when the magenta melon hits its seasonal sweet spot.
Hapuka Fillet with Artichoke Hearts, Caramelised Onion and Eau de Tomate ($35) is cooked particularly well, though the combination’s on the wild side.
Same goes for the Hong Kong Style Pork Belly with Crispy Trotter, Potatoes and Parmesan Mousse ($21).
I also tried a small serve of the Lamb Wellington with Fresh Peas and Carrots ($35). I prefer my pastry to be kept about as far from blood as you can get it, but I'm weird that way.
Having to compete with Pyrmont’s standout Red Bottle means they’ve stayed reasonable with wine prices, offering up ten bottles under $40. Despite this, I choose a 2009 William Fevre Chablis ($65) - my Mother always complained I had Champagne taste on a beer budget.
A soft-centred Chocolate Fondant ($15) sweetens my recollection…
...and a pair of doves reminds me how happy I am living in my own nest.
Asti Restaurant & Bar
46 Harris Street, Pyrmont
Ph: (02) 9660 4075