Sunday, March 27, 2011

Foveaux (2) - Surry Hills

I haven't been out to dinner for my parents for AGES - and usually when we eat out, it's at a Chinese restaurant, so it took a lot of persuasion to make them drive all the way out to the city with me to try out innovative non-asian cuisine.

For this ground-breaking moment, I decided to take them to Foveaux, a comfortable little restaurant in Surry Hills.

Seated by a cheery, friendly waiter, we were given space to decide on our menus (much appreciated). It took a little convincing to make my parents order the degustation ($80) and this is what we were served with :

Amuse Bouche of curry, lentils and warm yoghurt soup. You could smell this from afar - slightly a bit too overbearing for my liking. Very curried up - but then the sourness of warm yoghurt kicks in... making it all slightly ugh.

curry, lentils and warm yoghurt

For the first course, there was a choice of either the tomato and olive oil sorbet or the smoked albacore tuna. My parents were a bit shocked by the sorbet. "It's cold and like icecream!" - yes, that's what sorbets are like. I guess they weren't quite expecting it as a first course. The sorbet was accompanied by diced cucumber, baby rocket, cubes of olive jelly and sheep's fetta bits. For decoration, a long paint stroke of capsicum. Awesome presentation - but tastewise... not really my type of dish (nor my parent's unfortunately).

tomato and olive oil sorbet, cucumber, baby rocket, olive jelly, sheep's fetta and capsicum paint

The smoked albacore tuna, on the other hand, was extremely yummy. Very smokey in flavour, tomato salsa on top of the tuna, avocado sauced up, whipped ponzu and decorated with sesame. The textures and the flavours worked really well together :)

cold smoked albacore tuna, whipped ponzu, tomato salsa, avocado and sesame

For course 2, there was a choice of either roasted quail or caramalised venison tongue. The quail was accompanied by a smoked eel croquette, all sitting on a bed of diced beetroot and leaves, and sprinkled through with capers. From the looks on my parent's faces, this seemed just OK.

roasted quail, smoked eel croquette, caper, beetroot and leaves

The caramalised venison tongue was an unexpected surprise. Rather thick chunked, I was amazed that the tongue was really tender and not chewy or tough. Also, being caramelised, it was subtly sweet. What I liked more, however, was the accompanying scampi. It was semi-cooked, leaving a half raw, smooth texture, and being super sweet :) On top of these was the shredded carrot. The tongue and the scampi were swimming in a strong sea urchin custard and rhubarb powder mixture.

caramalised venison tongue, scampi, sea urchin custard, carrot, and rhubarb powder

Next was the fish - either the leather jacket or the mulloway. The herbed baked leather jacket was present sub-par for Foveaux's standards. It looked like a blurb or a mess really. The leather jacket - cooked almost perfectly, was sitting on top a mess of lettuce, and there were blobs of peas and green olive puree. Maybe it was because everything was a green, it wasn't the most visually stimulating. Scattered amongst the greens were bits of braised rabbit. I have to say, I appreciated my mulloway more :)

herb baked leather jacket, braised rabbit, lettuce, peas and green olive puree

My roast palmers island mulloway was perfecto-ly cooked. Super crispy skinned. Super tender and soft and tasty. A rather strong bouillabaisse foam was sitted inside a crepe-y cylinder. White mashed polenta was artistically painted under the fish and on the side of it all, was a little salad of tomato and black olive. All up, it was really really tasty. Really really YUM :)

roast palmers island mulloway, bouillabaisse foam, white polenta, black olive and tomato

In terms of meats, there was either the lamb or the veal. My dad loved the lamb. The rump was cured and smoked to super tenderness and tastiness. To add to the lamby taste, there was the lamb liver puree in two splotches on the side. Tiny amoung of greens were under the lamb. Garlic foam and puffed spelt were spread on top of the meat to add to all the flavours.

cured and smoked lamb rump, liver puree, greens, garlic, and puffed spelt

As I don't eat lamb, I opted for the veal sirloin. This was really really tender - almost melt in your mouth (or as much as it can for a veal sirloin). What caught my attention was the mushroom puree... it smelt AMAZING~ Mushies and parsnip cubes were abundant and drenched in meat juices. Or maybe it was the upland cress and thyme jus... whatever it was, the sauce was really strong, but accompanied the meat well :)

roasted veal sirloin with mushroom puree, parsnip, upland cress and thyme jus

The pre-dessert was my favourite of the night. It was a light milk sorbet sitting on top of a salad of pineapple and topped with crunchy caramelised macadamia. YUM. Cold. Refreshing. Absolutely delicious. It was light in flavour yet it provided a slight relief from all the other flavours which were in my mouth from earlier tonight. I swear I could eat many many of these!

salad of pineapple, milk sorbet and macadamia nut praline

In terms of dessert, I was a little disappointed. There was a banana dish or a ginger dish - neither of which I was a fan of. The banana dish was comprised of banana ice cream, caramalised banana pieces, crumbed digestive biscuit, and a super thin slice of coffee and tonka bean sitting on top. The only thing I liked from this was the coffee and tonka slice - but... I'm biased. I just don't eat banana :)

banana ice cream, caramalised banana, digestive biscuit, coffee and tonka

The other option was a ginger sponge. It was extremely extremely gingery - slightly over-bearingly so. It was on a rather large bed of carrot marmalade and topped with cream cheese ice cream and an interesting slice of candied carrot. It was ... umm...healthy-looking and just strong. Almost sickeningly gingery and sickening sweet. Where's my chocolate?!?! :(

ginger sponge, carrot marmalade, cream cheese ice cream and walnut powder

Ok - so my second experience at Foveaux was slightly mixed. I'm sure my parents would agree, there were good dishes and some which seemed to slightly miss the mark. Service was rather good. And so was the ambiance ... until a super large noisy crowd started dinner at around 9ish.
Would I come back? Well... third time lucky~ I'm a sucker for the way Foveaux tries its best to be creative, mixing odd flavours and textures together to keep us in awe and amazement :)

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

65-67 Foveaux St
Surry Hills
NSW 2010
Tel: (02) 9211 0664


chocolatesuze said...

argh i still havent been to foveaux! presentation looks fantastic but im dying to try the pre-dessert!

joey@FoodiePop said...

This has been on my list for a bit, but I'm sure I'll get there one day! Food looks creative and well presented.

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

I'm a Foveaux fan too :) Venison tongue sounds interesting...!

bbsnoopy said...

The pre-dessert was awesome! the pineapple and milk sorbet flavours were dancing around in my mouth :)

I really like how Foveaux tries it's best to be creative in their mix of flavours, textures and presentation~