Date of Visit: November 1 2013
Ever thought of naming your restaurant after your favourite game? Well, Chef Paul Cooper did. His restaurant at 527 Crown Street, Surry Hills is named after Sessa, the inventor of the game of Chaturanga, an ancient Indian strategy game which is the common ancestor of the board game of chess which he is fond of.
Tonight’s night-out was a 6-course dega meal ($69). I did not opt for wine matching this time because I was on a ‘diet’. Nevertheless, dinner is not dinner unless there is a glass of wine, so lieu of 6 glasses of wines for wine matching (+$50), I ordered a Spanish white -Marques de Tezona Macabeo ($7.50) – which was rather dry and quite minerally.
Bread was served while we waited for our meal to start. Since part of my diet was the minimise unnecessary grain and gluten intake, I only looked at it…
Albacore comes from the tuna family which has reached a fashionable status in regards to its sustainable status. In Course 1, the delightful albacore tuna tartare was matched with sweet pea puree and creme fraiche in a cute mason jar. The pale pink tartare was sweet, clean and delicate on the palate. The addition of cracker and crispy rice puffs added a crunchy mouthfeel – hmm… rice puffs are called woba in Shanghainese which remind us to one of our course – Scallop – at BO Innovation in Hong Kong (review here)
Course 2 mimicry the arrival of summer with its appetisingly refreshing smell of fresh cucumber juice. Creamy scallops and creamy avocado paired with icy cold ginger sorbet hidden under the wispy rice cracker. I particularly enjoyed the sorbet for its Japanese-pickled-gingers-taste served at the sushi bar. A very refreshing and neat dish that I simply had to lap up the cold cucumber juice.
The pork belly has to be the best pork belly we had ever eaten! A hot fatty piece of meat with perfect crackling that literally melted in our mouths! The pickled calamari sliced thin like fettucine was a palate cleanser with its pleasant acidity. The sweetness of corn kernels rounded out the flavoursome combination.
While waiting for Course 4, we saw The NSW Mounted Police on their horses. By the way, do you know that The New South Wales Mounted Police Unit is the oldest continuous operational mounted unit in the world? Fancy that! Check out their website (here) for free tours and museum visits every Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Let’s continue with dinner…
We moved into the heavier French-inspired course 4 for our duck cooked 2 ways – roasted duck breast and confit duck sausage roll. Whilst I enjoyed the duck breast paired with the orange & onion marmalade jam with slivers of orange peels, I found the duck in the puff pastry too gamey for my liking. The roasted carrot in balsamic was interesting.
The Wagyu course had the same accompaniment as the duck course, which are sauteed silverbeet (cooked in balsamic reduction?) and pumpkin puree. Unfortunately, very lackluster being overly sweet. The ‘steak’ came packaged in biscuit-like potato pastry, it was bits of pulled beef seasoned in herbs, but liven up by the vinaigrette-y, mushroom pate.
Dessert was a course I could – and should – do without! But hey, it’s a Friday night – chillax – so I devoured chocolate mousse and brownie – cleaned the milky ice-cream and the works! I couldn’t recall anything special about this dessert except the marshmallow tasted weird in grainy sugary texture.
If you are looking for fine dining in the area, I will suggest Bishop Sessa.
At the time of posting, Bishop Sessa scored 90% out of 108 votes