If there were awards given for “Sydney’s prettiest restaurant”, Chiswick would definitely take it out. In fact in the “Lovely places to take your folks for a lovely meal” or the “Restaurant I would most want to turn into my country house” awards, Chiswick would also scoop the pool.
As many people have written before me, the dining room at Chiswick is gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous, though the menu can a little hit and miss at times.
If there’s one thing you know about Matt Moran it is what a proud supporter he is of amazing produce and local providers which I think really shines through in this menu. The use of the beautiful kitchen garden really adds something to the tone of the dining room and makes you feel like you are experiencing something special knowing that the salads and herbs are sourced just a few steps away from where you’re sitting.
With the Proseccos down it was time to sample some beautiful, fresh Mid North Coast Oysters with Pickled Ginger and Finger Lime. Finger limes are such a great example of the incredible things that happen in nature those teeny, tiny, completely perfect spheres of lime sit happily atop the oyster offering fresh bursts in the mouth as you eat. Yum.
For entrée we have ordered the Duck Ravioli and the Scallops with Daikon Radish.
I have a soft spot for the Ravioli (previously done with Veal and Broad Beans), so much so that I replicated the dish for a birthday lunch I hosted myself last year. The duck version is quite different, pretty heavy on the five spice with the spring onions a welcome addition to the flavours of the ravioli.
The scallops almost fall into the too pretty to eat basket, if they weren’t so perfectly cooked and delicious to eat. Daikon is vinegary and the schmear of chilli jam is both dramatic and complimentary to the dish. The scallops are cooked so absolutely spot on. Both dishes are lovely.
On to mains. It’s a bit of a ‘meat off’ even though the sous chef is having fish and I’m having steak. I say this because the trevalla is the most handsome, meaty bit of fish that I’ve seen since The Fish Shop outing and gives my sirloin a run for its money in plate presence.
The Steamed Trevalla, Ginger, Shallot, Mushrooms ($30) is getting high praise from the sous chef but I’m distracted by my steak.
The Char Grilled Moran Family Grass Fed Beef, Seeded Mustard, Parsley ($35) is served on a board with a lovely accompanying salad. The flavour is good but the steak is neither medium rare or juicy or especially tender. It ain’t bad, it’s just not the best steak that I’ve ever had.
Sous chef is devouring hand cut chips with thyme aioli like potatoes are no longer carbohydrates whilst managing to dodge anything of a green vegetable orientation on the table.
It’s that time of the day when the sun streams into the restaurant and fills the room with the most beautiful light and gives the diner a little lucky to be alive kiss. Another wine? Why not.
Having leaned on the sous chef to finish my steak I have left ample room for a shared dessert which today will be the Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream.
The smell of crumble arrives before the dessert itself and is very homey and comforting. The dessert goes easy on the sugar and high on the lemon flavours which I really like.
You can’t really be disappointed in having such a leisurely afternoon of eating and drinking though the $350* it sets you back may sting a little. I recommend Chiswick for entertaining people from out of town, perhaps a good spot for a small group celebration or when you’re channeling Gwyneth Paltrow all waspy and freshly blowdried.
Chiswick is not a roll your sleeves up, lip smacking, eye rolling den of deliciousness, but it is very lovely.
65 Ocean Street, Woollahra | +61 2 8388 8688