Date of Visit: August 9 2013
Since opening in April 2011, Gastro Park has been awarded 2 chefs hats from the Sydney Morning Herald and 2 stars from the Gourmet Traveller. The owner-chef Grant King formerly worked at Piers, Rose Bay (my old hood), no wonder one of the waiters looked familiar, then again these professionals tend to move around.
As I was saying, I am back in Sydney for a bit of R&R – which it did not happen. On the contrary, I have early morning meetings to turn up to in the City and when I arrive home in the evenings, I have to attend to a slew of emails coming from Malaysia. I do protest – this is not R&R, as I understand!
Tonight being a Friday night, I was looking forward to end the hectic week with a relaxing dinner with my bestie. But at the eleventh hour, an ambiguous fax came through bearing bad news comparable to: the captain had abandoned his ship with all crews onboard! Astonishing! This irresponsible chap signed off a bundle of blank cheques and had left without leaving a successor! It was totally mind-boggling, so I had to stay back a little bit longer…
The interesting bit was, he engaged a KL law firm here to advise him on Australian law (?). The said Cheat Take and Sue Lawyers, (google the acronyms, you didn’t get it from me!) Now I understand why Malaysians get bad raps for credit card frauds, overstays and working illegally. Well, we have here, 2 Malaysian lawyers from KL working illegally in Sydney, advising/ acting on behalf of their client (without Australian license) and cooking books! No wonder we need tight immigration controls! This firm is notorious in KL for killing conveyancing deals, anyway, ”a fool and his gold is soon parted’, and this client was labelled the ‘pauper billionaire’ by BRW a few years back…
An interesting week ahead… now to DINNER!
Gastro Park is a short skip (3mins) away from Kings Cross Station. It sits on a triangular wedge of land, giving lookouts to the activities on the streets or traffic further down the road – remember, when looking at the pedestrians, no eye contacts!
The interior has a slightly goth edge to it. Sterile concrete walls, hardwood floor boards and timber furnitures. Mosses and lichens draping from dry branches on the center table and wall give elements of playground warmth. This is after all, a gastronomic playground as suggested by its namesake, Gastro Park with a swing dangling between the letters ‘A’ and ‘S’ in it logo.
Listen up folks, a thrilling ride through culinary technique, taste and texture is ensured.
The menu is divided into snacks, entrees, mains, cheese and dessert…(I forgot to take a picture of the menu to remind myself since I was so hassled from the prior events…)
There are 2 degustation choices: 7 courses or 10. However, since both of us are in portion control mode for the night, deg will have to wait another day.
To start, Peachy, gin with elderflower to soothe me down. Sweet and peachy like its name.
Complimentary natural, sour dough bread, apparently only made from flour, water and salt without any yeast (good, stomach will not bloat!)
Lobster consomme with ageshi tofu. The consomme came separately and was poured into the stone bowl at the table. The consomme smelt very strongly of shellfish, although I am allergic to shellfish, I still rendered the aroma to be very fragrant (and did not itch). In the bowl are mushrooms, and tofu. I presume potato starch is used to fry the tofu in because the skin stretched. My friend liked it.
For the Mains, my friend ordered Cod presented in splashes of sauces for artistic effect. He pointed out to me the interesting layering of the fish colour. The flaky flesh was white, then changes to orange and then to the black scales – very interesting. I can only say, the technique must be masterly to get the layering effects of colour.
For my Main, I ordered beef fillet with sweetbread. The reason I ordered it was for the sweetbread. All the mains on the menu looked good, making a decision very hard. Moreover, I was too busy to do background ‘food research’! (*Face plam * Eeek… how can? Me, a food blogger? No!) Onion skin filled with creamy white sauce, 2 mushrooms propped against the cube of beef fillet lightly caramelised and sprinkled with salt. The sweetmeat was firm, yet almost creamy.
My dessert was the cherry raw and cooked paired with vanilla sponge and sorbet. The vanilla sponge tasted like rye bread to me, there were sliced cherries and marinated/ stewed cherries accompanied with some sort of cream and cream sorbet. The most interesting bit was the ‘cherry’ in the forefront of the pic. It was actually a chocolate mousse inside a jelly skin! How deceptive!
It was a wonderful dinner, I enjoyed my food and a glass of red relaxed me and I felt happier. Watch this space for deg!