After reading on Not Quite Nigella about the $30 three course meal available for Friday lunch, I immediately put it on my list of things to do. So, the first Friday after uni exams finished, I ventured off to Assiette in Surry Hills with Sir D, Queen Chu, Captain Awesome and BLT for a celebratory lunch.
We’re shown the a la carte menu and the prix fixe menu, and being poor students we of course select the prix fixe menu, which has some lovely sounding dishes for the bargain price of $30! Since I love to have a taste of everything, Sir D and I decide to order all the dishes between the two of us and do a plate swap.
After ordering the waiter brings some sourdough so fresh out of the oven that it nearly burns my fingers when I pick it up. As expected, being a blogging noob, I forget to take a photo of it. It’s nice and crunchy on the outside with soft fluffy insides, and our resident bread-lover Captain Awesome is very pleased.
The minestrone soup arrives first and it is green which is quite surprising as I’ve only ever had tomato-based minestrone soups. It’s a hearty soup with kidney beans, celery, potato and other vegetables, and towards the bottom of the soup I find some chewy round balls which remind me of tapioca balls but are white and floury. Queen Chu describes them as ‘gnocchi balls’, which is a pretty accurate description, but they’re a bit more chewy than your typical gnocchi. The soup is accompanied by a crunchy garlic toast and it’s delicious.
I didn’t know what champ was when reading the menu but upon consulting my trusty resource Wikipedia I find out that it is “made by combining mashed potatoes and chopped spring onions with butter and milk”. I only try a bit of this since Sir D doesn’t like risotto but the lamb rump is tasty and unctuous with a nice amount of fat in the meat. There is a disc of meat underneath the slices which seems to be shredded lamb that has been breaded and fried, but no one is quite sure what it actually is. Queen Chu and Captain Awesome think that there is a bit too much fat on the meat, but Sir D loves his fat and loves the dish. Which begs the question as to why he never gains any weight…
The girls are feeling quite full at this point but there’s still dessert to come. The vanilla pannacotta is very very wobbly and those who ordered it (especially Sir D) seem utterly amazed by its ability to stay upright despite attempts to uproot it from its spot on the plate. The pannacotta is creamy and sweet and complimented by the freshness of the sorbet and the crunchiness of the crumble.
The brownie is gooey and chocolatey – just the way it should be – and the ice cream has a nice caramel flavour but I can’t really taste the macadamia in it. I’m not sure what the crumbly bits are on the side but it tastes like chocolate biscuit crumbled with nuts. A great way to finish off the meal.
Upon leaving the restaurant, everyone is satisfied and all smiles and comments on the great meal that we’ve just had. Despite the fact that the dishes looked quite small, we are all reasonably full after the delicious 3 courses. And for $30, it doesn’t get much better than that.