I know I've told you about my lovely readers many times before. My readers and my compulsion to blog are the reason that I have this site so when a lovely reader told Bistro Lilly about my blog and suggested they invite me to eat, I was the unwitting beneficiary of this generous moment of magnitude. Bistro Lilly was in truth a place Mr NQN and I had tried to book for an anniversary one year but it was closed for a function so when I tell him we are going to go there a look of fear flashes across his face "Weren't we supposed to go there once for our anniversary? What happened?" fearing that it was he who forgot to book. I assure him that there wasn't a problem (it was booked for a function).
It's a warmly lit place on the bridge end of King Street, right near the bridge. I'm greeted by Marc who has invited me there and we sit down and have a look at the menu whilst sipping some sparkling wine and carbon neutral sparkling mineral water from New Zealand. We ask for recommendations as it's hard to narrow the choices down.
Bread with oven roasted head of garlic
We first start with the bread which is a welcome sight with a head of oven baked garlic sliced across to reveal softer than soft sweet garlic pearls which we spread on the bread and dip in the olive oil and balsamic.
Amuse bouche: honey roasted butternut pumpkin and carrot soup with chives and lemon myrtle oil
Our amuse bouche is a honey roasted butternut pumpkin and carrot soup with chives and a lemon myrtle oil. It's nice and sweet with the pumpkin and chives being the strongest flavours but I think it might benefit from a smoother consistency as there are tiny pieces of carrot in it.
Brioche crumbed zucchini flowers stuffed with crab and leek with shellfish rouille $21.50
The brioche crumbed zucchini flowers are stuffed with sweet, aromatic crab meat and are a nice change from goat's cheese field tempura ones that we often see. The Shellfish rouille is a scarlet shaded sauce and is very lightly spicy.
Pan Seared Queensland scallops with baby sprouts, broad beans and jus lardonaise $21.50
The fat, juicy Queensland Scallops are very good and not overcooked inside at all. The jus lardonnaise is a jus presumably flavoured with lardons (bacon).
180 day aged grain fed beef fillet with cheek ravioli, king mushroom and grenache sauce $34.90
Our mains arrive and the beef looks impressive with an eye fillet resting on a bed of mash. There are three pieces of sliced king mushroom and a fat perfect looking ravioli. The beef is delicious-not a hint of gristle it is soft and tender and cooked just as we ordered it. The ravioli is filled with sweet beef cheek and the red wine based grenache sauce is the ideal sauce for this (I just wish there was a touch more).
Crisp skinned confit duck leg, savoy cabbage, caramelised apples and chestnuts $34
The crisp skinned confit of duck leg is very soft and fork tender as it should be. I particularly like the accompaniment of the caramelised apples and sweet chestnuts (ok yes I ate more chestnuts than I should have). The braised savoy was also a nice accompaniment.
Palate cleanser: Champagne, grape and apple granita
At first spoonful one would think that this was a lemon sorbet but after a few mouthfuls Mr NQN thinks that he can taste some champagne.
Apple Tarte Fine with Gundowring Farm House Vanilla Bean ice cream and apple caramel $15.90
The apple tart, one of my favourite desserts is rather splendid indeed. With puffy layered buttery puff, sliced and prettily arranged apples and a scoop of rich vanilla bean ice cream I take my entitled half not giving up an inch.
Bleu de Laquelle (France), Tarago River Triple Creme served with grissini, grapes and lavosh $18
We choose two of the cheeses, the blue and the triple creme brie and they're delicious with the warm, toasted fig bread, pear and grapes._ It's a lovely end and we leave well satisfied. _
_NQN and Mr NQN dined as guests of Bistro Lilly
168 Kent Street, Sydney NSW
Tel: +61 (02) 9252 1116