Picture it: the morning after a dinner party. I woke up and switched on the computer and put my on my computer mouse. It was buttery. Now what were the chances of that? Well if you know me, they're pretty high. I'm often found reading food blogs with one finger on the mouse and the other feeding myself. So a buttery mouse would be inevitable. And then I got on twitter and the conversation turned to people in public with food on them. I've walked out with flour on my skirt and lettuce in my hair. I promised that I would keep an eye out for people wearing food when I was going out for lunch that day. I was hoping that it was more common than I thought (really to make myself feel a little better).
I'm always lost when it comes to the Ivy complex and find staff there varying degrees of helpful. The girl downstairs whose job I'm assuming is to direct lost souls such as myself wandering around the complex barely looks up and moves a bored arm indicating "that way" and could not be less interested. Then when I go upstairs to Uccello, well they couldn't be more helpful. I'm meeting some friendly people from Whistler in Canada and discussing an upcoming return to Canada and at 12pm there is a smattering of other guests. Come 1pm at the eating hour the restaurant will be full of men in suits with the occasional table of pretty young things.
Balmain bug salad, French beans, artichokes, oven dried cherry tomatoes $26
I choose the Balmain bug salad and we warn the Canadians at the table that Balmain bugs are not in fact insects but really delicious crustaceans that taste like tender lobster tail. Here they are served as small, sweet, deliciously tender pieces amongst a frissee, French beans and artichoke salad dotted with sweet, flavoursome oven dried cherry tomatoes. I found the artichoke a bit too tangy for me and overwhelming in the salad and it was a touch oily from them too. And at $26 this is a bit high for the size of the portion and amount of Balmain bug.
Chicken liver parfait, vin santo jelly, toasted fig brioche $24
I tried a little of the parfait and it was smooth and creamy with a strong hit of alcohol in it.
Risotto with baby spinach, mascarpone, grilled porcini mushrooms
Grass fed eye fillet of beef, sauteeed mushrooms, baby carrots, truffle butter, red wine reduction $48
I always have to studiously not order seafood and seafood because I know not all of you want to read about my obsession with it and may occasionally want to order something else. So when I spied truffle butter on this dish I ordered it. The beef, perfectly cooked, is a tender cut of grass fed eye fillet. It comes topped with a rich truffle butter disc, some sauteed chanterelle mushrooms and some sweet tender baby carrots and a red wine reduction sauce. In fact I didn't mean to eat anywhere near as much as I did but it was too good to give up and I stopped only when the truffle butter ran out (admittedly I put a lot of it on the steak).
Pan roasted fillet of blue eye trvealla, cauliflower puree, cuttlefish, broccolini, rosemary crouton $45
I tried a little of the trevalla and it was delicious although I would have raised an eyebrow at paying $45 for the dish given the serving size and possibly tried to glamour another piece of fish from the waiter for that price.
Oven roasted fillet of snapper, braised fennel and endive, Sicilian green olives and thyme $44
Chocolate mousse, caramelised pecan ice cream $18
I ordered this just for the ice cream as I am mostly nonplussed about chocolate mousse. This one is a bit too rich for me and sweet with milk chocolate and it is topped with a paper thin disc of chocolate. It is also quite firm. There is a creamy centre but I can't get through more than a few bites of this. The caramelised pecan ice cream is a bit of a disappointment, it is quite watery and doesn't pack the punch of caramelised pecans that I was hoping for.
Strawberries macerated in Grand Marnier, rhubarb puree, almond praline and vanilla ice cream
Chocolate and hazelnut semifredo, caramel sauce $18
I pop a cocoa dusted truffle in my mouth and it is delectable with the thinnest shell of chocolate enrobing it. The little squares of cookie are studded with fruit and are crumbly and buttery and would make a fitting accompaniment to a cup of tea.
It's only when I get home that I notice that I had some chocolate mousse in the corner of my mouth. Oops!
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever walked out with food on your clothing or on your face?
Fourth Floor, Building Two, The Ivy Complex
George Street, Sydney, NSW
Tel: +61 (02) 9240 3000