Sunday, October 09, 2011

RESTAURANT: The Bridge Room

While it may be new on the scene, The Bridge Room has a very familiar feeling to it. Behind the pans is Ross Lusted, who spent a bit of time as exec chef at Rockpool. Behind the chequebook is the Fink Group who are also behind the likes of Quay and Otto.

The dishes seem kind of similar too and many of them recall similar dishes around Sydney and the rest of the world, but with interesting touches added.

The salad of organic heirloom carrots with sheep's milk curd is astounding. The carrots are prepared in different ways--ash grilled, raw, salt-baked--and the characters of each meld together to form an excellent dish that transcends any suggestion of "vegetarian cuisine". With the goats curd rounding the dish out in the mouth, it was easy the dish of the night for me.

The raw wagyu shoulder with enoki mushrooms and horseradish is another excellent dish and reminds me a bit of the wagyu main I had at Marque a couple of weeks ago. Superb depth of flavours.

Scallop with corn and osmanthus flower sounded great on the menu but doesn't really do enough to the well-tried scallop and corn flavour combo to make me want it over the other starters.

Mains feel a bit more basic, with the flavour and texture combos toned down to let the focus ingredient shine. The David Blackmore wagyu is topped with veal tongue and pairs nicely with the smoked shallot and potato mash. It's enjoyable, but feels like a step back after the more elaborate starters and I'm not blow away by the wagyu. While I didn't try them myself, the slow-grilled Junee lamb and ash-grilled duck receive similar verdicts.

The chocolate cannelon is an enjoyable eat with the "aero" chocolate adding additional texture and the raspberries adding a nice tartness.

Service is solid and the wine list has some interesting selections, adding to the experience.

Despite it's strengths, I wasn't blown away by my meal. There is no doubt the produce is exceptional and there is a lot of technique in those dishes, but I get the feeling we're still yet to see the best from the kitchen. The concept of the restaurant is strong and there were moments of brilliance (the carrot entree), so I'm going to put the rest down to the restaurant still being in it's infancy and the kinks still being worked out.

But for now, there just isn't enough meat on the bone for me to want to return over any of the restaurants it's competing with in that price range (entrees mid 20s, mains around 40). I'll wait a while to see what changes have happened.

RATING: Okay, may go back [?]

The Bridge Room on Urbanspoon

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