Alex: Because I am amazing at suggestions, I decided for Bianc’s birthday we should go to the beautiful and iconic ‘Chiswick Restaurant’ in Woollahra. With a 2 hour seating from 6-8 we arrived a little after 6 and the restaurant was in full swing, with staff frolicking around crazily in order to keep up with the eager customers.
To start off our feast we decided to have some “nibbles”. The first being the ‘Prawn popcorn’, spiced mayonnaise, lemon $16. An absolute winner. The crunch of the juicy prawn was heightened by the golden batter that enveloped the little morsel and the spicy mayonnaise left a tingle on the tongue but wasn’t overbearing at all. A great way to get the appetite going.
The ‘Oregano, garlic, wood fired bread’ $7 was very small and is really only enough for two people. We should’ve gotten another, as there were seven of us and everyone was not able to try it. The flavours were there. The dough itself was perfectly cooked and nice and crispy which is always a bonus.
The ‘Snow Crab Slider, lettuce, kewpie, gherkins’ at $10 each is a bit of a stretch so as they were placed at the table we had high expectations. As you might have noticed from previous posts, I am not a big fan of fish so I was slightly anxious trying the crab slider but it was undeniably addictive. While I did find that it had quite a fishy taste (obviously?) It wasn’t overpowering and didn’t make me feel as though I was eating something that I know I don’t enjoy. They could have benefited with a bit more of the kewpie mayo as they were a little on the dry side.
Of course as soon as the mains came out, they dimmed the lights making it impossible to not use a flash of some sort! Anyway, the first of the mains was the ‘Mushroom Ravioli’, asparagus, cornichon $32. I didn’t get to try this one but the pasta looked fresh with some really vibrant veggies to match. Not being a fan of mushrooms (I’m picky I know) I feel as though this would’ve had an interesting texture, similar to a puree. Something I will definitely have to try next time.
I’ve been to Chiswick a few times and the ‘Battered flathead fillets, chips, tartare sauce’ $31 has always been ordered and enjoyed at the table. I think a lot of people tend to avoid fish and chips (well me anyway) because I find them to be too sickly and oily after a couple of bites but not these ones. I could go back again and again for these golden beauties. The flat-head itself, was extremely soft and just melted in your mouth.
‘Handcut Chips’, black garlic aioli $9 Not much to say about these, simply because they were enjoyed by everyone. The black garlic aioli had a distinct smoky flavour that complimented the seasoning of the chips so well making them ridiculously moreish. So in saying that, I could easily stuff my face with a whole plate.
Now we come to the reason why most people come to Chiswick, besides wanting to be seen of course… ‘Wood roasted Moran family lamb’, artichoke, Hawkesbury broccoli $75. So…this was good. I’ve had it before and I enjoyed it. Obviously it’s a great dish to have as a shared meal but in saying that I was slightly under whelmed. After being spoilt from having Mum and Nonno’s delicious lamb, it’s hard to compare this to their’s. Yes it fell straight of the bone, but I just felt like it lacked something. Everyone on the table had to repeatedly add seasoning.
The ‘Roast pork belly’, toasted barley, shallot dressing $36 on the other hand was by far the stand out of the night. In fact we demolished this before the lamb even came out, so it is possible that we were just too impressed by the pork that we then were under whelmed by anything that followed. The thin layer of crackling on the top added that layer of texture to the rich pork belly that instantly won me over. I would go again and again to Chiswick JUST for the pork belly. A must order!
As some of the family got coffees, we were given some complimentary Orange and dark chocolate, very nice, so I thought it deserved a photo!
We were tempted by the dessert options but we had a delicious albeit slightly melted ‘Gelato Messina’ ice-cream cake at home waiting for us. Bianc, nuts for anything peanut butter related chose ‘The Block’, a smorgasbord collection of peanut butter tastes and textures.
It’s pretty obvious that Chiswick is a fantastic restaurant and while the food is great, it is also a social hub in which people wish to be seen (fair enough). We did find that it was ridiculously noisy, and came almost to the point where I couldn’t even hear the person next to me without leaning right in, so be aware, if you’re looking for an intimate dinner for deep and meaningful conversations, this is probably not the ideal place.
So happy birthday B! you’re another year older, may you continue to grow old and fat with me,
Love from your favourite brother