Winter Wonderland at Cotton Duck
Winter Wonderland at Cotton Duck
Sometimes you see things in life that make you stop, step back and stare. You can attempt to capture the moment with a photo but you’ll never truly reenact what you’ve experienced. When it comes to food, that photo can’t recreate the aromas, the taste or the memories it evokes.
It’s a shame we can’t rewind time and hit play because I’m sure my photos from last Wednesday’s Secret Foodies at Cotton Duck with Head Chef/owner Jared Ingersoll will not do the experience justice.
‘Wonder Winterland’ was the theme for our dinner, a celebration of all things warm, cosy, comforting and wholesome. Escaping the chill guests arrived at 50 Holt St, the heart of a developing precinct for hot new restaurants and bars. Two doors down is the authentic Thai serving Muum Maan
, Vini and 121 BC
next door and a few streets away you’ll find Orto Trading
and new Japanese tapas bar Izakaya Fujiyama
There is a calm aura when you arrive at Cotton Duck, the kitchen is busy but a well-trained team makes it look effortless. A sophisticated fit out includes recycled timber and warm lighting and a separate casual bar area gives the place a relaxed vibe.
We started the night with Hot Toddy’s, a short glass with 10 year aged Bushmills scotch, spice and honey. A scorching hot stone was placed in the glass to heat the liquid. Something so simple was a clever and quirky touch. The winter vibe was reinforced with roasted chestnuts with Pepe’s cultured butter
laid out for guests to crack and help themselves. I remember my mother making chestnuts for my brother and I when we were younger and it brought back nice warm memories.
Jared takes his inspiration from everyday living around the Surry Hills area and is an advocate for sustainable produce. Our next dish was View of Surry Hills and Autumn Leaves
. Potato, potato puree, crisp root vegetables, duck skin, enoki & carob were matched with a 2009 Chasing Clouds Merlot also from Orange, NSW.
Every little element on the plate had been thought about. The soft puree with the crisp flakes of root vegetables that looked like potpourri worked well and the cage of enoki mushrooms was fun and tasty.
No wintery feast would be complete without hearty meat. The Pot Roast of lamb shoulder braised with chestnuts, kingbrowns & sprouts
was enough to send me into a self-induced and welcomed food coma. The chestnuts gave the meat a thick, dense flavour that I wans’t sure about at first but the sprouts lightened the dish. The 2008 Thistle Hill Shiraz from Mudgee, NSW was a perfect match.
To top off a delicious dinner plates of Hot Chocolate Fondant with Pomegranate, caramel & mint
were then brought out and laid before us. The gooey rich chocolate in the centre was delicious and I’m not going to lie, I was grateful the person next to me wasn’t a big dessert eater. Apparently they’re sweet enough!
Jared took the time to share his passion and experience in the food game while we ate petit fours and fired questions at him. He has already won the hearts of Sydney foodies with Dank Street Depot, now in it’s 10th
year (or 70 years in dog years). Cotton Duck is a welcomed addition to Surry Hills, the menu is continually changing and you never know what beautiful delicious creations they’ll create next. Best take your camera and at least try to capture the moment.
But enough about what I think, let’s hear what our foodies have to say…