Saturday, May 23, 2009

Coast, Sydney

The Roof Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf,
Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW 2000 Map

Coast is ideally situated, overlooking Darling Harbour.

Unfortunately there was a mix up with our booking and when we arrived we discovered that we had been booked in for the week after. However, this didn't seem to phase anyone and we were quickly shown to a table.

I enquired of the waiter whether there was any possibility of myself having a vegetarian tasting menu and my wife having a normal one and after a quick word with the chef, we were told that it wouldn't be a problem.

One of the other waiting staff came over to explain the menus and then we were off.

First up I had Orange, Fennel & Coriander Salad. This is a dish that I was introduced to in Italy and I wasn't sure about the coriander being part of it. However, I needn't have worried as it really added to the flavour and made an already great dish even better.

The next dish was Mozzarella with Caramelised Onions. This was, I thought, the weakest dish of the night, although it was presented really well, with a small ball of mozzarella perched inside a hollowed out caramelised onion. Maybe I've been spoiled by the beautifully creamy buffalo mozzarella available in Europe, but the cheese in this seemed to be the chewy stuff that I normally would reserve for a pizza.

Still, not to worry as I was then presented with Beetroot & Ricotta Salad with two different colours of beet. It was very nice, however a nice goats cheese would have complemented the beets better than the rather bland ricotta.

Next up was a real treat. Tagliatelle with White Truffle Butter and Brussel Sprouts. Yumm! The brussel sprouts sounded a bit weird, but they really worked. They were single leaves crisply fried and they really added to the flavour. The truffle butter had flakes of truffle in it and tasted fab. This was the first of the dishes where my wife's menu and mine matched up and, as she's not a big truffle fan, I got to eat hers as well! What a result!

The next course was a real classic. Asparagus, Poached Egg and Parmesan. The egg was cooked perfectly and the asparagus was lovely. Simple and perfect, nothing else needs to be said.

After an Orange & Amaretti Granita to cleanse our palates it was time for dessert, or should I say desserts.

The first of them was Panna Cotta with Chocolate and Salt. The salt really brought the flavours up and it was lovely.

The final course was divine. It was Pears Stuffed with Marscapone and Saffron Jelly. The saffron jelly flavour was very delicate and the pears were gorgeous.

Then it was time for coffee and petit-fours.

The service was pretty much perfect. Coast offer a selection of wines matched to each course with the tasting menu but we decided not to have the full selection and asked the sommelier if he would just pick a selection of two or three which he did. And very nice they were too.

We went during Darling Harbour's 21st anniversary celebrations and watched the fireworks during our meal which added a nice touch. The whole experience was great and we're planning to go back in the not too distant future.