Chiswick Restaurant

It starts with a celebration – and the decision was made to head to Chiswick Restaurant in Wollhara, Matt Moran’s new venture. It’s a lovely place, a conservatory in the middle of the Chiswick Gardens with its very own kitchen garden. Unlike some kitchen gardens which I have seen, which are just for show, the kitchen really does use produce from this garden.

We were so busy catching up and gossiping, we had to get reminded that the kitchen closed in 10 minutes.

Chiswick RestaurantI don’t think we were the only ones, everyone else is busy catching up.

Everything here is designed to be shared. Since we had five people, we decided to order two of the “to share” plates, and an entree each.

Codfish cakes in a baking dish ($21):

Codfish cakes

These were served in a tomato based sauce with two polenta chips. The codfish was fall-apart rich with a slight nuttiness of cheese. I really liked the polenta chips, but wasn’t particularly fussed about the codfish cakes.

Seared scallops ($24):
Seared Scallops

The scallops look like little jewels all nestled in the plate. A lovely delicate flavour, and I can never get my scallops not to stick to the pan, especially the griddle pan.

Pickled vegetables with pistachios ($11)

Pickled vegetables with pistachios
A really lovely presented dish, and I enjoyed the combination of puffed grains and pistachios with the slight sourness of the pickles. Look at those baby vegetables. I’m so glad I didn’t have to shape them into those perfect shapes. Each were lightly pickled, no more than a day, and were very light in sour flavour.

Crab sliders ($9.50 ea):

Snow crab sliders

Sliders are the dish du jour. The bread was fluffy and insubstantial, so we all picked the breaded crab cake out and just ate that.

Popcorn prawns ($14):
Popcorn prawns

One of the surprise hits of the day, everyone kept going back for more. Little nuggets of deep fried prawn pieces with a chipotle mayonnaise (or thousand island dressing), pickled jalepenos and iceberg lettuce pieces. Like a build it yourself prawn cocktail.

For drinks we got a pitcher of Gin and watermelon juice($38):

Pitcher of gin and watermelon

This had bombay gin, fresh watermelon, lavender syrup, fresh cucumber & lemon juice. I picked it because of the lavender syrup. It was a larger serve than I thought it would be! Not too sweet, it was a revised take on pimms with the cucumber.

Some of the others got the warm Mexican heat cocktail ($18):

Mexican Heat Cocktail

This smelled very heady, like a chocolatey mulled wine. It contained Olmeca tequila, ginger liquer, agave, egg white, lime & grated cinnamon – no trace of chocolate!

Then our “to share plates turned up”. Wowee.

Here is the prawn and fish pie ($66):

Prawn and Fish pie

Topped with mashed potato, it was a creamy mixture with some slight crunchy bits burnt in the oven. They were very generous with the prawns. When I first read it on the menu, it didn’t sound too appealing to me. A fishy shepherd’s pie. Hmm. But it was a really lovely warming winter dress, delicately flavoured. I may be a convert to the “fish pie” idea.

The star of the afternoon:

Roast Lamb and kipfler potatoes

Slow roast leg of lamb from the Moran’s family farm in the central tablelands, it was served on a smear of babaganoush, topped with chimichiri with a side of giant couscous, lettuce and kipfler potatoes ($68). The lamb just melted off the bone, and there was even a little bit of marrow to dig out. Gorgeous. Delicious. A perfect winter dish for a rainy afternoon, and one that I would most definitely order again.

Although I had another (dinner) appointment coming up, I made a little room for dessert.

Bombe Alaska

No, that’s not some weird alien figure. It’s a bombe alaska ($16)!

As you probably have figured, I like getting dishes that I can’t make at home. Bombe Alaska with the blowtorched meringue and the ice cream inside still frozen. This meringue was a soft white italian meringue.

Apple and rhubarb crumble with vanilla bean icecream ($16):

I’m much too cunning with my crumble, always trying to reduce the amount of butter and sugar and increase the amount of oats. This was crumble as it should be, crunchy and sweet ontop, warm and slightly tart underneath.

I have eaten my fill, and then some at Chiswick, with lots of lovely surprises. I may start seeking out a fish pie from now on, and I’m going to be looking into replicating that wonderful dish of lightly pickled vegetables and toasted nuts.

This recipe for Chiswick pickled radishes may help:

Chiswick's Pickled Radish Recipe

I waddle off to my dinner appointment. I have to do some walking to work up an appetite!

Chiswick Restaurant
street: 65 Ocean St, Woollahra NSW 2025
phone: 61-2-8388-8688
web: http://www.chiswickrestaurant.com.au/

Mon-Thu: 1200-1430, 1800-2200
Fri-Sat: 1200-1500, 1730-2200
Sunday: 1200-1500, 1800-2100.

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