Thursday, March 5, 2015

LuMi Bar & Dining- Pyrmont

One of my friends who is very well eaten raved on about how amazingly awesome her lunch was at LuMi the other day (4 course - $45) and so, I was sorely tempted to try. As, unlike my friend, hubby and I work Mon-Fri, we opted to try their 8 course dinner option instead ($95). I tried my best to lower my expectations before walking into the restaurant but it proved a difficult task due to my friend's exceptional experience here, and because of the head chef's pedigree (we are talking a chef with training at Ryugin, Ormeggio, Noma and Attica). Yes - I was ready for an awesome feast!

Stepping into the glass box on the wharf, we were greeted with the view of boats and expensive apartments. What's not to like about that? Quiet and serene was the outside - also quiet and calm was the open kitchen.
With much anticipation, the plethora of amuse bouches placed a huge grin on my face. Super thin rice wafers with salt and vinegar flavouring - my favourite! We've had it at several other places, it tastes roughly the same at each place, but I would always want more of this thin, crispy, moorish snack. There was also churros served with this brilliant french onion savoury dip. The churros were perfected - super crunchy yet not too oily on the outside, and soft and fluffy donuty feel on the inside. Its the first time I've had savoury churros and I have to say - it was amazing!!! This onion dip thing was to die for! It took a lot of self control to stop myself from licking this smooth and creamy dip clean.
Other starters included a potato and rosemary foccacia, a small tartlet with creamed corn and a pile of cheese, a pistachio, horseradish 'sanchobao' (cos lettuce), and a chawanmushi with basil, chilli and tomato water. The focaccia took me back to my uni days where I would have a toasted foccacia for lunch every second day. It was fluffy and soft, and the crusted potato/rosemary top was pretty tasty. The tartlet pastry was a tad too thick - but the creamed corn and cheese was a good combo. The 'sanchobao' had a really distinct creamy pistachio flavour to it, quite interesting. And the steamed egg custard was super super smooth with just the right flavour combinations. YUM. I have to say - by now, I was actually already satisfied - the meal could have ended here and I would have been happy.
The first real course was a plate full of discs of white cucumber, white radish and an apple sour dressing. Globs of sour cream rounded off this dish nicely. It gave off a very fresh vibe and tasted really clean. Edible flowers for decoration - but I don't really like edible flowers.
Next was the veal tartare. This came on a MASSIVE plate - tons of negative space. The veal tartare was smooth and soft, the chargrilled capsicum gave it this pleasurable smokey flavour. It sat on a thick, flavourful tarragon emulsion. I tasted the emulsion on its own and was slightly repulsed - but when you eat it as a package (i.e. with the veal, and the popped crunchy buckwheat), it was pretty damn tasty.
The spelt ravioli was my hubby's favourite dish of the night. Four perfectly shaped raviolis filled plumply with this super smooth pumpkin mixture, swimming in a pool of absolutely delicious burnt butter sauce with really tasty roasted pumpkin seeds and a greenery of chopped chives... O. M. G. Soooooo good. The caviar on top made it more impressive to look at, but I felt like it didn't add much to the taste or texture. Instead, if they really wanted some black stuff on top, truffle shavings might have added another element and depth to the dish. Not that I'm complaining about the dish .... it was pretty deliciousness already, even for me (a person who would not go out of her way for pumpkin).
I really liked the next pasta dish, but my hubby was less amazed by it. Squid ink pasta with a small pile of scampi, a creamy orange guerre blanc sauce, and bottarga powder. I rate it! I loved it! I could eat it all day because I love creamy sauced pasta, especially when it's squid ink pasta, especially  when there's a pile of super sweet raw scampi meat on top.
We got upsold into getting an extra dish. The waitress described their snapper dish as something to die for. She said that it was going to be perfectly cooked with a super delicious potato consomme and all these fancy onions. So we ordered one to share ($15) and the chef nicely spit the dish onto two plates for us. Yes the consomme was super clear, tons of flavour, and pretty delicious, but the hero of the dish - the snapper, was kind of average. Nothing too exciting.
The beef cheeks was my favourite of the night. I wish it was more photogenic as it tasted so so so so sooooo much better than it looks on my photo. I am talking, super melt-in-your-mouth beef cheeks that's crazily packed full of flavour. A splash of bonito and anchovy gravy on top and I am in beef cheek heaven. And - I love cauliflower. This fried cauliflower with its mix of different spices... YUM. Top that off with a spinach and lettuce puree that is just absolutely gorgeous? Yup - dish of the day. We can go home now. My stomach is fully satisfied.
The pre-dessert cleansed out palates quite well. The waiter named it the 'evergreen'. It was very very green. The sorbet, the frozen crumbs, leaves on top, and these beautifully done little mint meringues left wonderfully clean flavours of sorrel, lemon basil, mint and parsley dancing in your mouth. The meatiness of the previous course is forgotten and cleansed, all ready for the real dessert.
I expected myself to not like this dessert. I'm not a fan of white chocolate. I don't really like passion fruit. Ginger is not my top pick of an ice-cream flavour. And I dislike yoghurt. So how can I possibly like a ginger ice-cream with white chocolate and passionfruit sauce and yoghurt crumble? I have no idea - but somehow, I loved it!!! LuMi has done the unimaginable and made me eat yoghurt that is not in the form of yakault. I was seriously this close to licking the plate.
So can you tell that I loved this restaurant? I loved the food - the presentation and flavour combinations. The staff were friendly enough. The views were tranquil and serene. And $95 for a 8 course meal sounds pretty reasonable. I suspect that hats are coming this way real soon... so I suggest that you try out this place before the price hikes to become less reasonable.

Food - 9.5/10
Service - 7.5/10
Ambiance - 8.5/10
Value for money - 8.5/10
Overall - 34/40

LuMi Bar & Dining
56 Pirrama Road 
Pyrmont, NSW 2009
Tel: (02) 9571 1999

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