Sunday, 22 July 2012

Chiswick Restaurant – 65 Ocean Street, Woollahra

A few weeks ago I finally went to my favourite Aussie chef’s latest restaurant Chiswick.  Matt Moran co owns this with Peter Sullivan who, for those who don’t know owns the renowned Aria in Sydney and in Brisbane as well.
After watching Matt on Masterchef over the weeks I made a booking to go to lunch at Chiswick with my sister.
The tables are quite close together and so you can hear the next table’s conversation quite clearly but I don’t think the 60-year-old wannabe foodie sitting next to us knew that.  From the moment she asked for her chair to be swapped to a padded chair from a wooden slat chair I knew she was going to be painful!  Lucky I wasn’t one of the waiters, who by the way were tolerant of her as they should be and in general were attentive and what waiters should be.
The menu is designed for sharing and so to start off with I had to have the crisp buttermilk chicken with cabbage and harissa mayonnaise.  When this came out the painful lady commented to her partner, “oh my that is not a very appetizing dish, it looks burnt and not refined.  It’s not like Aria at all . . .” blah blah blah.  She gave me the total shits and I wanted to say something but I held my tongue.  Does she not know we are not in Aria we are in Chiswick, it’s a totally different concept you idiot!   
Trying not to think of what I would say back to her I loudly enjoyed my delicious chicken.  There were four generous pieces which were all crispy, very juicy and tender inside.  The crunchy cabbage was a good intermission between the pieces of chicken and the creaminess of the harissa mayonnaise.  I’ve never had this before; the mild spiciness along with the smokiness was so good with the chicken.  I rate this dish 9/10.  Take that old lady!  You will never know what you missed and dissed on!

For main we shared the orecchiette with spanner crab, snow peas and chilli and the roasted snapper fillet, celeriac, walnuts and bois boudran sauce with a side of steamed broccoli (from the garden) with garlic and chilli.   Oh which reminds me to share another quote from the offending lady when she was perusing the menu “Oh I don’t like broccoli I only like broccolini. ” Rolling my eyes big time!!!

Anyway. . .  as soon as the orrechiette came closer and closer and landed on our table the aroma was amazing, the waft of garlic, the light sprinkling of parmesan, just gorgeous.  It looked so pretty as well!  I was also very happy to see actual chunks of the spanner crab and not just little shreds of meat.  It tasted like a fresh spring day in southern Italy.  The crunch of the snow peas and the saltiness from the crab with the orecchiette was the almost perfect mouthful of pasta I have ever eaten.  9/10.

The snapper didn’t have quite as much aroma but looked more impressive!  The bois boudran sauce which (I had to look this up) in a nutshell is made up of vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, tobasco, chives, tarragon, shallots was a strong thick sauce but you can still taste the snapper perfectly.   The side accompaniment of celeriac and walnuts combo had a soggy but soggy in a good way texture with some crunch and I’m not sure what the dressing was but it was slightly creamy and with the walnuts was a really unique taste.  It has left me craving celeriac and wanting that salad again, and yes with the edible flowers too. 8.5/10

We were much too full to have dessert, bummer.  
The old couple next to us didn’t have dessert either and left in a hurry “ it’s too loud in here, lets have a coffee somewhere quieter.”  Good riddance!
I will definitely be back as I really want to order the Moran family grass fed beef and the roasted lamb.  I saw the lamb go to a number of tables on a big wooden platter and that looked so hearty!  

As I took in the atmosphere sans old hag, I can say that the beautiful interiors of Chiswick looks like a dining room from the Hamptons with the perfect green lawn out front, and a back view to the luscious vege and herb garden.  It was a bit loud and cramped but I guess that’s what creates the buzz and the family get together craziness vibe, amped up with the mmm’s and aaah’s of the delicious tasting produce that Matt and his team put out.  I totally recommend this place for some top quality nosh in a classy yet comfortable environment that is if you don’t get sat next to the lady I sat next to!

Chiswick on Urbanspoon

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