Sunday, September 13, 2009

Foveaux - Surry Hills


I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired and stressed about uni, I made my partner book us an awesome restaurant to just eat eat eat! My partner threw open our awesome Entertainment-book and picked out Foveaux in Surry Hills.

Having a tentative booking at 8.30pm, we were made to wait in their snazzy comfy stylish dim-litted yet warm bar downstairs. There we ordered a couple of drinks. The Honey and Chamomile Fire ($15) - a concoction of honey water, chamomile tea, peychauds bitters and sparkling wine - for me, and a Fair Trade Agreement ($18) - rum, sweet vermouth, cherry brandy, angostura and orange bitters - for my partner. I thought both drinks were very quite strong. The honey in my honey chamomile drink must have gone a-hiding.


After a short while, we were escorted to a small and cozy upstairs dining area. My partner's first reaction after opening the menu was "Wow! It's so cheap!"... *ai ya* I think we eat out too much. No - it wasn't cheap in the full description of the word. It was simply cheaper than we had expected. LOL Mains and Entrees were reasonably priced, and the six course degustation was just $75! Of course, being greedy hungry little people, we opted for the latter choice.

After the waiter set down lotza knives and forks for our feat, we were greeted by fresh, warm bread rolls. Mmmm... fresh warm bread with butter. Yum.

bread roll

The amuse bouche for the evening was a mild curry velouté - smooth, rich and aromatic with a slight chilli curry type taste probably bought on by the kaffir leaves. It also had within it tiny apple and parsnip cubes which added crunchy texture to the wonderfully smooth and creamy mixture. After this appetiser, we had high expections for the courses to come - and rightfully so.

amuse bouche - mild curry velouté with apple and parsnip cubes

It was an interesting six course degustation. There was a choice of two for 5 of 6 of the courses. As such, having two people meant that we had a total of 11 different dishes to try. On top of that, we also got an addition oyster each ($4.00). These were little pacific rock oysters swimming in chardonnay vinegar and topped with tapioca pearls and salmon roe. It was an interesting mix. The slimyness of the oyster with the adventurous "popping" of the salmon roe adding a salty flavour and the less adventurous chewy tapioca (small and large pearls) neutralising the saltiness yet adding extra texture. It was all very interesting and quite good. What I loved about this was the presentation. Sitting on top of a wooden block which is slightly chilled, held stable but rock salt, also slightly chilled ... and colourful! with the perals and the salmon roe... - it was very extremely pretty to look at :)

oysters with chardonnay vinegar, pearls and salmon roe - $4 each

Now onto our actual first course. There was the taro and goats curd sandwich, accompanied with shaved fennel a la grecque, one to each side of the taro sandwich. Each blob of shaved fellen was topped with green olive jelly radish sprouts adnd a bit of carrot. Lastly, to prettify the whole dish, there was an artistic carrot paint stroke across the plate. Just by looking at it, it seemed like a huge slab of taro sitting tall in the middle. What it actually is, is a huge slab of goats cheese and with a paper-thin slice of taro on either side - perfectly matched in shape. The fennel blobs were also soaked through with taste - quite good taste.

Taro and goats curd sandwich with shaved fennel blobs

The other choice for our first course was one of my favourites for the night. In short, it was marinated trout cubes swimming in cucumber soup and topped with trout-flavoured icecream. In reality, it was probably much much more complex than that. Why was this dish so WOW? The coldness of the icecream was so opposite to the fresh trout pieces that it was just so so complementary! Especially when eaten with crunchy popped trout skin and neo gai (that green seaweedy stuff). It was so amazing! Even the cucumber soup tasted like trout LOL.

marinated ocean trout with smoked trout ice cream and cucmber soup

Onto the second course. There was the pork belly, lovelily caramalised. Although it was a thin slice of pork, it still encompassed within it the crunchiness of the skin, ooziness of the pork fat, and tenderness of the meat. It was like... melting in my mouth! Accompanying this awesome thing slice of meat was a puddle of black pudding puree. To make the dish even more presentable was little bits of ceviche prawn, green shiso and super super crispy and tasty prawn rice cracker. When you eat the cracker with pork with black pudding all together in one bite, it was simply amazingness!!!

caramalised pork belly with black pudding puree

The other option for course number two was the sauteed spring bay scallops. Scallops were sitting ontop of slices of venison heart and crushed beetroot soaked in la goya jus. This was all decorated with a paint stroke of sesame puree. They love the paint stroke. Lucky for them, so do I :) I have to say that I dislike beetroot with a passion. Yet, this beetroot was kind of acceptable in small portions (and that is definately saying something!). But the main thing was the scallops. This must be one of the first restaurants which served perfectly cooked scallops! It was lightly sauteed on the outside and yet, sweet and raw (but not cold) on the inside. It was sooooo tasty and soooo perfectly textured and yummmy and and and... slightly indescribable.

