Date of Visit: November 10 2013
Anybody read the November 18 2013, Time Magazine edition – ‘The Gods of Food: Meet the people who influence what (and how) you eat’? There is a family tree where Cafe Paci and Sixpenny were mentioned.
According to the ‘family tree’, Chef Pasi (of Cafe Paci) had both worked with and co-authored a cookbook with Mark Best of Marque – comes from Alain Passard’s branch in L’Arpege, Paris whereas Sixpenny (James Parry and Daniel Peaks) – is an offshoot of Andoni Adurlz of Errentera, Spain who in turn came from the kitchens of Ferran and Albert Adria of el bulli, Pakta, Tickets, Bodega, 1900, 41’s fame.
Anyway, on every second Sundays, Sixpenny organises collaborations with a guest chef to shake things up a bit. On this particular Sunday I booked, it happened to be a collaboration between Cafe Paci and Sixpenny, thus killing 2 birds with 1 stone at a fantastic deal of A$125 per person!
We had 4 Snacks for Starters… For each course, the chefs who prepared the dish will make an introduction. We started off with Cafe Paci (CP), then Sixpenny (S) – whereby, the signatures from each restaurant followed one after the other.
Fish & Chips (CP): A neat twist of the good ol’ fish and chips, using Barramundi fish skins and deep-fried thinly sliced potatoes arranged into crackers. On its own, the fish-skins had no taste, but eaten with the overly salt-and-vinegared potato crisps, taste was liven up.
Semi Dried Pickles (S): These are akin to the pickled Japanese ume (Japanese plums or apricots) known as umeboshi, which were very oiishi! These are carrots, beetroots and radishes were pickled in fruit vinegars (e.g peach, apple, etc.)
Shag Pile Prawns (and an Asparagus Spear for me)
The asparagus freshly picked spear that I had had been coated in lemon curd then encrusted with poppy seeds – very crunchy and delectable!
The last of the snacks were the aromatic heart-shaped cutie Blood waffles with the accompaniments of creamed butter and loganberry jam.
To drink: Collector Shiraz 2009 Mark Tree Red, although wine-matching is also available.
We also had house-baked bread rolls.
We were actually getting rather full when the 1st course was served… in any regards…lets loosen our belts and dig in!
Something green, something sweet – and something sour to round ’em up! This is from Sixpenny kicked whereby the sous chef came out to pour the refreshingly fragrant pea juice over the snap peas and sour cream curd.
The 2nd course was from Cafe Paci. My 2 dining companions had the veal tartare and smoked bone marrow were tossed with dry shrimp prawn floss and prawn roe and onions.
I had the no-shellfish option, so was given lamb tartare instead. This was served furikake-style – furikake is a popular Japanese condiment used mainly as a seasoning for rice. This comprised of toasted sesame, sweet capsium crackers/tacos,bits of nori, puffed rice (?) and spices. I love the sweet peppery taste
Adorned with a deep-fried sweet potato leaf sprinkled with salt, the blue eye travella was perfectly cooked. The flesh flaking when a fork was pierced into it. Foie gras on top of the fish and water cress purée blanketed around the fish.
This is dish Cafe Paci is renowned for. A very smart, play-on words of pho (Vietnamese noodles) and potato (potatoes) – hence, potato noodles – a fusion of Vietnamese and Finnish (where Pasi was originally from).
The noodles are strands of enoki mushrooms and finely threaded potatoes cooked in garlic butter and vinegar. The beef is a thinly sliced Wagyu chuck tail flap, seared on 1 side and seasoned with salt and some horseradish. One squeezes the grilled wedge of lemon to separate the taste and also to get a citrusy hit.
Next up were the 2 desserts, which I found rather under-whelming since I am not a fan of ‘moussey-saucey’ stuffs.
The reddish piece is quandong jelly on lemon myrtle sauce and sprinkled with frozen panna cotta snowflakes. I liked the tart taste, in particular the chewy cured quangdong which sicks to my teeth!
The last dessert was something akin to McVite malt biscuits under the malty white chocolate sauce, foam and shavings.
Coffees were served together with petit fours.
I’d definitely visit Sixpenny again – and also visit Cafe Paci in Darlinghurst the next time I am in Sydney!
At the time of posting, Sixpenny scored 88% out of 130 votes.