In recent months, Sydney has really been inundated with new cafe and restaurant openings to the glee of foodies in town. It is definitely a very competitive time for restaurateurs as there are so many exciting and new dining options to choose from.
Japanese food is going beyond the normal take of sushi and sashimi where freshness and elegant presentation is already a given. Italian restaurants can no longer entice Generation X & Y whose living memory of a carbonara may be as faint as the trendy lighting in some of these newer joints.
Sydney restaurants have been doing the “scallop and pork belly” take to death over the last 5 years. And what seems to be popular is still an interpretation of traditional dishes albeit with an innovative twist that is not too far out. The trick is to balance familiarity of tastes and flavours and combine ingredients to create new taste sensations.
Mysaucepan has been wanting to check out The Bridge Room, a collaboration between ex-Rockpool Executive Chef Ross Lusted with renown hospitality investors Fink Group, who has invested with such celebrity chefs as Peter Gilmore, Tony Bilson, Mark Best, Guillaume Brahimi and Peter Kuruvita.
The dining room at The Bridge Room is minimalist and long. I like the furniture that is retro of the 60’s and 70’s.
I prefer mid-tier restaurants to do away with tablecloth simply because Sydney is the epitome of a casual lifestyle.
Japanese beers are dry and I love this style because it is flexible with so many different kinds of food.
We did not see Ross Lusted but it appears his chefs are hard at work as we wait for our food.
Mysaucepan is a real fan of scallops so it’s no surprise that she chose the seared scallops with pork lardo and corn. It is not easy to cook scallops well, but these are nicely seared on the outside while still gently soft and translucent inside.
I guess it is the contrasting sweetness of pork and scallops that has made Sydney restaurants pair these two ingredients like husband and wife.
Service is attentive and unobtrusive although it is relatively quiet for a Friday night at this restaurant.
Mysaucepan orders the ash grilled duck with caramelised pears, lentils and preserved lemon. The succulent slivers of duck breast is gently pink to perfection with a delicious ribbon of fat that is nicely seared on the skin.
The sauce is tasty and although the pears and preserved lemon add beautiful layers of complexity to this dish, she finds the flavours a little too complicated with these ingredients in the mix.
I don’t normally order rump but I think the words “David Blackmore” and “wagyu” just kind of tipped the balance in its favour tonight.
I am not one bit disappointed because the veal tongue tastes like soft ham with just that small hint of familiar offal texture. It is definitely more elegant in texture than the usual BBQ tongue in Korean and Japanese yakiniku restaurants.
The artichoke is velvety soft and it is these two texture that left a lasting impression before I have even tasted my steak.
I am not a fan of pre-sliced steaks as it seems to take the joy out of discovering the colour of a medium rare.
However, one bite of this succulent rump and it is among the best rump I have ever tasted. Sprigs of thyme are gently woody but the flavour combinations were elegant and delicious. The meat is extremely tender with a small layer of flavoursome fat that I love.
Although the steak is full of juicy flavours, I couldn’t help adding just a small pinch of pink salt flakes to each morsel and it seems to bring out the flavours in the meat even more.
This David Blackmore wagyu rump cap is truly one of my most memorable steak experiences.
Mysaucepan orders the strawberry marshmallow meringue, strawberry ripple, strawberry paper and yoghurt.
It is an innovative take on texture and subtlety. Once opened, the crispy meringue drools of a soft and velvety marshmallow.
The Bridge Room is elegant and Ross Lusted’s menu is precise, well-thought and showcases a host of exciting ingredients cooked with creativity and passion.
The Bridge Room
44 Bridge street, Sydney 2000
Tel: +61 2 9247 7000