I see modern fairytales as a twist on the traditional fairytale. Whilst a traditional fairytale would have a us waking up to a Prince's kiss and an interim modern fairytale would have a Lady that lunches using her husband's credit card, a truly modern fairytale has us waking up to an alarm and paying for our lunch using our own credit card and then having a facial. I'm sure Snow White didn't keep her lovely complexion without the aid of a beautician but that's for another story.
On this day, my partners in crime Gina and Teena are joining me for a lunch at Merivale's The Ivy complex at Mad Cow and then we're going for a facial. An ideal day for me and I'm very excited (if only it could be topped off with a visit to nearby Jimmy Choo). During the month of March, Merivale is hosting the March Into Merivale event where for $33 you get a main meal and a glass of wine or beer for lunch or an early dinner. It's another recession busting winner to help encourage diners to come out and eat more often. The last time I went to a Merivale restaurant was so long ago but I do remember having a fantastic meal at est.-one that I still remember with vivid clarity today.
I'm lost. I find the whole Ivy complex confusing and it doesn't help that I went to the Establishment building two blocks away looking for it. There is a girl who is asking people if they need directions. Mad Cow is up the stairs and I stand there a touch confused. There's no signage to speak of and I finally give up and ring my friends. It's surprisingly full, the inside booth and table sections are all taken with just the outside section empty.
It's frightfully pretty indeed, with all shades of yellow, gold and lemon and white surrounding it-as with all things Merivale it looks awfully good. We order a combination of things, after all the mains aren't that much more expensive than the March into Merivale offer starting at $34 for a delicious piece of Top Sirloin Wagyu (but of course they don't include the wine or side) so we order the March Into Merivale Rosemary grilled quail, crisp polenta, black olives, green beans, The 200g Eye fillet and the Wagyu Top Sirloin as well as a side order of shoestring fries. You can select a sauce to accompany the meats out of a list of Chimichurri, horseradish cream, tarragon shallot jus, Barbeque and Béarnaise.
The bread comes with a creamy, unsalted butter and is particularly good with the sourdough.
March Into Merivale Rosemary grilled quail, crisp polenta, black olives, green beans $33 with a glass of wine
It's a good 30-40 minutes before our meals arrive but when they do we are happy to see them. My rosemary grilled quail is fragrant with rosemary but a touch heavily salted. The crisp polenta is a fantastic match as is the crunchy green beans and the occasional sliver of olive. I selected the accompanying Chandon red wine which I give to Gina and Teena to share with their steak.
Chandon Red Wine
Wagyu Top Sirloin (Security Foods marbling score 6) 280g $34
I try some of Gina's Wagyu Top Sirloin with Bernaise sauce and it's melt in the mouth delicious. I adore Wagyu because of the meltingly tender fat and I wish I had ordered this. The accompanying Béarnaise is warm and fluffy but definitely one of the nicer Béarnaises I have had and fragrant with tarragon.
Eye Fillet grain fed 200grams $38
I try some of Teena's Eye fillet and it's also very tender and delicious.
I receive a comeback coin worth $10 which I can use towards any March Into Merivale special festival events. And as the modern fairytale goes, the three career women sipped their lattes, nibbled on buttery shortbread and brownie petit fours and thoroughly enjoyed their days off and then drove off to have a facial and a massage. Cinderella would've loved this ending.
330 George Street, Sydney, NSW
Tel: +61 (02) 9240 3000
Open: Lunch: Monday to Friday