I wasn’t sure exactly whereabouts Foveaux was located on Foveaux Street. If you know this street at all you’ll be aware that it has an epic hill that only marathon runners can climb without the need of a respirator when they reach the top. My plan was to start at the top of the hill and work my way down – which was fine, except for my visit to the gym the previous day had left my legs feeling like jelly and I basically wobbled and stumbled my way down the hill looking like a total un-co spaz, only to find Foveaux nestled at the very bottom. I could’ve just gotten off the train at Central and strolled (un-wobbly) to the restaurant. No pain no gain right.
My recent foray into fancy food with “foam” on it at Baroque Bistro was pretty exciting so I quickly convinced the BFF we should order the Tasting Menu ($80 for 6 courses) which was jam packed with foams, soils, purees and fancy smears of “stuff” on big white plates! This is my first tasting plate/degustation experience and I’m thrilled! Bring it on...
The BFF and I are offered a bread roll each. I was going to go healthy and have the wholemeal roll but the white bread just looked too good to pass up. The BFF opts for the wholemeal roll...ying and yang.
The meal proper being starts with an amuse bouche – a dainty little cup of curried lentil soup that has a lovely dollop of yoghurt hidden at the bottom. And guess what – this is my FIRST amuse bouche EVER. A gal could get used to this.
The tasting menu has six courses, given the diner the option between two dishes for each course. The BFF and I alternate our choices so we get the chance to try everything on offer. Being a bit of a piggy this really appealed to me, but the BFF wondered if too many textures/flavours/etc would confuse his palate.
The first course is soused sardines, vongole, white gazpacho, yellow capsicum butter, parsley and toast and then buffalo ricotta cannoli, cucumber, tomato, olive and Provencal herbs. The sardines were quite strong in flavour and I thought the yellow capsicum butter and pretty little flowers garnishing the dish gave it a hint that spring is just around the corner – the “toast” was a crispy counterbalance to the softness of the sardines. I really enjoyed the ricotta canolli – crispy pastry and lovely smooth ricotta were a perfect match.
Next we have crispy chicken wings, morel cream, sweet corn, jamon, scampi and shiso and also roasted quail, smoked eel croquette, caper, beetroot and leaves. I really enjoyed the morel cream on the chicken dish and am pleased the wings were deboned – I was wondering how a “lady” would gnaw on a chicken wing whilst still looking like a lady. The eel croquette on the quail dish was really lovely – once again I think it is the marriage of a crispy outer shell surrounding a soft inner.
The fish dish sees us presented with roast king salmon, zucchini puree, cuttle fish, green olive jelly, coriander and popped skin and also herb baked mirror dory, parsnip puree, borlotti beans, snails, parsley and crisps. The salamon was my favourite dish of the course as I found the flavour less “fishy” than the dory...and who wouldn’t love popped skin I ask you? The snails that accompanied the dory were really lovely – quite meaty, also like muscles in texture.
The meat course is the last of the main dishes. We are served wakame roasted lamb rump, squid ink, salt and pepper tofu, miso puree and fennel and also braised shin, smoked sirloin, Swede, celeriac and toted pearl barley foam. To be honest the meat course was the course I was most hesitant about as I like to eat my meat a little on the...well done to burnt side which is not a common practice in finer dining establishment. I’m pleased to report I really enjoyed both the lamb and the sirloin which were cooked quite rare.
The arrival of the pre dessert is another dining first for me. The salad of pineapple, milk sorbet and macadamia nut praline is a lovely light dish the signals the end of the main meals.
The meal ends with dessert. The banana ice-cream, caramelised banana, digestive biscuit, coffee and tonka beans has us feeling like millionaires – bananas are next to gold these days! The chocolate mousse, orange sponge, orange curd ice cream, chocolate soil and Brazil nut was a fun dish – I enjoy trying chocolate soil for the first time.
I thought by the end of the meal we’d still be a bit hungry - I wasn’t sure if lots of little dishes would fill me up. I was actually planning a trip across the road to El Loco for a sneaky taco or two, but alas it was not to be. Both the BFF and I were too full to eat another morsel.
Foveaux is at 67 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills. The tasting menu is quite seasonal and dishes change on a regular basis.