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November 28, 2010 / amyjmcintosh

Brown Sugar’s 100 Mile Meal

Imagine a world where dessert is served first. No canapes, entrées or mains to endure before getting to the star attraction. No time to wait before digging into the piece de resistance. This long-lived fantasy of mine was reignited last month at Bondi’s Brown Sugar restaurant whilst tucking into one of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten. Rhubarb and custard tartlet with strawberry ice-cream, nutmeg and pistachio brittle. A delicious melody of sweet and salty, soft and crunchy all rolled into one delicious plateful of tartlet.

rhubarb and custard tartlet with strawberry ice-cream, nutmeg and pistachio brittle
The pistachio tartlet was part of Brown Sugar’s 100 Mile Meal – one of the annual events of the Sydney International Food Festival. The 100 Mile Meal concept is all about sourcing produce from within a 100 mile (160 km) radius. As well as forging connections between cooks, chefs and suppliers, 100 Mile Meals are encouraging diners to think before they eat and give a thought to how far food has travelled to land on their plate.

Brown Sugar menu

Brown Sugar menu

As far as neighbourhood restaurants go, Brown Sugar gets the proverbial thumbs up from me. It’s one of my favourite venues for a date night – friendly service, wrinkle-decreasing lighting and bloody good food, including a mean fish pie with truffle oil. Sibling duo, Neil and Lianne Gottheiner have diners spilling out the doors at this cafe by day, modern bistro by night. Local, seasonal and organic produce is the force behind their winning formula.

So, working in reverse on the 100 Mile Meal, the next dish on the menu was “bouillabaisse” – a French spiced seafood soup (using locally caught seafood with preserved lemon and coriander). We washed it down with a glass of 2009 Polin and Polin’s John Rooke’s rosé from New South Wales’ wine mecca, the Hunter Valley.

Middle Eastern spiced seafood soup

Brown Sugar's bouillabaisse

Our entrée was a selection of local little vegetables with accompaniments. When Brown Sugar’s head chef, Neil Gottheiner told us about the myriad of ingredients that went into making this pretty plate of vegies, I must admit that I felt bad about eating it and spoiling all his hard work. This dish is how I would describe art on a plate. We washed it down with a glass of 2009 Polin and Polin’s ‘Ships of the Line’ verdelho from the Hunter Valley, NSW. Delicious.

Selection of local little vegetables with accompaniments

Selection of local little vegetables with accompaniments

Next time you cook or eat out, I encourage you to consider how far your food has travelled. Think locally, buy locally and support farmers and food producers.
Photo by Paul Green
And if you happen to find yourself at Brown Sugar, be sure to try their fish pie. It’s very good. If you can’t get yourself there, here’s a great fish pie that I love to cook.

Brown Sugar restaurant, Bondi

Photo by Paul Green

Looking for more great date restaurants? Check out my review of the Public Dining Room at Balmoral Beach.


Leave a Comment
  1. Tes / Nov 28 2010 3:26 pm

    I love the pictures in your blog… they are so stunning! The bouillabaisse ( I wish I could pronouce it) really left me hungry 🙂

    • amyjmcintosh / Nov 28 2010 11:16 pm

      Thanks Tes! I’m glad you like my photos. It’s nice to know I have some fans in India! I love your blog too. 🙂

  2. Christina / Nov 30 2010 2:29 pm

    These dishes look so tasty! I bet the Sydney International Food Festival would be so much fun. 🙂

    • amyjmcintosh / Nov 30 2010 11:14 pm

      Thanks Christina! I’m keen to give your ginger cookies a try. I’ll let you know how I go! x

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