Top 5 Dishes 2015-2016
Here are my Top 5 Sydney dishes from the past 12 months. It’s been a big year with a lot to love … but these are the dishes I just can’t stop thinking about. I’ve also been lucky enough to visit some extraordinary overseas restaurants in the past year so, rather than knock out any of my local favourites, you can check out my Top 5 International Dishes for 2015-2016 here.
Eggplant Parmigiana (Ormeggio at The Spit, Mosman)
I tend to be a traditionalist, and don’t like classic recipes messed around with. But, when Alessandro Pavoni fries confit baby eggplants in the lightest tempura batter, dusts them with tomato powder, adds a splodge of buffalo mozzarella cream and a few dots of basil jelly – he’s got me!
Strange-flavoured Burrata (Ms.G’s, Potts Point)
East west fusion isn’t generally my thing either … but when Dan Hong and Paul Donnelly pair Italy’s creamy burrata with this intriguingly named Chinese sauce normally seen with chicken (a mouth-filling combo of sesame, chilli, salty, sweet, sour and nutty) – I’m addicted!
Cacio e Pepe (Buffalo Dining Club, Darlinghurst)
I love a little theatrics with my food, and I’m rather fond of cheese and pasta too. So imagine how much I adore having this classic Roman dish of spaghetti with black pepper and Pecorino Romano tossed in, and served from, a half wheel of cheese. Sister restaurant Chester White does just as fine a job.
Leatherjacket Sichuan-style (Spice Temple, Sydney)
I wish this dish (which is not as spicy as it looks) wasn’t so good, because there’s a lot more on Andy Evans’ menu I really want to try. But these firm, sweet leatherjacket fillets, in a warming broth infused with dried chillies and numbing Sichuan peppercorns, keep calling me back.
Affogato (Lucio’s, Paddington)
Vanilla ice cream ‘drowned’ in espresso and liqueur (preferably Frangelico) appears on café and restaurant menus everywhere. But there’s a real art to getting the simplest things just right – and Lucio’s has it. I love their special touch of the crumbled amaretti on top too!