Date of Visit: August 11 2013
On the inaugural City-2-Surf Day last Sunday, my family decided to head to the Middle Heads for our Sunday Lunch to avoid traffic in the City. The City-2-Surf is daubed as one of the world’s largest fun run inspired by San Francisco Bay to Breakers Fun Run, attracting 85,000 registered participants. For the seasoned runner, 14km from the City to Bondi Beach is a walk in the park, except that there’s a 2km of steep uphill, nicknamed ‘Heart Break Hill’, to contend with – that is, if the runners had not already passed out with their pints at Golden Sheaf Hotel at Double Bay.
I am all too familiar with the Heart Break Hill, I have walked this route nearly everyday from home to school, nearly a million years ago, with my heavy school bag slung over my shoulders – for which I blame for my uneven shoulders. The bending road is very steep and there has been incidents where vehicles veered off the road and rolled down into my school’s oval – nothing serious, just a fright and a couple of dents in the vehicles. What jest!
Our original plan was to have the degustation menu since we had the whole afternoon. But after perusing the lengthy degustation menu, and thinking of our waist-lines, we decided to go for 4-courses instead ($95 pp) .
There are 4 slices to the sourdough bread. They came presented on a timber board with freshly churned sour butter and sea salt. The breads were warm, very soft, fresh from the oven. Very nice.
We had tapioca crackers sprinkled with fine-grounded powders and deep-fried super creamy mushroom croquettes (or crocchette) which were compliments from the kitchen.
Dining out with my family give me ample time to take snaps of the food when they arrive. And since we tend to order different items from the menu… we have here, the near-complete current a la carte items on the menu at Ormeggio!
Bro ordered the salt baked celeriac – percorino – slow cooked hen egg yolk – hazelnuts – fresh australian perigord truffle artistically arranged on the plate. His clean plate meant that he enjoyed it.
Mom ordered ling fish baccala – polenta croutons – dutch cream potato, which I had a taste of. This is a calorically dense dish of smooth creamy puree of potato, cream and butter which tasted very decadent with chunky pieces of ling fish under. I do not recommend for those on a diet.
Steak tartare was an acquired taste to me. This a very old-fashioned dish and the first time I ate it was also my last (I was about 12 – yuck!). Nevertheless, raw meat is now back in vogue, my friend told me that she ate raw horse meat and raw whale meat recently in a Japan. So I was excited when the waiter explained that Wallaby battuta is “Wallaby sashimi” (raw meat). I immediately ordered that to add to my brag-list. How exotic! The strips of wallaby meat were soft yet firm, seasoned with very finely diced spanish onion and topped with amaranth and chorizo powder. I’m glad to have opted for the black truffle shavings ($15) for additional aroma and flavour. I highly recommend this!
Mom had the agnolotti filled with veal – onion consommé – shallots crisp, she gave me an agnolotti to sample. Agnolotti is ravioli made with small pieces of flattened pasta dough, folded over with a roast veal. It was very good.
Both Bro and I had carnaroli risotto – saffron – liquorice – duck. There was duck liver plated under the creamy risotto cooked in saffron and topped with the softest duck tongues that literally melted like jelly! The liquorice sauce gave a sweet astringent kick to the tongues. I’m not a fan of liquorice, but I tolerated the sauce well and quite liked it. I even ran my finger over the medicinal liquorice powder dusted on the plate. Anyway, here’s a link to the health benefits of liquorice – it prevents cancer!
Bro’s dish of charcoal waygu beef flank. Interesting ‘charcoal’, I hope it’s not real charcoal, charcoal is cancerous! *Eeek*
Mom’s mulloway. This is another fattening dish with the creamy sauce over the fish.
I had the braised lamb – cauliflower – silver beet – horseradish. The lamb came covered under the silver beet. The sauce was cauliflower puree and the horseradish was freshly grated. Under the silver beet, was the most tender lamb ever. I guess the crouton bits are for crunchy mouthfeel.
I am thrilled with the advant-garde desserts at Ormeggio utilising garden herbs and spices. Very forward-thinking!
Amadei tuscan black chocolate – mandarin – cilantro cocoa has the classic chocolate-and-citrus pairing. A simple presentation of a scoop of chocolate ice-cream sprinkled with orange zest atop a mountain of crumbs and mandarins. Woody green notes of cilantro and fresh slices of mandarin stepped up the dish by giving a zesty edge to the mouthfeel.
The toasted rice gelato – rice and ricotta cake – earl grey – lemon, gave the classic rice pudding an interesting make-over. Ricotta was added into rice to make a rice cake, accompanied with toasted rice gelato, and toasted rice ‘pop-corns’, further freshened up by earl grey lemon foam for extra fun.
A unique sweet savoury dessert. The carrot- fennel seed ice cream – farro cream – vinegar caramel uses fennel seed ice-cream to enhance the steamed carrot cake by bringing out the sweetness of the carrots; and crushed fennel seeds with crumbs added interesting texture.
Our espressos were accompanied by complimentary melt-in-your-mouth chocolate truffles to send us off.
it was a purr-fect day for lunch by the water. How did I get the weather so right? Sparkling waters, boats cruising by, people kayaking powerfully, then a leisurely stroll along the waters after lunch.