Monday, September 19, 2011

RESTAURANT: Der Raum @ Marque

Twitter is great for sharing little tidbits of information contained in 140 characters or less. But it seems totally insufficient sometimes. I don't know how it contained the short tweet that I saw from Der Raum saying they were going to be doing a dinner at Marque restaurant in the new future.

Wait... what?

This is bigger-than-140-characters-huge!

Yes. A one off night from my favourite cocktail bar and my favourite high-end Sydney restaurant. Oh, and it would be on my birthday. If there is a God and he made this happen, then I have to give the dude credit for choosing excellent gifts.

The day of my birthday couldn't pass quickly enough.

My patience was rewarded with the first offering from Der Raum: sous vide chamomile with a chamomile fog, served in a transparent teapot that was left on the table to brood. Clever, since the first few sips were warm, but the liquid nitrogen in the teapot meant that the last pour was ice cold. Marque contributed an equally impressive appetiser in the form of a foie gas and olive truffle mousse sandwiched between two crisp shards of bonito. I wanted to eat approx 50 of them. That's how you have a mother fucking tea party.

The next dish was one of my favourites from my last visit to Marque. Almond jelly with blue swimmer crab, almond gazpacho, sweet corn and avruga is a beautifully balanced dish with excellent texture. It was matched with a sparkling almond cocktail from Der Raum that had a barrel aged sugar cube in it that slowly disolved. It was a fascinating drink that constantly evolved as the sugar disolved, but was a questionable match with the delicately flavoured dish because of how sweet and almondy it was.

A couple of good-but-not-wow dishes arrived before the mind-blowngly good/clear-winner of a course: smoked duck egg with sorrel, green strawberries, tea and toast. This was paired with what was probably my favourite cocktail when I visited Der Raum: the Bax Beat Pinot, a red wine made out of beetroot juice, citrus and fernet branca. The dish was rich but balanced and very moreish. The "wine" was delicious, very characteristic of a red wine and provided a minty finish to help get rid of any cloyingness from the egg.

Pigeon with mullet roe, sauteed lettuce, cucumber and dill was a very solid dish, held up by the slightly nutty flavour of the roasted lettuce. But it was around this time that I was getting a bit restless. Namely because I was still hungry. Not sure if it was just that day but I was perpetually hungry for the entire three hour dinner. Which was kind of scary, because it was the first time (from memory) that I'd felt that in my "dining career". My dining companions said they felt "content" from the dinner, but I just wasn't seeing it.

Before I knew it dessert was here. Firstly a delicious sauternes custard to set things up. Then the "tomberries" dessert, which was quite nice. Tomatoes stuffed with strawberries or something like that. With the creme fraiche it was refreshing, sweet and perfectly balanced.

Overall a bloody excellent way to spend a Monday night (and a birthday). While it wasn't as breath-taking as my last visit, overall the food and drink on offer was excellent. I can't wait for my next experience at either Marque or Der Raum or... dare I say it... both again...

Though next time I won't be rocking up starving.


Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Wow - what an event! So jealous. I hope you didn't need a Maccas run after though...

Jobe said...

Haha nothing that drastic. But I did need to have a little bite from the fridge when I got home.