Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Lunch at The Bridge Room

Every time we walk to get our mail, we pass The Bridge Room.  We've read some great stuff about this restaurant, so decided Friday 13th was the day!  It's at 44 Bridge Street in the city on the corner of Young Street.

The decor is lovely for such a long narrow room.  Very Scandinavian.
We didn't realise till we arrived that it is owned by Leon Fink of the Fink Group, an old friend.  Leon also owns Otto and Quay, both great restaurants. 

When we asked the manager the Chef's name, he said  'That's Ross in the kitchen, but see the man sitting over there?  He's the major person - Leon Fink.'

Leon later told us that he grabbed Ross Lusted when he arrived back from Utah and offered him a partnership in the restaurant, Ross's first (together with his wife Sunny).  About time I think.  He is seriously clever.  He was running the food and beverage side of Amanresorts with his wife Sunny, and before that was the Executive Chef at Rockpool and the Park Hyatt.
Love the really classy table settings, with grey felt table mats and small vases of succulants.  Apparently Ross designed the fitout and even the ceramic dishes.

The service was classy and efficient.   We had water, wine and bread, and our orders taken very quickly.  I guess they are used to getting busy businessmen in and out relatively quickly.
I was sure I could get the menu on line, so didn't photograph the actual menu.  Silly me - I should have known this is a Chef who changes his menu regularly.  So its going to be very hard to describe the dishes accurately.

However - I started with the Scallops with Corn and Biltong.  Really lovely.  The corn still in one piece.
Hal had the King Prawns with Black Bean, which looked amazing and tasted extraordinary.  The strips of Lardon were paper thin, but not particularly pleasant on their own.
I then ordered the daily special - Snapper with Tomato Hearts, Mushrooms and Spinach.  The fish was mouthwatering, crisp on the top and tender underneath.  The sauce delicious.
Hal ordered the Ash Grilled Duck, New Season Figs, Green Iranian Raisins; Dry Spiced, Slow Cooked over Coals, Tuscan Cabbage and Cedro.   It was really amazing, with strips of duck breast over the top, and the Kale chopped so finely.
Of course we had to have a side of Potato Puree.  Soooo smooth.  Not cheap though - $10.
And what was described as just 'Vegetables' which were perfectly cooked.  Again, not cheap - $10.
So of course we had to try a couple of desserts.

Strawberry Marshmallow Meringue; Strawberry Ripple, Strawberry Paper, Yoghurt.  The Strawberry Paper was amazing, the meringue perfect and the marshmellow deliciously soft.
Burnt Caramel Cream, Candied Beurre Bosc Pears; Pistachio Crumb, Mint Salad, Purple Basil
What a clever dish.
There was a couple beside us who had 'Melbourne' virtually tattooed on their forehead.  He was in the classic pin striped suit with the OAM badge and silver mustache.  She asked us about our dessert, and that started the conversation.  The funny thing is it turned out Hal went to school with him and his brother, who was one of Hal and Jim's best friends.  What a small world.  We may even lunch with them next time they are in Sydney.

The only downside was the presence of a very short bald man with very short arms who doesn't deserve to be named, however he had his back to us and wasn't even aware we were there.  Funny thing is he was so busy sucking up to the Chef, that he didn't realise that Leon Fink was sitting behind him.  He would have loved to suck up to him too!

Would recommend this restaurant highly.  Will definitely return.  No criticisms at all.