As part of the Viva Sydney promotion by Tourism NSW, Sir D and I headed off to the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth hotel to dine at The Garden Court, which was offering a buy one get one free main meal offer for lunch or dinner.
The dining area has a clean, polished garden setting look with indoor plants studded around the place. The large windows letting in the sunlight and greenery from outside makes you feel as though you are actually sitting in which makes you feel as though you are actually dining outdoors in a beautiful garden.
We start with a small sourdough baguette which comes with a plate of olive oil, vinegar and dukkah, as well as a slab of butter in a cute little dish with a silver lid. Naturally, we go for the butter, although I try a little of the dukkah as well which has a pleasant, peppery citrus flavour.
The complimentary amuse bouche arrives and today it is a sweet potato veloute with parsley puree. Sir D finds the parsley too overpowering while I find it compliments the flavours of the veloute nicely.
We decide to forgo entrees this time and skip straight to the main course. I had no hesitation in ordering the braised pork belly with scallops – two of my favourite things in the one dish! The pork belly was meltingly soft and tender and it was topped with a crackling which strangely enough wasn’t blistered on the top but still super crunchy! The pea and mint puree was lovely and creamy and not too strong on the mint which was good (since I’m not a big mint fan). Three fat, juicy scallops sat on the other side of the dish and boy were they delicious! Seared on one side and still a bit raw in the middle, they were perfectly cooked and had a slice of caramelised apple hiding underneath and a herb salad garnished on top.
Sir D went with The Garden Court’s signature main which was the quail. It came wrapped around a chicken and truffle stuffing and was moist and juicy. Whilst I liked the stuffed quail part of the dish, Sir D’s favourite part were the deep-fried quail legs sitting on top of a swirl of mashed potato. He described them as being “like KFC, but better”. I personally found them a bit dry but they certainly had a fried coating on the outside resembling that of KFC. The glazed baby onions were nice and sweet but we both found the trompette mushrooms very chewy as though they hadn’t been soaked in water for long enough.
After a short wait the pre-dessert arrived. There was no explanation of what it was when it was placed on the table so I flagged a waitress down later who told me it was a “strawberry thing”. Hm, how helpful. Anyway we tried to decipher it and it tasted like the top layer was a strawberry puree, with a lightly whipped cream layer underneath and strawberry juice or water on the bottom. It had a nice balance of sweetness from the cream and tartness from the strawberries.
The raspberry soufflé was a dusky pink creation that had puffed out from its ramekin and was lightly dusted with icing sugar. We found the raspberry flavour of the soufflé to be a bit too subtle, I would have preferred a more intense flavour but the light and airy texture was perfect. The soufflé was accompanied by a rich white chocolate sauce and white chocolate ice cream.
Our last dessert was the pretty vanilla pannacotta with strawberry jelly and strawberry and rose granita. I liked the contrast between the fruity jelly and granita with the luscious, creamy pannacotta base which was specked with vanilla.
The Viva Sydney promotion runs until 31st March 2010, with food and wine offers as well as hotel and arts specials. Check out the website for more details.
Oh, and P.S. Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Valentines Day to everyone :)
The Garden Court at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
61-101 Phillip Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 9228 9188
Breakfast: Monday to Friday, 6.30am-10.30am, Saturday to Sunday, 7am-11.30am
Lunch: Monday to Friday, 12pm-2.30pm
Dinner: 7 days, 6pm-10pm
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