Bianca: So am I alone in that grocery shopping is seriously the highlight of my week? I love trawling the aisles, looking at new products and generally loitering around the bakery section. I’m weird like that. But combining two of my favourite things – a restaurant/café with a grocery attached, that’s pure heaven.
The ‘Majestic Gourmet Grocer’ now resides in the space formerly occupied by a movie theatre, nightclub and its last incarnation, a roller skating rink. Keeping it’s classy 1920’s art deco architecture, you truly feel you’re stepping back in time when you descend into the lower portion of the grocer/restaurant. The ‘upmarket’ grocery offers a variety of different stations; bakery, seafood, deli, fresh fruit and veg, dairy and general pantry items. Majestic now joins a number of food emporiums that offer that dual option of a quick shop and a bite to eat, with Fourth Village Providore, Mercato E Cucina and Sprout Wholefoods now having some stiff competition.
Midday on a Saturday and Majestic was truly heaving, I was here to sample the food at a small bloggers gathering. We were seated in the upstairs area, which will become a wine bar in the near future. I was flying solo for team FFS – With Alex overseas and Vanessa enjoying a weekend away in the Hawkesbury, so I was joined by repeat food adventurer ‘Frace’.
Making our way through a few entrées – first up was the ‘Salt, rosemary and lemon squid’ $14. Salt and pepper squid is typically one of my go-to when ordering something to tide the stomach over and this one didn’t disappoint. The squid was tender but the rosemary was a little on the mild side – I do love my rosemary.
The next entrée was easily mine and ‘Fraces’ favourite dish of the day, the ‘Zucchini flowers’ –w/ricotta, pine-nuts, basil, burnt butter muscatel and lemon $15. I’m not exaggerating when I say this has been the best Zucchini flower rendition I’ve EVER eaten. Perfectly crisp, with a light batter that shattered with each bite and a generous amount of filling. This is a must order.
We then made a slight detour to sample two dishes on the breakfast menu, the first of which was ‘The Majestic’ – 2 eggs fried or poached, Serrano ham, black pudding, baked beans, spinach, kale & whole grain toast $19. A generous portion for the price but it wouldn’t be my first pick off the menu, I found the beans a little too ‘al dente’ for my tastes and black pudding is literally the worst thing in the world. But you can’t go wrong with Serrano and poached eggs.
My second favourite dish was ‘The Vege Patch’ – w/ a quinoa, chickpea and sweet potato slab, asparagus, field mushroom, poached egg, truffle salsa verde $18.50. Once the egg was cut and the yolk gloriously spilled over the mushroom and vege slab it became a superb medley of flavours and textures. Even staunch meat eaters would be happy if this was placed in front of them. All I’d suggest is a slice or two of accompanying bread to mop everything up.
Onto mains, first up was the ‘Pappardelle’ –w/polpetti, sugo and pecorino $17.50. I’m a harsh one when it comes to my pasta because no-one does it like my nonno and nonna. The Pappardelle was the highlight, cooked to a beautiful al-dente and the sauce had a nice depth of flavour. The polpetti whilst soft and juicy, could have used a touch more seasoning
Next up, we took a little detour into ‘il mare’ in the form of ‘Battered fish’. I couldn’t find this item listed on the menu but it was your typical battered fish, ‘Fish N Chip’ style. This would actually make either a decent shared entrée or a main meal. Fish was succulent and cooked well, with the batter light and airy. None of that heavy, oil bogged action here.
And the last of the savoury, the ‘Potato Gnocchi’ –w/burnt sage butter and gorgonzola $16. This is one Alex would have loved, he can never go past a burnt butter and sage sauce. All I can think about, is the butter literally calcifying itself to my rear end. An image I’m sure you’re all grateful I shared. The pairing with the Gorgonzola is a masterful one, I usually find Gorgonzola too strong but in this setting it was glorious. Again, my nonna makes the best gnocchi, so tough critic. These could have done with a little less time in the water as they were a little overcooked, an anomaly perhaps. But a very tasty dish.
No meal these days ends without something sweet and so we finished on the ‘Majestics’ home-made Portuguese Tarts ,‘Sticky Chai’ as well as a small taster of their ‘Belgian Chocolate Ganache Shake’ which will truly satiate any sweet cravings you have.
No doubt this is quite the draw-card for Petersham with some delicious food to boot.
*For Food’s Sake attended a bloggers tasting as a guest of Wasamedia and The Majestic Gourmet Grocers. All opinions however and independent and our own.