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November 18, 2011 / amyjmcintosh

Six rockstar meals


Do you suffer from food envy when eating out? It’s a common affliction that affects the best of us – particularly indecisive Librans like me. What’s even worse than food envy is encountering a dish that’s simply too good to eat. Art on a plate, if you like. Today’s post is a celebration of six restaurant dishes that blew me away.

1. Prawn cocktail at Doyle’s, Watson’s Bay

You may recognise this picture as the background image on Amy’s Cookbook. My sister ordered it at a family lunch at Doyles earlier this year. Truth be told, I had a serious case of food envy when I saw the dish emerge from the kitchen. Simple, fresh and oh-so-Aussie. There may be too much fried food on the menu, but the Sydney institution of Doyles does a mean prawn cocktail. Oh so fitting for a civilised lunch on a sparkly summer’s day. And did I mention the view? It’s to-die-for.

Prawn cocktail at Doyles

Prawn cocktail at Doyles

2. Duck liver pate at The Commons, Darlinghurst

The Commons is one of those places I could just keep going back to. Its cosy interior has just the right mix of coolness and comfort factor that I look for in a watering hole. What’s more, it has a fabulous restaurant that dishes up some of the best seasonal produce around. On my last visit there, we demolished some duck liver pate (they gave me sliced apple instead of bread) and a whole baked rainbow trout stuffed with tomatoes and mozzarella.  Needless to say, I fell into a foodie coma.

Duck liver pate w/ cornichons

Duck liver pate with cornichons

3.  Snapper and chocolate sphere at Gastro Park, Potts Point

The name might get the thumbs down, but Gastro Park takes Sydney restaurant food to a whole new level with its arty interpretations of scaled snapper with smoked potato puree, calamari crackling and ink sauce. Their chocolate, honeycomb, mandarin sphere, cookies and cream is an orgasm on a plate.

Snapper at Gastro Park

Snapper at Gastro Park, Potts Point

Chocolate sphere

Chocolate sphere at Gastro Park

4. Oysters and honey vodka at Food Society, Darlinghurst

Sydney needs more places like Food Society – a little piece of Eastern Europe in the heart of Darlinghurst. I went there with four friends a couple of weeks ago and tucked into their share menu. The best value food I’ve had in ages at $46 each. The stand outs were the Pacific oysters with lemon ice and trout roe washed down with a smooth glass of honey vodka. You simply must try it. Oh, and all dishes served with bread or crackers can be gluten-free on request.

Oysters at Food Society, Darlinghurst

Pacific oysters with lemon ice and trout roe

Honey vodka

Honey vodka at Food Society

5. Dessert plate at Toko, Surry Hills

Toko is one of my favourite restaurants and bars. It might be hard to get a table, but their gyoza are to-die-for and the mood lighting does wonders for my wrinkles. And I love their dessert plate. It’s not gluten-free, but the presentation is spot on. Love.

Toko dessert plate

Dessert platter at Toko, Surry Hills

6. Chocolate fondue and martinis at The Victoria Room, Darlinghurst

Stepping inside Sydney’s plush Victoria Room transports me to a rich gentleman’s club in Bombay. It’s like having dinner at a very rich person’s house. I can imagine someone like Winston Churchill kicking back here with a cigar and Scotch in hand.

Their chocolate fondue and martinis for two is the best $70 you’ll ever spend. Just don’t make the mistake of eating dinner beforehand like we did. The servings are as generous as Santa Claus’s stomach. A warm bowl of molten dark chocolate is surrounded by pieces of Turkish Delight, candied orange, fresh fruit, banana fritters and banana bread. This is hedonism at its best and makes for a great date night.

Chocolate Fondue & Martinis

Chocolate fondue and martinis

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