Thursday, 1 March 2012

I Heart Gastro Park

After reading about Gastro Park in different food blogs, I just couldn't wait to visit and sample the dishes. I have to admit I haven't been this excited about food in a while.

We arrived early for the first sitting. I loved that the atmosphere was very relaxed and welcoming. The staff were friendly and attentive without being too intrusive or annoying. Service was excellent!

The menu was quite brief with only four entrees, four mains and a longer list of snacks. Having said that, there was not one boring dish on the menu. Everything sounded interesting and delicious.

After much thought and consultation with our waiter about serving portions, we finally settled on creating our own mini degustation menu. We ordered 2 snacks, 2 entrees and 1 main to share. 
The place was still virtually empty except for one other table. But it wasn't long before it started filling up. It was quite busy for a Tuesday night dinner.
I knew I was in for an amazing night when the waiter brought out the complimentary warm Sonoma organic brown sourdough bread with softened butter and salt for dipping.  
To start our meal, we couldn't go past the foie gras, wild hare, beetroot, plum vinegar with red cabbage granita ($18). The flavour combination and the different textures were amazing. The foie gras shavings just melts in your mouth. 

Next up we had the octopus with chorizo, fried bread, sherry vinegar and smoked paprika ($14). I loved the combination of all the components. It had a slight tanginess from the vinegar which I really enjoyed. I could've eaten 3 more plates of this dish. 
For our first entree, we ordered the roast scallop with veal sweetbreads, endive, carrots, bitter orange and serrano ham ($28). Scallops are a favourite of mine so I always order them when they're on the menu. The scallops were perfectly cooked and really fresh. The other components on the plate complemented the scallops well. I would've loved a few more pieces of sweetbread though...there were only two on the plate and that wasn't nearly enough. They were very morish!   

Our next entree was the liquid butternut gnocchi and mushroom consome ($28). The consome came out in a separate container and the waiter had to carefully pour it into the glass bowl without dripping all over the cheese ring on top. The consome was lovely and the liquid gnocchi was just a wonderful surprise.

In case you're wondering, the gnocchi was actually the butternut soup that's been transformed into little spheres through a process called spherification. In the photo it looked a bit like perfectly cooked egg yolk. This is such a stellar dish, a definite must try!

The last dish to come out was the crispy scaled snapper, smoked potato puree, calamari crackling and ink sauce ($39). When we first saw it on the menu, it didn't sound that special compared to the other dishes. But the waiter said it was their signature dish so we needed no further convincing. 

The snapper was cooked perfectly and was topped with the crispy fish scales. I really enjoyed the different textures of calamari and I loved the ink sauce. My favourite component on the plate was the tiny potato logs coated in ink.

For dessert I had the pain perdu, balsamic ice cream and caramelised apples ($18). Our waiter explained that pain perdu is like a French bread pudding made the Gastro Park way. I loved the caramelised crust on the pain perdu along with the apples and balsamic ice cream. It was like eating French toast with cinnamon apples, but way better! Not sure about the foam though. It added a different dimension in terms of texture but didn't contribute anything to the taste.

The other dessert was chocolate, honeycomb, mandarin sphere, cookies and cream ($22). It was a delicious dessert and I really loved the honeycomb. But I'm not a huge fan of the chocolate + citrus fruit combination so this was probably my least favourite dish of the night. But having said that, it was still an awesome dish.

All in all I was well and truly satisfied and impressed. The dishes were innovative, cooked well and tasted amazing! Gastro Park definitely falls into my highly recommended list!

Gastro Park
5-9 Roslyn St Kings Cross
Sydney NSW 2011
Gastro Park on Urbanspoon

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