Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Restaurant Sojourn

Sydney still amazes me for the randomness of its suburbs. No more so than in Balmain, where you could be living right next door to the pub. Which is definitely not a bad thing. Even better if you had a quality French, one hat restaurant opposite the end of your street. Scored. However this is a tale of a 400m runner, who with victory in sight, has their hammy snapped.

Restaurant Sojourn is exactly that place, quaint, unassuming, without all the belles and whistles. Inside is understated, simple black leather chairs and white table clothes, sandstone bricks provide a homely feel and a nice place to enjoy the degustation menu. Oysters with an interesting cucumber and champagne jelly is something you could use to toast something special, a very pretty dish of sashimi stood up between two crisps on a square of compressed baby beetroot, artichokes and a swirl of serrano ham and we’re off to a good start.

At this point, this is where the hammy blows, as the dinner lurches at a snail’s pace. Despite the slowness, a carpaccio of beef, cauliflower cream, poached egg and brioche solders displays techniques and textures, a joy for the mouth. Twice cooked olive and chive soufflĂ© with contrasting tomato sorbet and soft goats curd could have fooled someone as a dessert. Lovers of crispy will a slab of pan roasted barramundi, skin perfectly crisp skin, reinforced with crisp chicken wings.

It is rare that restaurants of this standards screw up, apparently the 5 dishes in 4 hours was due to our table being forgotten by the kitchen. Credit to the manager for swiping the bill. I’m sure it wouldn’t happen again and actually would be glad to go back. Because only half the degustation was sampled, I can only give it half the score I probably would have given it. I just hope there are no injuries next time. The transformation to Dukes Lane might help.

2 / 5 yums!
Where? 79 Darling St, Balmain East, NSW
What? Degustation $95

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