Vanessa: I have to admit… to me The Rocks has always been synonymous with bustling tourists and, therefore, somewhere I have avoided. Although I find myself there more regularly these days. A few weeks back Team FFS assembled one sunny, Sunday afternoon at the delightful locale, Creperie Suzette.
The quaint, French style creperie creates an authentic feel with its use of pendant lighting, copper cookware rigged from the ceiling and exposed brick. With the relaxing sounds of French classical musical ringing out overhead, we perused the menu board and made the decision to have two savoury galletes and two sweet crepes between us.
On the savoury front, Le Trois Fromage ($12) had our names all over it. We have an obsession with cheese so a crepe filled with Camembert, blue and tasty cheese was never going to get past us. This was an excellent choice for cheese lovers, although I found the blue to be a little too dominant, as it often tends to be. Creamy, cheesy filling inside of a soft, light gallette makes for a wonderful combination.
The second of the savoury options was the La Complete ($12), a perfectly paired mix of ham, mature cheddar and a fried egg with a soft yolk. This to me would be an ideal breakfast option and the flavors all work well together.
La Pomme Cannelle ($9), from the sweet variety, was filled with thickly cut slices of apple poached in cinnamon. With flavors very similar to that of an apple pie, this is a strong option, but the next one for me was by far the stand out.
In my mind there is no better sweet combination then that of banana and Nutella, so I was delighted to see this on the menu with La Nutella Banane ($9). Thinly sliced banana, smothered in gooey Nutella mixed with a thin, sweet crepe is the perfect match. Definitely a stand out!
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the prices at the Creperie Suzette were very reasonable and, in fact, good value considering the size of the crepes and galettes.
The creperie is situated next to the Harbour Rocks Hotel. An industrial-chic looking hotel set within a 1887 red brick building, housing the Scarlett Restaurant. On a separate occasion, we ventured out one torrential evening to visit Scarlett Restaurant.
We made our way downstairs past the charming bar, noticing as we entered quite a few people sipping on wine and taking shelter as the heavens were opening outside. When we arrived we were the only ones at the restaurant but this quickly changed within around half an hour of us being there. The restaurant itself is small and can house only a limited number of patrons. I do love a bit of sandstone and appreciated its use throughout the interior of the restaurant which adds to the heritage charm and feel of the space.
Our entrees started off well with a good range between us. Bianca was doing Meat Free Week that week, to raise money for Bowel cancer, so it was vegetarian all the way for her that night. Bianca chose the Tomato ($22) with burrata, truffle oil and salsa verde. This was an interesting dish, particularly as the buratta was encased by the tomato. The truffle flavours were strong, possibly a little too much so, which is very much a subjective opinion!
Alex chose the Prawn and lobster ravioli ($24) which came with Kombu broth that was poured from a height over the ravioli creating a smokey, theatrical effect. The dish was visually impressive and had strong flavours, although possibly a little heavy on the salt .
I chose the Cured ocean trout ($22) with coriander pesto, vanilla croutons and caviar. A lot of careful detail had gone into carefully placing each element on the plate creating a beautiful looking dish. The small portion of trout was well cooked and the vanilla croutons added a unique textural element.
Moving on to our mains, as an homage to my husband’s Greek heritage I couldn’t go past the lamb cannon ($36) served with lamb belly and barley risotto . As much as I wanted to love this dish, I found it quite heavy and I think even my lamb loving husband would have agreed. The risotto was cooked well but also appeared to have a lamb flavour to it which meant there was nothing really to break that taste on the plate. The belly, as it always tends to be, was rather oily and again quite heavy. A great effort was made to plate the dish and it was presented well but it was just a bit too much for my palette.
Alex chose the chicken assiette with the petit pois a la francais ($36). This was a rather small portion of chicken and it was unfortunately quite dry. Accompanying it was a crumbed chicken nugget-esque piece which needed more seasoning. The highlight of the dish was the petit pois, a mix of peas and snow peas, that were juicy and complimented nicely mixed with the rich jus.
Bianca, the honorary and temporary vegetarian, chose the standout main of the evening. The Mushroom and barley risotto ($32). The mushrooms were meaty and absorbed the flavours of the risotto beautifully creating a strong flavour, similar to that of a french onion soup (as odd as that may sound!). The Parmesan crisps added a super crunchy textural element that contrasted nicely with the texture of the risotto. A stand out of the evening.
Whilst we may have had a mixed experience with our mains, this was turned around with desserts. Across the board, the three desserts we chose were beautifully presented and delicious.
The mille feuille ($16) was a delicate dish consisting of hazelnut and pistachio cream, layered between the crispy pastry and served with lemon velour. This got the tick of approval all round. A great combination of flavours and textures that made for a memorable dessert.
Personally I am not a fan of chocolate so the next one was always going to sway in Alex and Bianca’s favour… the chocolate fiends that they are! The chocolate assiette ($16) was rich, creamy and a delight for lovers of chocolate.
Lastly, the coconut panna cotta ($15), was made for me. I feel about coconut the way my fellow For Foods Sake members feel about chocolate – I want it at any opportunity! This was a perfectly light and creamy dessert with strong flavours of coconut throughout. The addition of melted meringue added an interesting element to the dish.
So although we had a mixed experience with some of the dishes we chose, we had a pleasant evening at Scarlett and its charming interior made it a cosy place to be on such a miserable, rainy evening.
Photos by Alex
*For Foods Sake dined as guests of Creperie Suzette and Scarlett Restaurant. All opinions are our own and independent.