I completely and utterly adore birthdays and the celebrations that fall off the back of them. So coming in to November and one of my best friend’s birthdays I was eager to know where we were going for dinner. The choice was of course Jared Ingersoll’s latest venture, Cotton Duck in Surry Hills. Never having been to Danks St Depot (in all of its 8 years!) I was thrilled with the dining decision and couldn’t wait to see if it lived up to the hype.
The exterior of the restaurant is slick and all glass. The interior is worlds apart, a wonderful combination of old and new, polished cement floor, plain wooden tables, and fascinating lighting feature (originally designed by Hannah Tribe / Tribe Studio for the ‘eat green design’ event at the Powerhouse Museum).
We started by ordering cocktails of course. I promptly ordered the first cocktail the waiter rattled off, a special of the evening, a Yellow Bird. In fact, the special sounded so good the entire table ordered Yellow Birds. Reminiscent of a splice ice cream, we devoured the first round of drinks in no time at all. They were not too sweet, refreshing and totally delicious.
3 courses – $70.00 per person
Viande des Grisons with parsnip puree, truffle oil and basil salsa verde.
The salty cured beef broke apart easily revealing a soft parsnip puree, topped with lovely sweet peppery basil salsa verde and finished with a drop of truffle oil. It packed so much into such a neat and tidy package, the scene was definitely set for the rest of the night.
Cannelloni of blue swimmer crab and scallop mousse with hazelnuts and pumpkin.
Wow! The cannelloni was made with silky sheets of pasta that were gorgeous in their own right but allowed the blue swimmer crab to be the star of the show. There was a generous amount of crab and roasted butternut pumpkin, topped off with pumpkin’s best friend sage. The flavours and textures were marvelous and both Em and I loved this.
Veal and Tuna. A play on vitello tonnato with quail egg and capers.
This isn’t something I would ever think to order, but Dylan is a big fan of food described as ‘a play on’ a classic, allowing the chef some creative licence to showcase their style and modernise a beloved dish, all while retaining the true essence of the original. Despite not having ever eaten vitello tonnato and therefore not having any preconceptions of how the dish should be treated, Dylan was simply hooked from the description on the menu. The veal was resting in a broth amongst its own little caper and micro herb garden. Breaking the quail egg onto the veal was brilliant to watch and tucked away inside the veal was a small piece of tuna that brought the whole dish together.
Kid Goat cooked in home made wine with choko.
I chose this dish simply because I had never eaten goat. I felt it was somewhere between lamb and veal in meatiness, quite tender, juicy and nicely cooked in the home made wine. But I am never quite sure about the use of choko in dishes, it is just a flavour carrier to me, but I guess it did add another textural element to the dish. I was quite impressed with my first goat dish and will definitely be ordering it again.
Free range Chicken with artichoke, verjuice, tarragon and lavendar.
Chicken or beef for the main, it was a hard choice for Dylan but he ended up settling for the chicken purely because he orders beef the majority of the time. The chicken was a touch dry to be honest, but Dylan wasn’t too concerned as the sauce was so amazing. He did unfortunately find that one piece of artichoke was SO hard his cutlery couldn’t even dent it. Not a bad dish, but Dylan may have been slightly envious of Mr O’s beef.
Pumpkin Pie. Pumpkin cream, gin and brandy snap.
A lovely alternative to the sweeter desserts, the pumpkin pie was delicious. Encased in a light crumbly base, the pumpkin centre was delightfully creamy, silky and smooth with no sign of the fleshy pumpkin pulp texture common in similar pies. The only problem was we were sharing and it didn’t last long, especially with Em-the-pumpkin-addict at the table. Next time we’ll have to order one each!
Chocolate and Raspberry Tart with raspberry sauce.
Mr O loved the tart but Dylan and I both felt it was overshadowed by the glorious pumpkin pie.
Manchego with green apple, fig and walnut toast.
Manchego is such a lovely sheep’s milk cheese with a slightly piquant, nutty flavour and was on this occasion accompanied by crisp green apple and toast. Loved it!
Pyengana Cheddar with green apple, fig and walnut toast.
Rich cheddar, really strong and powerful. Really nice with the fig and walnut toast. Delicious.
We were all impressed with the food, the cocktails were divine and the service was great. It’s a shame we have waited so long before checking out one of Jared Ingersoll’s restaurants, but we will definitely be visiting again soon.
And of course Happy Birthday Mr O (apparently O for awesome! haha), until the next one kiddo x
50 Holt Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 8399 0250
Cotton Duck Website