Saturday, October 29, 2011

Asti Restaurant @ Pyrmont

Date night! It's been a while since we've gone on a date with all our workload and 21sts so I was super excited about this night. We also planned on going to the Cocktail of the Month at Cafe Sydney so double the excitement :) I've never heard of this place until my boyfriend mentioned it to me one day. Apparently it's been named after the chef so it must be good right?

Pyrmont always had that old, rustic feeling that I've always liked but it wasn't until this night that I actually wanted to move here. The little waterfront park in front of the restaurant is beautiful at sunset and you can see the Harbour Bridge to the right. There's another restaurant called Sugaroom on the bottom floor of one of the apartment buildings that I've seen often on coupon deals. I'll have to try this one next time with outdoor seats to enjoy the lovely pink hue of the setting sun.

The entrance is a bit confusing with two doors. The one on the right is the real entrance that leads into the bar. The staff are friendly and smiling as we walk in and although there aren't that many costumers, we didn't feel too awkward because we were seated at a more private location in the hallway. We both liked the design of the cutlery and the menu is like an old parchment. We were given a glass of Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine. It was sweet but I thought it was more of a dessert bubbly than for a meal.

Our house wines - me, white for the snapper, and the Man, red for his lamb.

Complimentary bread with salted olive oil and drops of balsamic.

Entree. The presentation for both was beautiful. With the soup, they brought out a bowl of proscuitto and chestnuts and poured the soup into it. Shame I couldn't capture that!

Silky smooth chestnut soup, toasted brioche, proscuitto di parma, espelette chili cream. Oh this soup was silky and smooth indeed. It was so creamy and savoury with sweet chestnuts at the bottom of the soup. The toasted brioche felt like it was deep fried than toasted but it was still nice when dipped into the soup. There are bits of herbs that adds a zesty pang between spoonfuls of the cream soup. It tasted strongly of chestnuts and I loved this dish even more because I loooooove and have bagfuls of roasted chestnuts in winter.

Carpaccio of kingfish, compressed watermelon and huile vierge. The red against the white, what a lovely contrast of colour. Raw fish by itself can be a bit bland but the sweet sauce that covered this dish was beautiful. The thin slices of onions on top balance out the sweetness and goes well with the kingfish. The compressed watermelon is just watermelon in the shape of a cylinder and we thought it was a bit random but watermelon is watermelon, it's still yummy :)

Mains. Snapper and lamb.

Pan fried local snapper fillet, butternut squash puree, swiss brown mushrooms and baby leeks. This restaurant tends to use a lot of honey. The brown doodle across the plate is honey based as well as the smear of the pistachio with the pear dessert. Honey and snapper, I'm not too sure about this combination but the butternut squash, with its sweet and softness, was lovely.

I loved this dish better than mine! Rack of lamb off the bone wellington style with fresh peas and baby carrots. The lamb is so succulent and tender. My eyes went wide when I had my first bite. It's wrapped in crispy pastry giving it a fun sausage roll type of feeling to the dish. It's also served with sweet butternut squash puree. Definitely a must when you try this place!


Chocolate fondant served with raspberry sorbet. Normally I'm not a sorbet person but this raspberry sorbet was sweet and just the right amount of tang. It's placed over a mat of crushed pistachios. The chocolate fondant was a bit of a disappointment as it didn't ooze out and wasn't really warm. I did like the decoration though with the crushed raspberries sprinkled on the plate like rose petals.

Poached pear filled with pistachio cream served with vanilla bean gelato. It also comes with a cute meringue bird sitting on top of the vanilla gelato. The gelato was smooth and creamy. It tasted strongly of vanilla beans and instantly I fell in love with it. We switched our sorbets and gelatos as I was a creamy ice cream type while the Man preferred tangy sorbets. The pear was spiced so along with the sweetness of the pear itself, you can taste a mixture of cinnamon and nutmeg. The pistachio crumbs in the middle are sprinkled over honey so you can't taste the pistachio much.

This day has been full of unexpected surprises. Contagion was surprisingly good, although it made us both paranoid about handwashing, and this lovely little restaurant more than satisfied our hunger. I had a happy food baby as I walked out and off we went to our fourth course of the day!

Asti Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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