Alex: After walking up the elusive steps and escaping the bustling CBD lunch rush, Lot 1 Sydney immediately allows you to be enveloped by a fusion of affluence and exclusivity. Mainly thanks to the vibrant interior and exposed brick wall with an extensive range of Ruinart champagne and wines.
Immediately capturing our attention were the beautiful gold bar trolleys with glass mirror trays. Undeniably curious, the question was asked about where they were sourced and unfortunately they are not available in Sydney. Cry cry!
Myself and Bianca both had a free day until a late dinner meeting in the city, which meant a long, long (4 hour-long) lunch to pass the time. Initially it seemed like a good idea, but after what seemed like an endless amount of a beautiful Rosé Franciacorta Brut DOCG champagne we left slightly blurry eyed but nevertheless eager to return to the timeless style of Lot 1.
We decided to start off our experience with some light options, beginning with the Octopus, potato, sicilian olives and garlic. $28. The Octopus was juicy and the light char on the exterior left a lovely smokey tone to the palate. I thoroughly enjoyed the little mash potato bites that accompanied the dish making it a little bit more dense and filling, but not enough to make you feel heavy.
Craving a bit of raw fish after planning my Japan holiday for June we opted for the Vitello Tonnato – Raw yellow fin tuna, veal, capers and horseradish $36. Obviously very different to how an Asian restaurant would serve this dish but nevertheless the tuna was extremely fresh and melted in the mouth. Perhaps a little too thick for myself and Bianca’s liking but that’s just us. The crunchy bits of kale over the top was an extremely clever touch that actually worked really well. I also felt as though the drizzle of olive oil over the top really helped to elevate the flavours of the dish.
3 glasses of champagne in and it was obvious that we needed to carb load, pronto! The taglierini – Slow cooked Duck with jus $34 was quite a substantial serving. The duck fell apart so easily (good sign) and was nice and moist. Sometimes I find that the duck in a ragu can be quite dry but this was great. The flavours of the sauce were punchy and vibrant, and I know our Nonno would give it the thumbs up, which is the most important thing to note!
Over the past year I find myself eating mushrooms more and more and most people know of my aversion to mushrooms, but the Funghi Del Bosco – Mushroom, spinach, pinenuts $26 was one of the winners of the day. Literally just different types of mushrooms cooked in different ways. Each texture was so different between all of the mushrooms with quite distinct flavours changes between each. The larger mushroom In the middle was quite meaty in flavour. And yet again, the addition of a crunchy element from the roasted pine-nuts was a great touch.
We decided to also get a side of asparagus, proscuitto, lemon olive oil $14 A rather small serving considering the price tag, but I enjoyed the crunchy prosciutto.
Umming and aahing about whether to get the pork or black Angus skirt was the biggest dilemma of the day but after some persuasion by the staff we opted for the Black Angus Skirt 200g, leek ash, chestnut mushroom, hazelnut $44. There’s no denying that the meat was cooked perfectly. The rock salt as a garnish amplified the flavours and mimicked the flavour of the charred exterior. The hazelnut for me at first didn’t sit too well but the more you eat it the more you’re palate accepts the flavour combination.
By this point, four hours after we first sat down, we were pretty much sloshed but a round of espresso martinis was a necessary pick me up. Always the desert fiend we opted for the Biscotti E Latte – Torta Caprese – Dulce De Leche – Gelato $18. Perhaps after a heavy lunch this is the option you should avoid but it was sooooo good. The ice cream was creamy and full of flavour but still managed to cut through the richness of the chocolate cake. The caramel was perfection and the addition of the caramel shards as well, was another welcome touch. I said not to order it if you had eaten a lot, but by that point you’re too far gone so you might as well just take the plunge because trust me, it’s worth it.
Our first experience at Lot 1 was a lengthy one but thankfully the food and atmosphere made it an enjoyable one. It can be quite corporate at lunch time, but if you’re wanting dinner and drinks then this definitely needs to be on your list.
*For Food’s Sake dined as guests of Lot 1 Sydney.