I’ve popped my girls’-weekend cherry. No, get your head of
the gutter. Not that kind of girls’ weekend. The kind that is glamourised by the Britney Spears’ classic, Crossroads – where women go on road trips together to find adventure, and themselves.
Well we may or may not have found ourselves (I’m pretty hard to miss), but you know what we found? A restaurant so good that after we went for dinner the first night, we went straight back for breakfast the next day.
Uh huh, it was that good.
Pork Croquette, Sauerkraut, apple gel
As foodies with eyes larger than our stomachs, the goal was simple: try as many things as we can stomach, and try not to walk away too broke to get home. So two entrees, one main and one dessert it was.
Miso cured atlantic salmon, pickled cucumber, soy jelly, seaweed dusted puffed rice, fresh horseradish cream
Venison Carpaccio with Apple and Sourdough Crisps
Of the entrees, the Miso cured atlantic salmon was my favourite. It was a very light plate, and even though the combination of miso and soy could have ended in an oversalted disaster, I felt like it was very nicely balanced. The Venison Carpaccio was a richer dish, and also very expertly executed, but not particularly outstanding to me.
Duck Supreme with Duck Hash, Carrot Crisps, Carrot Puree, Peas, Orange Sauce
The Duck Supreme was a throwback to the days of yore where serving a piece of poultry supreme – a breast with the drumlet bone still attached – was in vogue. So retro, like the term “in vogue”. Geddit?
But the old school concept was brought to the present with new school techniques, and the smallest details proved to be the most impressive. And I really mean the smallest details. The light-as-air carrot crisps involve dehydrating a sheet carrot puree, and then deep frying it for that otherworldly texture. The duck itself was tender and moist, and the whole plate came together very nicely with a balance of richness from the duck and sauce, and a lightness from the pea shoots and carrot components.
Banana Fritter, House made nulkaba farm honey ice cream, dulce de leche
And the final crescendo in the symphony that guarantees an exit with a bang, the dessert. We chose the Banana Fritter because well, dulce de leche makes us happy. Real happy. And this dessert hit all the rich, sweet notes that it was meant to hit. The honey ice cream was the most spectacular, with a very distinctive hum of honey through an otherwise vanilla base. And so smooth it puts a baby’s bottom to shame. Creamy and silky, and presented in a perfect quenelle.
And naturally, after having our fill of dinner, we went straight to making plans for breakfast.
Lamb’s Fry with Potato Rosti, Fried Egg, Caramelised Onion, Butter Fried Toast. Wilted Spinach, Extra Bacon
I’ve always preferred savoury over sweet, and I love seeing how uncommon breakfast ingredients like Lamb’s Fry is used at the breakfast table. Lamb’s fry was not quite a thing in Singapore whilst I was growing up – a feat considering how much offal I ate – but since moving to Australia I’ve come to understand it as Lamb’s brains, that is usually crumbed and deep fried. Like a parallel universe’s version of chicken nuggets. I quite like the creamy texture of lamb’s brains, so imagine my shock and horror when liver came out instead. Grainy, tough, unforgiving liver. Turns out, Lamb’s Fry can refer to all the offal of lamb, and brain just seems to be the one that I’ve been eating. And I just don’t like liver. I keep trying, and I’ll eat it, but I don’t have nice things to say about a slab of cooked liver. #sorrynotsorry
Pate, on the other hand…
Fluffy Pancakes, Honeycomb Butter, Bananas, Extra Bacon
Thankfully Christine’s order of Fluffy Pancakes were exactly as we expected: fluffy AF, and fried in butter, with bits of caramel honeycomb dissolved throughout. Caramelised bananas and thick slabs of bacon completed the sweet/salty combo, and we walked away happy campers.
There was only one hiccup in all of this – the bread. Such a small thing, right? For dinner, we were asked if we wanted some house-made baguette, and I thought it was a nice question since a LOT of bread can get wasted if the diner didn’t actually want to eat it. So we said yes, and turns out, it wasn’t a question of food waste, it was an order. We were presented a $7 charge for an honestly fairly dense baguette, and quite a but of confusion in between. Thankfully they very readily took it off the bill when we explained the confusion, and we were still left with an amazing enough experience to come back again the next day.
Emerson’s was a very pleasant surprise considering that I wasn’t expecting too much out of country Australia, and definitely stiff competition for the Sydney dining scene. Worth the making a special trip.