Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ormeggios at the Spit

Had a spur of the moment lunch at Ormeggios at the Spit yesterday following a business meeting over that way, which just happened to finish conveniently at lunch time.  Have lunched at this location before but it was a different restaurant then,  however we had heard great reports about Ormeggios and also his latest venture at the new Westfields in the city.  Ormeggios at the Spit has one Hat in the Sydney Morning Herald 2012 Good Food Guide and is proud of being awarded this two years in a row.  The word ormeggio means 'mooring' or 'berth' in Italian - very appropriate for this site right on the d'Albora Marina.
Lovely dining room on a superb hot Sydney day.  By the end of our lunch, it was quite busy too with several large tables.

Chef Alessandra Pavoni previously worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in France, and was the chef at the Park Hyatt in Sydney.   His partner here is Fraser Guthrie, an old friend and colleague.  It is described as contemporary Italian cuisine with food from Brescian born Alessandra's home region of Lombardi.  There is also a charming Kiosk right beside the restaurant on the wharf.
The service was particularly efficient and pleasant.  Within minutes we had soft, warm bread and dipping oil on the table, and a caraffe of lovely Italian wine.  Clever idea as it allows a glass and a half each for $37, as against $15 a glass.  Perfect too for the nominated driver!  The wine was very good indeed - need to remember this one.
We both felt like the Ravioli filled with Romanesco Broccoli, anchovies, capers.   It was such a surprise - really unusual, light but tasty broth - very delicate and clever.  Excellent.  
For main course I ordered the Smoked Biodynamic Veal Rump, Vegetable Ash, Spring Onion, Bone Marrow, Thyme Oil.  Wow.   You immediately taste the smokiness, which then disappears and blends into all the other tastes.  The wedge of Veal was just 'melt in your mouth' and full of flavour with a hint of the Bone Marrow on the top.  The spring onion was a nice garnish, and the crispy fried Flat Leaf Parsley was a lovely addition.  Not mad about the Vegetable Ash but it looked good. 
 Hal ordered the Pork Scotch Fillet, Blood Orange, Hazelnut Puree, Walnut Crumble, Snow Peas.  Again, a surprising dish with lovely light and delicate flavours.   The Walnut Crumble was superb.
We ordered sides of Roasted Chat Potatoes with Rosemary (of course we did), and a Tomato, Olive, Spanish Onion Salad.  The Potatoes were delicious, and the Salad was a standout - light and tasty and simple with small slivers of olives.
Because the food was so good, we had to try a dessert.  We ordered the 'Egg on the Nest' - Mango Puree, Coconut Mousse, Milk Chocolate, Vanilla Fairy Floss. 
What an amazing dish.  They thoughtfully split it into two dishes, as it comes with two egg halves.  The chocolate shell and 'egg nest' was perfect, the 'egg' filled with the Coconut Mousse (egg white) and the Mango Puree (egg yolk).  The Fairy Floss just melted and the tiny mint leaves were really refreshing.  Extremely clever and impressive.

We ordered coffee - which was very good, and with it came these superb sweets.  Tasted like you were eating real fruit.
Hats off to Alessandro.  What a lovely surprise this lunch was.  Have to try his Westfield restaurant now.
My only criticism was the size of the dishes.  At $39 for a main, the meat served was very small.


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