Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blancharu - Elizabeth Bay

On the night of the blazingly hot 41° day, we had arranged to meet an old friend at Blancharu, a one-hatted restaurant at Elizabeth Bay. Expecting a wave of coolness as we stepped inside, we were met by nothing other than stuffy humidness *sighz* Their aircon, like the aircon at every other place in Sydney on this day, was struggling to spit out cool air.

Nonetheless, we sat and we ordered and we ate and we had a great time :)
We had options - a 7 degustation ($85), 4 courses - entree, pasta, main and dessert ($75) or a-la-carte. As we had all partially lost our appetites due to the heat, we'd settled for 2 lots of 4 course meals, and one a-la-carte main to share between the three of us.

Shortly after being seated, we were served with freshly baked bread. A choice of french onion or white. I opted for french onion (and regreted). Being a french-fusioned restaurant, I didn't like their bread too much. Lacking in onion flavour and a bit too dense, it wasn't really my type of bread. Though, being fresh out of the oven, it melted my butter quite well.

french onion bread

One of the two entrees we had ordered was the ocean trout. Lightly seared slices of trout was served on a bed of red cabbage and accompanied by 'egg yoke zuke', tomato compote and garlic foam. The trout was pretty awesome. Light and tasty. The truffle foam and the eggy sauce complimented the fish well :)

aburi ocean trout with red cabbage, 'egg yoke zuke', garlic foam

I didn't appreciate the second entree as much. This was a pea and eggplant layered mousse topped with shredded bits of king crab and caviar with a tomato vinaigrette. to me, the mousse was slightly plain and boring. It was just dense and over-poweringly pea-y.

King crab and Eggplant caviar Tower, Pea mousse, Tomato vinaigrette

On to the pasta options, we had opted for a squid ink risotto and a soba. The risotto dish looked kind of cute - with the calamari rings forming like 2 eyes and an 'O' mouth :P I have to say, being excited by the looks of it, it wasn't really my type of dish. The risotto was cooked well. Flavoursome. Creamy. The calamari's batter was a little bit too much for me too. Not crispy enough. Just a lot of dough surrounding a small ring.

squid ink risotto with deep fried calamari rings

In contrast, I couldn't get enough of the organic soba tossed in cream sauce and topped with truffle aroma foam. It was soooooo creamy and sooooo nice. I was in creamy pasta truffle heaven. There were little seaweed bits throughout. The soba was cooked al-dente. Deliciousness!

organic soba, cream sauce with truffle aroma foam

Now onto the mains. My friend decided on the spatchcock. This was bought out in it's original form first. The spatchcock was surrounded by a "en croûte de sel a la Haru" - that is, salt-crusted with rosemary. It was sooooo aromatic. Just smelling the artistic looking outer layer made saliva build up in my mouth. Not to be eaten though - it was soooo salty. Lucky they give you a look at the encrusted layer - because if you were just served with three slabs of white spatchcock pieces, you're bound to be disappointed. Having said that though, the meat was stupidly tender, smooth and tasty.

Spatchcock en croûte de sel a la Haru

My partner chose the fish of the day. On this particular day, it was John Dory with witlof salad. The fish was cooked just right. The witlof salad sitting under was average. And the sauce wasn't anything too flash. The dish on the whole was OK.

John Dory with witlof salad

I decided on the seafood Bouillabaisse. The seafood stew incorporated a variety of seafood bits - clams, calamari, fish, scallops. It was really really tasty and aromatic. Bits of truffle oil was drizzled on top. Wish it was cooler weather coz I think this would have been enjoyed even more.

Seafood bouillabaisse

Last but not least, we were up to desserts. We ordered the crème brûlée and the panna cotta. The Crème Brûlée was pretty awesome. A good toffee to brûlée ratio. It was YUM. The coffee icecream accompanying this dish was also a welcome on this hot day.

Traditional Crème Brûlée with coffee ice cream

The panna cotta had an extremely distinct lemongrass taste to it. Maybe it was in the sauce. I thought it was average - nothing too exciting. I liked the accompanying coconut sorbet more :)

Lemongrass Panna cotta with coconut sorbet

All up, the service was good. The waitress was extremely patient when we took 10 years to pick our order. The food was pretty good. But the air con definately needs a kick :P

Food - 8.5/10
Service - 8/10
Ambiance - 6.5/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 30/40

21 Elizabeth Bay Road
Elizabeth Bay
NSW 2011
Tel: (02) 9360 3555


chocolatesuze said...

how awesome is the spatchcock! love the presentation!

Anonymous said...

nice one!
interesting that you thought all this coz we didnt really talk much abt the food..!
anyway lets do it again before the big day :) xxy

bbsnoopy said...

The spatchcock did look kinda impressive LOL

Definately should meet up again~! :)