sauteed spring bay scallops with venison heart and crushed beetroot

Third course - one option was the roast trevalla served with a cube of kohirabbi gratin which was swimming in super super super sweet carrot puree. The pretty perfectly cooked piece of trevalla had super crispy skin and was situated on top of a braised sea urchin, leek and salad burnette mix. To provide extra flavour, there was also a good dab of red wine reduction sauce.

roast trevalla

The other option was extremely good too. Baked rainbow trout with tiny bits of victorian morel mushrooms and clams. The rainbow trout was again, perfectly cooked. The only qualm I have about this is the skin. It would have made for much better texture if the skin was crispy too! Yet, it was just slimy and slithery. There was also a good portion of sugar snaps below the trout. The best thing about this dish was the sweet corn puree. It was amazing! Super sweetly corn tasting without even the slightest hint of corn pieces in it.

baked rainbow trout with sweet corn puree

The last meat course for the night had an option of lamb or rib cap. I don't eat lamb. But I ate a bit of this. Why? Because the sauce was so amazing that I couldn't even taste the icky lamb taste! Slices of roasted lamb loin was topped with asparagus pieces, crunchy wakame seaweed and pea sprouts. Surrounding this was a white miso puree and jus gras. My partner loved this dish.

roasted lamb loin with white miso puree

Although I did eat the lamb, I still preferred my braised rib cap. The rib cap had that slightly charred taste, yet was tender and bits of fat (but not too much fat) throughout providing that really rich powerful taste. The two green blobs sitting on either side of the rib cap were pastley purees. This had a strong herby green taste. But it was not the smooth creamy puree I was hoping for. There was also a little piece of chicken wing and oyster, as well as two little cubed of milk braised celeriac. I think that the sauce was just it's own jus, but it was pretty awesome anyway :P

braised rib cap

The first dessert was option-less. Hence, both my partner and I got the braised watermelon with vodka jube, fruit salad sage and sleeps yoghurt sorbet. I'm not a fan of sheeps yoghurt sorbet. The sage was actually very fruit salad tasting. And the watermelon was crunchy and watery and refreshing. I guess that overall, compared to the dishes we already sampled, this was not as awesome but it was still alright.

braised watermelon, vodka jube, fruit salad sage and sheeps yoghurt sorbet

Another dessert was the tonka bean rice pudding. This was topped with white chocolate ice cream, which was very yum. There was yet again, a paint stroke. This time, of blackberry conserve. To prettify the whole thing, walnut dust was sprinkled on top.

tonka bean rice pudding, blackberry conserve, white chocolate ice cream and walnut dust

Last but not least was the awesomely presented tobacco roasted pears. The plate was coloured by burnt grape-seed oil (it was tasteless but oh so presentable). The two thin brown slices were actually chocolate wafers. This was super crispy and tasted like burnt dark chocolate crisps. When eaten with the pecan gelato, it was heavenly! Interestingly, along with the pears and raspberries, there were also candied celery. I thought that this was a very brave and bold choice. It was interesting, but I can't really say that it was very matching.

tobacco roasted pears with pecan gelato, raspberries, candied celery and chocolate wafers

As you can probably tell, I have now exhausted my vocab of yummy adjectives. The food here was awesome! Foodwise, I would have rated it a 10 out of 10 - but, as my partner says, there's always room for improvement. I thought that Foveaux really excelled itself in the food presentation. The mixture of tastes were daring and creative yet oddly amazingly complementary. The staff were attentive... most of the time. And the price was good. I think we will be back - maybe next year when we get another 25% off the total bill from our E-book :P

Food - 9.5/10
Service - 8/10
Ambiance - 9/10
Value for money - 9/10
Overall - 35.5/40

1/65-67 Foveaux St
Surry Hills
NSW 2010
tel: (02) 9211 0664


Tiet said...

impressive blog. Amazing description ..

Love the food!

I need to go to this place!

shez said...

Wow! I've been past this joint and it always looked like it would be uber expensive. $75 for a degustation is really decently prices (and even better with the EB discount). Did you pay extra for the last two desserts as well? How much were they?

bbsnoopy said...

Nopes, desserts were part of the degustation. The only thing extra were the oysters :)

K said...

the oysters really do look amazing! were the pearls actually sweet or tasteless? i'm just too used to having them in desserts i can't really imagine them with oysters! LOL

bbsnoopy said...

the pearls were pretty tasteless
but it balanced the saltiness of the roe quite well

Leona @ Pigged Out said...

holy moly look at all this food.. i dont even know where to begin.

That roast trevalla is making me mouth melt. I loveeeeee fish

Vincent Man said...

If you gave this overall 9, I can't imagine what you would give for Quay...

bbsnoopy said...

i'm dying to go to Quay
since u went Quay for ur first anno... where are u gonna take ur lovely wife for ur 2nd?