Sydney Festival is underway and while there are so many restaurants we would love to try featuring in the Festival Feasts, we are only human and with the calendar closely creeping to January 27th it seems we are running out of time! What a better way to start the year with exciting activities! We were invited by Zomato to sample Cafe Ananas' Sydney Festival menu. For $55pp, you start with champagne and work your way through three courses. The menu available for the Sydney Festival appears to be their lunchtime set menu option, excluding the champagne which is $45pp. The Sydney Festival menu however can be enjoyed for dinner as well.
Starting the night right with champagne and great company as well as complimentary white or rye bread before jumping into the meal.
1st Course: EntreeThe Entree's consisted of three different options to choose from, each presented elegantly in front of us. What we noticed was the serving portions were quite small which was a trend among the dishes. However the old saying quality over quantity definitely applies in this regard as there wasn't a dish that didn't deliver! Christie ordered the Tuna and it was quite bland. The texture was good and the quail egg gave the dish that creamy element. The tuna was flaky and served cold, she would've preferred sauce of some-sort to accompany the dish. Matt thinks the better choice of the three entree was the ravioli. It was cooked aldente and stuffed with a generous serving of ricotta filling.. and don't get us started on the tomato fondue. It was sweet yet complimented the ravioli quite nicely, we found our self cutting the ravioli into quarters to make it last longer.
Nicoise Tuna Pan Bagnat
2nd Course: MainThe same fashion could be said about the main courses. Elegant but quite petite. We both opted for the steak for our main course to be cooked medium. Two pieces of steak arrived, both cooked the same and had a very nice char grilled layer. Yet one was much more enjoyable than the other. Matt's steak (picture above) was perfect, you couldn't fault it if you tried! The meat was nicely pink, it was soft and tender on the inside and with a thick char grilled crust that is making my mouth water as we speak. The fat had been either cut or rendered off as there was none to be found - just perfect. Christie on the other hand managed to get a piece where there was a section full of fat and not the soft "soak up all the juices" kind either, but the awkward - "slowly chewing away in the corner while everyone talks" kind. When cut around the fat, the quality was the same as the first steak, but the piece was only quite small so cutting away at any of the meat meant a significant portion of the dinner was gone.
Grilled Wagyu Bavette Steak
Poisson Du Jour (Fish of the Day)
3rd Course: DessertDessert is every French restaurant's forte. Well it should be at least. French love their sweets and we love the French making them for us to pay big money to indulge in. That's just how the world works, don't blame us, just enjoy the fantastic dessert that the waiter has just placed in front of you. Speaking of which, you probably want to get off your phone as well and start paying attention to your date. 4/5 of us ordered the Crème Brûlée at the table. The waiter himself even noted that you cannot go wrong with ordering a Crème Brûlée from a French restaurant, and he was right! The top was solid like tempered chocolate, and tasted as sweet as toffee (even got stuck i your teeth like it too which made a great after taste on the train home haha). The filling itself had a beautiful vanilla fragrance that radiated around the whole table. It was full of vanilla beans as well which made that flavour that much more intense. Surprisingly the raspberry sorbet gave this dish a fresh twist that we didn't even know we wanted until we tried it. Breaking up the gelato and spreading it along the top of the Crème Brûlée was the best decision we made all night!
Vanilla Crème Brûlée
Selection of Sorbets
Remember that the Sydney Festival only lasts until the 29th of January, so be sure to book in advance at your restaurant as you can only expect them to be filling up in the remaining few weeks!