I have been wanting to eat at this SMH 2 hatted restaurant Gastro Park for quite some time now and I finally did for my birthday last week. I looked at the menu before hand of course and was really looking forward to the interesting dishes they had on offer, such as the pig's tails! But alas on the night there were fresh new dishes in it's place, I'll have to look elsewhere for those skinny little things!
We opted for a la carte and tried these innovative and delicious dishes along with a bottle of Italian Pinot Gris Semillion. Really loving the Pinot Gris lately!
Soy and mustard glazed swordfish belly, pickled radish and crisp wasabi peas, $18. This was a "snack" and it was a beautiful piece of fish. Reminded me of salmon as it was fatty and melt in the mouth. I must admit I only had one mouthful as my husband didn't like the other snack below.
Foie gras, wild hare, beetroot, plum vinagar and red cabbage granita, $20. I did not expect the foie gras to be shaved! It was an unbelievably strange but oh so good taste sensation! The foie gras which also just melts like snowflakes on your tongue mixed with the zing of the vinegar and ice cold granita was so powerful. It was really good! The creaminess then the beetroot hit was great along with the chewy hare! Such a strange combo, you either love it or hate it. I loved it, husband hated it.
Roast scallops, charred prawns, pork powder (!!!), carrot endive and crab sauce, $32. This was another dish that I so wanted to get while waiting for the night to arrive. Um hello? . . . Pork powder!!! It was exactly like pork crackling in chunky powder form! It was a perfect accompaniment to the soft and bouncy scallops without the hard crunch of normal crackling. The prawn could've been two instead of two halves, but it was still a first of pork powder, the star of the dish and was worth the wait.
Crispy scaled barramundi, smoked potato puree, calamari and tapioca crackling and ink sauce, $42. This was definitely the star of the night. Amazing wow factor with the crackling dominating the plate. The flavours were all so powerful but still the barra stood it's ground. Perfectly cooked piece of fish which tasted so good with the crispy scales, just amazing to look at and crunchy as! The ink sauce was strong and salty as were the bits of soft calamari. The smoked potato puree was so creamy but slightly over salted, we got that as a side as well.
Grain fed rangers valley beef fillet, soubise, kale, crispy sauce and tasmanian shitake, $49. This was my husbands main, but of course I had a taste of it. The beef was really tender and the bit of toffee on the side was an interesting flavour that worked well with the soubise, a bechamel based sauce.
Nitro pavalova, pineapple, papaya and coconut, $22. Nothing grabbed my attention on the dessert offering. But I couldn't resist the pav. It was a bit disappointing to be honest, no creamy nougatty chewiness in the middle of the meringue. It wasn't that sweet. The fruits were ok. I think it was a blessing in disguise though as any richer or creamier I wouldn't have been able to finish it. It was a light, plain dessert.
Chocolate, honeycomb mandarin sphere, cardomom, saffron and ginger, $22. This was my second choice. It was a textural heaven! Hahaha! The chocolate sphere was perfectly thin and cracked open with ease to let the honeycombey liquid ooze out. The crunchy bits was where the ginger was, like ginger snap crumbs. It was pretty good.
Gastro Park is definitely worth a try. The dishes definitely gave my tastebuds many firsts of strong and memorable flavours. The interior of the restaurant is contemporary industrial and the window seats at the front of the restaurant are the best! The people watching on the Saturday night made for great entertainment! The service was good but not the most attentive as we were left a bit parched a few times when the water top ups didn't come when needed. It's not the best value, mains and entrees are a bit overpriced for what they were in comparison to other 2 hatted restaurants, but we were still happy to have experienced them. If you haven't been yet, I recommend it for a date night for sure.