Small restaurants, tucked down little alleys and sneaky stairs that lead to a strange doors underground with cosy dining tables and mismatched furniture sounds very cool indeed. But sometimes Sydney tries to be too Melbourne- esque and we forget to flaunt our best assets. Arriving at Coast Restaurant on the waterside of Sussex St for Secret Foodies last night made me appreciate this sexy city we live in!
With summer fast approaching us Sydney-siders get set to do what we do best…dine in style. When revealing the location for last night’s secret dinner I realised I rarely visit Cockle bay Warf. With so many amazing restaurants in the east I could be forgiven for staying in the bubble. Upon discovering Coast I knew it had to be shared. Not that it was lost in fact it opened 13 years ago has boasted an impressive repertoire of Head Chefs. What brought Coast to my attention was the latest launch of the Roof Top Bar, an amazing space that is bound to be a hot spot this summer. Think open deck, waterviews, cocktails, DJs spinning chilled out tunes and you get the picture.
As guests arrived they were greeted with a special cocktail, the Roof Top Rum
and had a chance to meet their fellow diners in the Roof Top Bar before being seated.
We were then taken through to our secret dining room, separate from the main restaurant. A room full of strangers quickly got to know each other and after sharing “the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten” it was obvious we were in a room full of adventurous foodies!
There definitely wasn’t anything scary about the green pea soup with truffled goats cheese
that came out to start our meal. This dish certainly prepared the appetite; you could smell the delicious aromas flowing in from the open kitchen. I think I mentioned five times during the night how much I love truffles and was very envious of one foodie who had recently been hunting truffles in the south of France.
For entrée we had the Pumpkin and ricotta cannelloni, crab and nettle burnt butter.
This was absolutely delicious. The nettle burnt butter was sweet and the ricotta melted in my mouth. I was curious when I saw it served with crab and was so grateful to have tried the unexpected combination. This was certainly a stand out dish for me. To compliment we were served a crisp and subtle 2009 Villa Dugo Pinto Grigio
. An excellent match for a heavy flavoured dish.
Keeping in theme of our water views we had the Grilled fillet of Jewfish with fregola, smoked tomatoes and saffron broth
for the main. The fish was cooked perfectly and the saffron broth combined the dish nicely. I haven’t had many dishes with fregola and I wouldn’t have thought to match it with fish. It worked well and I’m inspired to use fregola in my cooking more often. The Jewfish had a subtle flavour and the buttery, flavourful 2007 Umani Ronchi “Casal di Serra” Verdicchio
was a perfect match.
By the time we had finished our mains it became evident to me that Head Chef Adam Lord was indeed a talented man and I was looking forward to asking him a few foodie questions. To prepare for desert we were given a spoon of Strawberries and Balsamic Mascarpone
. This would have satisfied me for desert so you can image my excitement when we were servedGianduia with nougat ice cream and coffee
shortly after. This was an absolute treat. This was the first time Adam had served the dish and was “trying it out on us”. It seemed to be a crowd pleaser and I hope it becomes a regular fixture on the menu. Gianduia is a sweet chocolate with hazlenut paste and was magnificent with the ice cream. A glass of 2009 Punt Road Botrytis Semillon
was a lovely match.
It was then time to meet the master behind our meal and Adam Lord took time out of the kitchen to share more about his passion and foodie philosophy. Originally from the UK Adam was born into the hospitality industry with his parents owning pubs and restaurants. He trained and worked with Stefano Manfredi
and Jonathan Barthelmess
and believes in simple, good quality, fresh ingredients. He sources local produce, the fish we ate came straight from this fish markets that morning. When Adam’s not in the kitchen creating culinary masterpieces he enjoys the simple pleasures of life including cheese on toast, beer and his new role as a dad.
Reflecting on Adam’s foodie words of wisdom, our once strangers, now foodie friends chatted over coffee and biscotti to finish the night.
I personally had a wonderful night. It’s hard to pick my favourite dish but it’s a toss up between the cannelloni and the Gianduia chocolate. My favourite wine was the Verdicchio. I thought the service was fantastic. Sometimes crisp white tablecloths can reflect formal, distant dining. Coast deliver a warm ambience in a relaxed yet sophisticated environment. You feel as though you’re in a designer beach house on holidays and best of all you haven’t had to leave town.
But enough about what I thought…let’s hear what our foodies had to say…
Roof Top Bar + Coast
The Roof Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour, 02 9267 6700