I lived in Wollstonecraft for nearly over 2 years and drove past La Grillade almost a gazillion times but somehow never cross my mind to dine in this restaurant. But then I wasn’t seriously food savvy back then (still ain’t now), am always self conscious when come to fine dining. Still am!
Finally I got the chance to step inside this establishment for the first time. La Grillade, as its name suggested, it is a French restaurant and has been operating in Crows Nest for over 25 years! It finally has a new makeover and a horde of sydney food bloggers are invited to celebrate its relaunch party. The dining area is cosy overlooking the open plan kitchen, and it stretches out to the back where the courtyard dining area is. An amber glowing cocktail bar stands between the two dining area and serving an extensive list of cocktails and French wine.
It was very crowded in the restaurant during the launch party and there wasn’t really much room to move. There were lots of canapes floating by to keep us bloggers satiated but they were gone so fast before I even got the chance to put the camera out of my bag. Soon we found ourselves lingering around the kitchen area and I managed to get a few shots of the food before they are being served.
The braised lamb shoulder with quail egg is possibly the highlight of the night. Hungry guests already snatched them from the kitchen bench before even the waitress had the chance to serve them. Who could resist really with such a cute tiny quail egg, sunny side up on top of the braised lamb shoulder with buttery paris mash.
The huge portion of seared tuna nicoise with caviar served on silver spoon is quite a challenge to eat it all at one go. The contrasty black and orange caviar on top of a sweet slice of seared tuna perfectly balanced with tangy nicoise. I thought the quartered egg is a nice touch.
These little pastries were hot out of the oven. The pastry is puffy and flaky, with a mash of lentil, peas and red wine pithvier filling inside. I am pretty sure I can eat a whole plate of these little buggers.
A thin layer of wagyu sits on top of soft brioche sandwich cube slathered with lobster butter, then topped with a square of beetroot for that earthy undertone.
I couldn’t help but finding the hustle and bustle behind the kitchen while the chef plating up the escargots is more exciting and mesmerising. (Imagining myself behind the kitchen in white uniform, talking French… LOL!)
I didn’t get the chance to try escargots while I was in Paris, and these little morsels of escargots will do for now. At first I thought I was eating sauteed mushroom until Jenius confirmed that it is snail. Served in a flaky vol-au-vant with a little dollop of pea puree for colour and sweetness.
Anyone mentioned ratatouille will instantly remind me of the Pixar animation film. But these mini ratatouille tarts look nothing like the one in the movie. The tiny crusty morsels are jam-packed with an array of chopped vegetables including eggplant, zucchini, tomato and carrot, topped with a dollop of game goats curd for contrast.
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It was actually quite a hectic night at the party, with lots of shoving and pushing just to make your way through the crowd. Now looking back at all these pictures, I am thinking, “Hang on, I don’t remember tasting that!”
Now I wish I’ve tried the seared scallop with celeriac remoulade and pancetta, and the Blackmore’s wagyu bresola with roquefort and fig. I can only imagine that they both gonna taste amazing. We finished the night off with a little dessert of tangy lemon curd tart with mixed berries.
I am actually quite impressed with the huge array of different canapes served at the party and every single one has its own distinctive texture and flavour. I think a proper dinner at this restaurant is definitely in the itinerary in the near future.
[A Table For Two attended this event courtesy of La Grillade, organised by Prue from Mint Partners. ]
La Grillade Restaurant 118 Alexander St, Crows Nest NSW 2065 P: (02) 9439 3707 Business Hours: Lunch 12pm-3pm Mon-Fri Dinner 6pm-10pm Mon-Sat