The second stage of my multi-pronged attack on the post-holiday blues was booking dinner at Cotton Duck for my first weekend back in Sydney. All the while in New York I knew in the back of my mind that The Boy and I had this great dinner to look forward to and I didn’t mind coming home quite so much.
One of the things that appeals to me so much about Cotton Duck is the owner and chef’s philosophy towards food – everything placed before you has been created with integrity and respect for the ingredients. I find this especially heart-warming when it comes to eating meat – I want to know the meat I’m eating has led a happy and healthy life. The Boy and I always try to eat free-range meat wherever we can as I just “feel better” in my mind when I do so.
We’re dining at Cotton Duck on another of our magical Spreets vouchers! Yay for Spreets – without it I’d not be able to afford to go out and try so many great new places...so often.
Our first course starts with a selection of little canapés – as well as either a glass of Borambola Premium Sparkling wine (which I get) or a bottle of Borambola Lager from Wagga Wagga NSW (which The Boy gets).
The canapes of Yam Crisp with Babaganoush and a little Scallop adorned with a pretty little edible flower were an enticing preivew of what was to come. Bring it on!
We also start the meal with a totally amazing Brassiere Bread Sourdough that comes with a little pad of creamy, lush Pepe Saya Cultured Butter. I’ve heard A LOT about this butter on the Twitterverse (and from a guy at work who RAVES about it) and it’s as good as everyone says it is. The bread is pretty amazing too – so soft and fluffy, and topped with a selection of seeds including Caraway, my all time favourite as I LOVE the slight aniseed flavour it has.
For both the entrees and the mains we are offered a choice of two dishes, which means The Boy and I get to try everything on the menu. As is de rigueur when dinning in such circumstances we each eat half of our dish and then hand it over to the other person. Sharing is caring after all.
I start the entrees with the Pickled Tiger Prawns with Tahini Mousse and cucumber, tempuring, curry oil and black salt whilst The Boy tucks into the Pressed Pork with Caviar Lentils and a root vegetable confit with a fresh bay leaf sauce. I have no idea what “tempuring” is, but man, is it good. The rillette of pressed pork in the second entree I tried was lovely – moist and tender, encased in a crispy shell. In typical fashion I love the prawn dish whilst The Boy’s favourite is by far the pressed pork.
It’s the same case with mains – I’m head over heels for the Pan Roasted King Salmon with peas and pea puree, potato crisp and tartare sauce whilst The Boy is smitten with the Lamb Shoulder, Buttons and King browns, Sprouts, Lardon and Jus. The tartare sauce with the salmon dish is to die for with quite a zingy and slightly tart flavour, and who doesn’t love crisps as part of their main meal? The Boy is seriously in love with the lamb dish and I have to admit the lamb is pretty good – it simply falls off the bone with a touch of our forks.
Of course dinner wouldn’t be dinner without a side of the creamiest mashed potato (8.00). This wasn’t part of the Spreets deal, but we just couldn’t resist.
Dessert wasn’t part of the Spreets deal either, but when The Boy spotted Chocolate Fondant ($15.00) on the menu served with blood orange and caramel he couldn’t say no. The fondant is incredible and when we break through the layer of outer sponge chocolate oozes forth like a blissfully yummy river. This was a first fondant experience for both of us and we're pretty happy.
I was quickly convinced by The Boy that I should order the Fragomammella ($15.00) a summery Goats Cheese pannacotta with strawberry cream, meringue and baby mint. As Cotton Duck has an open kitchen it was quite hilarious to watch the chefs wrestle with my pannacotta and try to make it stand upright. No matter how many times the wobbly pannacotta was stood up it just flopped right back over and laid down on the plate – I guess it had been a hard night for the lazy pannacotta and he needed a nap. Whether upright or lazing seductively on his fat wobbly side, this pannacotta was AMAZING – the strawberry flavour was incredible and I was so tempted to order a second, but that would just be being piggy, wouldn’t it?
Cotton Duck is at 50 Holt Street, Surry Hills. Phone them on 02 8399 0250.