Wednesday, 11 July 2007


Unfortunately the number 22 doesn’t have any magical or mythical attachments, although it does give rise to the expression a “catch 22”. Doesn’t apply here, you enter this charming, cottage diner and you feel like a winner. You may be the victim of some overly zealous service, but she is a lovely, beautiful yet dark and mysterious maitre. I blushed when she complimented and stroked my hair. So I blurt out a stupid question like “is the duck confit a real confit?” to which of course replied with a resounding yes and a roll of the eyes. I’d blown my chances.

The menu here changes as often as the Melbourne weather (daily), with only two choices constant fixtures: the Calamari XXII and the Lasagne. We ordered the squid main for entrée. Understand why it’s permanent, a generous mountain of soft calamari that’s lightly battered, extremely crisp on a bed of rocket and cherry tomatoes. Combine this with the balsamic aioli dressing which is creative and looks to be the dish’s secret to success. Simple, addictive, I wish there was more of it.

The grain fed sirloin, cooked to order was tender and succulent. Relax your thigh muscle, feel it, that’s how soft it was. The red wine jus was a perfect complement for the medium cooked beef. The assortment of roasted parsnips, asparagus and mushrooms finished a typical hearty winter meal. Slightly better was the confit duck, with its beautiful combination of apple and sherry vinegar and orange jus. The fruity sweetness together with the soft, subtle gamey duck and nori crisp skin made me shiver in delight.

Barely room for dessert, the ricotta cheesecake slightly sweet, not heavy and smooth yet slightly crumbly. Could have caused belt buckles to be undone. The very naughty crème brulee, the tartness of the passionfruit compote was balanced by the caramelised sugar sheath and white chocolate custard underneath, which did not leave me with a guilty feeling.

Satisfied, slightly woozy and asked at the right time, I obligingly filled out a survey competition form on the way out… anything for a pretty lady. Hair play aside, best restaurant in Pyrmont? Best I’ve tried.

3.5 / 5 yums!


Where? 22 Union St, Pyrmont

What? Average Entrée - $15, Main - $28, Desserts - $12

Left to Right : Calamari XXII, Sirloin, Green Beans, Confit Duck Marylands, Ricotta Cheesecake, Crème Brulee

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