Courtney’s Brassiere is Parramatta’s very own fine-dining restaurant and as part of this year’s Sydney Festival they were offering Fast Food Feasts. In short, a fabulous and quick meal for $30 designed to get in you in, fed and out to see the sights at the Festival...toot sweet.
Never one to pass up a good deal I jumped on this and made a booking for Parramatta’s Festival opening night. It also seemed like a great opportunity to try one of Sydney’s most sustainable restaurants.
Courtney’s sources fresh ingredients direct for farms that are within a 200km radius of Parramatta which leads to super-fresh produce and a menu that can change daily depending on what is in season. They also source meat and eggs from animals that are raised outdoors in a natural environment. Blackboards around the restaurant tell diners what's in season, which farms the meal has come from, where the wine is sourced from. Sounds good to me!
The grown-ups (myself and Niecy Poo) start things of with a glass of 2005 McGuigan ‘The ShortList’ King Valley Riesling which is much more crisp and less sweet than I was expecting. The Boy chooses a bottle of sparkling Tasmanian Rainwater - trying to relive his Hobart holiday I think. At first we all had a bit of a WTF giggle about the Tasmanian Rainwater, but it's not any different to drinking Perrier with your meal so why not I say. At least it's made in Australia and it tastes...fresh.
A nice little surprise not included in the deal is an amuse bouche. Our amuse bouche is a savoury style "doughnut" sitting atop a dainty dollop of pesto. The doughnut quite dense in texture and tastes a little like felafel. Oh, and a bread roll served with butter, balsamic and olive oil.
We had a choice of two mains, Barramundi or Pork Belly. It's little surprise to me that we all choose the Eco Farmed Pork Belly with Potato Pave, Wilted Summer Greens, Caramelised Apple and Crackling. I mean Barramundi is nice...really nice, but unless it comes with Pork Crackling I can't see anyone at this table favouring it over Pork Belly. The pork was so tender, and I really loved the Potato Pave (a fancy Potato slice to you and me). The apple was lovely - slightly tart and still retaining its crispness.
Another nice, and generous surprise not included in the deal is dessert - Mango Soufflé served with a little pot of custard and another pot of bitter chocolate. I'm wracking my feeble little brain trying to remember if I've tried Soufflé before and I don't think I have. This was certainly a good specimen to pop my Soufflé cherry with - look how high it is, and it was so light and fluffy. I want more. Now!
Courtney's has a degusation menu that I'm very keen to come back and try - $79, what a bargain! On occasion they also have dinners where the local farmers attend - a great chance to talk to the suppliers first hand.
Courtney's Brasserie is at 70 Phillip Street, Parramatta. Phone them on 9635-3288.