A few months back the family celebrated Mum's birthday with a casual afternoon treat at Chiswick (65 Ocean Street, Woollahra). Co-owned by Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan, Chiswick lies blissfully amongst an abundance of greenery and on some hefty priced real estate.
The ambience of the restaurant was fairly unique, although I must admit we felt a little out of place in and amongst 'The Real Housewives of Woollahra' and fancy, well dressed couples. Nevertheless, family time was enjoyed with the lovely presence of gossipy bickering paired with sensual affection in the background ... I'm kidding about the last part, I think.
We start with some DRANKSSSS
From left to right and top to bottom we have ... :
- Home-made CHISWICK Iced-Tea
- Kaffir Lime & Lemongrass Soda
- Pineapple & Coriander Soda
- Grapefruit & Vietnamese Mint Soda
- 2006 Eperosa 'Elevation' Shiraz/Cab
The home-made sodas on the menu all screamed flavour but when we tried them, I was the only one doing the screaming. HAHA, well it wasn't that bad. I'm pretty sure Mr. Moran has a Soda Stream lying around in the kitchen to make these bad boys (boys = sodas). Oh no you didn't say that Bernard ... I sure did. Yes sorry, to the point. So the sodas tasted like sparkling mineral water with a dash of respective flavouring in them which was a little disappointing. Dad was pretty upset with his Iced Tea too but nevertheless, they all went down and was still quite refreshing.
Andrew enjoyed his glass of wine ... what am I even supposed to say there.
Beetroot - with Pumpkin, Nuts & Goats Curd, ($10)
This dish has since been modified for the Winter menu. I've decided to put prices into the description for all to see! This little nibble was quite hard to split between the 5 of us but somehow we managed a taste of everything. Fast, fresh and simple (just like Donna Hay ... no not her as a person. Oh dear I've got myself into a pickle. It's the name of her cooking show). I'm going to stop talking now.
Snow Crab Slider - with Lettuce, Kewpie & Gherkins, ($9 a pop)
This little slider was so ordinary that eating carpet would be more satisfying. Okay maybe not that bad. But at $9, these mini crab burgers did little to appease my tastebuds. Pretty dry and pretty tasteless but it's all good as long as Patty is still pretty ... what?
Prawn Popcorn - with Sweet Pickle & Ranch Dressing, ($14)
On a lighter note, taking these scrumptious little nibbles into the cinemas would be epic ... messy, but definitely epic. The prawn popcorn was lightly battered and fried to a crunch, with the ranch dressing working like a charm. Shrimptastic. You may want to order a couple servings as they magically disappear into my mouth.
Ciopinno Fish with Prawns, Mussels, Tomatoes, Chimichurri & Fregola, ($61)
Sorry ... how much was that Bernard? $61!? Hahaha, yeah it was. In all honesty though, even with the overpriced tag it comes with, this dish was by far the stand out for me and in the end ... probably worth it (sounds like a girlfriend doesn't it boys ... am I right? Give this man a HI 5). A homey fish stew, which is accompanied by many of its sea friends, are all swimming in a sea made from rich tomato broth. The seafood is literally bursting with flavour making this dish just stupendously addictive. Tastes just like how Mama used to make it, except Mum's never made this before.
Pork Belly - with Sauerkraut & Apple, (~$30)
Mum ... I'm so sorry I insisted on ordering this over your fish! Crackling on this pork belly was chewier than a pacifier and there's more flavour in water than in these two slices of pork. HAHA, not really. Anyhow, a quite regrettable dish in hindsite as there was just nothing to it.
Char Grilled Grain-Fed Beef - with Roast Parsnips & Seeded Mustard Butter, ($35)
'It doesn't even look like a whole steak' was my first impression when the board arrived at the table. Despite the kids menu sized steak, it was succulent, tasty and very well cooked. De-lish.
Hand Cut Chips - with Garlic Aioli, ($9)
Some chips to help send the rest of the food down. Nothing too fancy schmancy, nice thick cut chippies.
Sauteed Parmesan Gnocchi - with Mushroom & Sage, ($28)
A plateful of gnocchi has never caused harm to any meal and the same goes for this occasion. A delightful mixture of fluffy gnocchi, sauteed mushrooms, parmesan and greens.
Apple Tarte Tatin - with Cinnamon Ice Cream, ($16)
Dessert!!! We begin with an apple tarte tatin (pretty much an upside down tart with caramelised fruit) which is served warm and sticky. This dessert was fantastic and a perfect accompaniment to a chilly Winter's afternoon.
Chiswick Hazelnut Rocher - with Vanilla Ice Cream, ($16)
Next was this indulgent, luscious Hazelnut Rocher slice that affected my heart both physically and spiritually. A chocolate-y, ganache-y, mousse-y, cream-y body was matched with a Ferrero Rocher base. Someone call this man an ambulance please. Every dessert is pretty much matched with some sort of ice cream or sorbet, so there's no complaining on that front.
Waffles - with Berry Compote, Walnuts & Vanilla Ice Cream, ($16)
Probably the least favoured out of the 5 desserts. Not the biggest fan of the berry-waffle combo, more of a chocolate type of guy (take note girls, ooops I mean ... you're the only girl for me Patty, yeah right). The waffles weren't either eye bulging or tongue consuming good but they were still pretty soft with a good bite to it.
Mandarin Pavlova - with Pomegranate & Blood Orange Sorbet, ($16)
Love myself a good old smashed pavlova. Fruity, zingy and an awesome dessert as long as you have a dental appointment booked within the next two weeks or so (gotta watch them dental caries guys). The blood orange sorbet is of particular mention; a superb acidic bang which is subdued and balanced out by the crumbly sweet meringue.
Blackberry Bombe Alaska - with Blackberry Ice Cream
A signature dish at Chiswick (don't know if they have this anymore), the Bombe Alaska is a ooey-gooey mess well worth getting soft, sticky meringue on your face for. An awesome combination of ice cream and Italian style meringue, blow torched and presented on a pedestal of coconut dacquoise. Matt Moran actually has the recipe for it online!.
Chiswick provided a very hit and miss sort of afternoon for the Tsang family. There were some very outstanding dishes which was overshadowed in many ways by some quite ordinary ones. Dessert most definitely saved the day! Add an extra $1 to every dish if you plan to dine during a weekend which sucks but is understandable. Thanks for the shout Andrew.