Monday, 18 May 2015

La Tratt, Fairfield

The concept of a fine dining establishment serving food and service of that you'd expect from the Sydney CBD in Western Sydney is delivered in La Tratt, surprisingly located in Fairfield RSL. It's polished, sleek and gives me an excuse to look over the top.

To get through happy hump day (is it really ever happy?) and get out of my grandma style habit i.e 9PM in bed with tea, the boy and I had a little celebratory dinner here over their Winter mid week special - boasting an affordable price of $62 for 3 courses + wine.

On arrival, we're brought complimentary bread, olive & dipping board. Good sourdough, plenty of balsamic and I'm awkwardly picking out the olives from my olive bread cos we ain't olive people.

Every since my Hunter Valley trip, I've grown on wine, so no hesitation to a glass of 2012 La Tratt Chardonnay, and the other option being the 2011 La Tratt Cabernet Merlot.

To start, my eyes are immediately drawn to the thought of Gnocchi Di Aragosta , which one of the waitress tell me, usually isn't on their menu as it's of high demand, so we're lucky it's on the mid week special this time. Fluffly pillows of potato gnocchi (one of the best I've had) gently coated in a tomato chilli cream and most importantly the sweet slipper lobster meat (not 'true' lobster, but similar to a Morton Bay Bug) was heavenly.

When I order, I don't even try to pronounce it in Italian. Try saying Pancia Di Maiale Arrosoto, translating to the roast chilli honey marinated pork belly. You could taste the honey, with the chilli being very subtle. A classic start to the night with the tomato salsa & fennel. 

I think I'm drawn to having crackling, so while this was a good dish, the gnocchi blew this dish out of the park.

It's somewhat 'common sense' for you and your dining partner to order different mains to try more of what's offered, but there was no backing down from the Confit Dutton Park Duck Pie (Torta Di Antra) .

A buttery flaky pastry with a generous amount of duck and the spread of potato puree tied together with the wild mushroom, duck sherry jus & truffle oil worked incredibly well and was the favourite of the night.

I'm impressed with their complimentary steamed vegetables, which would have normally been charged >$8 in other restaurants.

Jeans are no longer in my closet. In fact, I wear jeans at most 5 times/year simply because I know if I unbutton them to expand my stomach ... I'll forget to button them back up post meal so instead tights and dresses are the way to go.

This was the case when we had THREE desserts presented to us. An extra scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream for a mini anniversary celebration (complimentary again - thanks for looking after us so goddamn well !!)

I've heard great things about their Bomboloni and whilst stuffed, managed to eat them all ... Soft cinnamon sugar Italian doughnuts dipped in a rich dulce de leche then rolled in the hazelnuts and
I was pushed to a food coma. 

A new level of food coma was experienced that night - so bad I was still full the next day from all my food. The Torta Al Cioccolato was starting us right in face ... begging to be eaten. A very dense flourless chocolate cake, somewhat resembling a brownie but not as sweet in combination with the raspberry sorbet were again classic flavours with the mixed fruit and decorated with meringue & blueberry gel.

One highlight of the night was 'accidentally' eating the flowers it came with. I don't think we were meant to eat the flowers ... but I did because it was on the plate and flowers don't taste as good as they look.

Lesson learnt.

I'm grateful there's a fine dining place I can get to within a 10 minute drive. Great good, service, atmosphere, you've won it all ! The duck pie - highlight of the night. So good I'm going to attempt to make a duck pie at home.

Make sure your stomach is CLEAR before here, because they're not stingy on portion size.

La Tratt on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Buttermelt Cafe, Strathfield

Replacing Moochi in Strathfield comes Buttermelt Cafe.  Pretty sad I can't get my froyo fix there anymore though .. If you stalk Jayesslee on Youtube, they have spoken about the pancakes here a few times in their vlogs so here I am to see what the hype is about.

It's a relatively small place, accommodating no more than say 30 people with a very simple menu of standard breakfast and fusion lunch/dinner options. By popular demand, they've extended trading hours now till 10PM - this new dessert location means more to choose from.

Caffeine hit is required, and the boy is very satisfied with his Latte from Sensory Lab, however my Taro Latte had very subtle taro-ness to it. I quite like that it stayed more traditional, without the excess sugar, however it was a little bland to drink with our flavoursome breakfast.

Taro Latte - $4 | Latte - $3.50

Because all the yummy pancakes start a little later, the boy and I opt for the Salmon Benedict Danish which I initially thought was going to be in pastry since 'Danish'.

Salmon Benedict Danish - $15.50

Not going to lie, I thought I wasn't going to be full from this, because my eyes always over estimate how much I can eat.  Perfectly poached eggs  all runny, with folds of smoked salmon  and you can't really fault spinach or lemon ... Whilst the hollandaise sauce was generous, overtime it seemed to solidify and get a little glue-y.  On another note, impossible to cut through the bread with my knife, but you know all breads have bad days.

Overall, I think Buttermelt is a great change to the Strathfield scene of Korean Food, and I'm digging the Brickfield's pastries and bread they use. I was satisfied with my dish, and though some minor mishaps am keen to give the pancakes and waffles a go.

Buttermelt Cafe on Urbanspoon