Oh internet how I have missed you! It’s been a bit quiet over here since I just moved and didn’t have internet access for two weeks. But everything is up and running again so it’s back to blogging and twitter and facebook and all my other dear procrastination tools.
Since I’ve moved to a new ‘hood I thought I would post about one of the local restaurants which I visited with the family. From the outside, the Burlington looks like a small, cosy restaurant but we’re led past the front room, through a narrow corridor past the kitchen to a spacious dining area at the back. While we check out the menu we’re presented with olives and fresh bread baked in a terracotta flowerpot. They’re warm, tasty and oh-so-cute and we can’t help but demolish all the bread at the risk of ruining our appetites.
We order some croquettes to start and these are filled with fluffy mashed potato, bits of chorizo and melty Manchego cheese. They’re very moreish and a great way to whet the appetite for the dishes to come.
We decide to share some entrees and there is almost a unanimous decision to get the paella. It comes out as a colourful dish with an assortment of seafood, pea puree, saffron-yellow rice and a few spoonfuls of sofrito. The seafood is cooked perfectly and although it’s not a traditional paella with the layer of toasted rice at the bottom, it’s very flavoursome and delicious.
The seared scallops on the menu catch my eye and they don’t disappoint. The scallops are juicy and sweet and with the sweetness of the corn puree and roasted capsicum in the pepperonata, they provide the perfect foil to the salty morcilla (blood sausage).
When the main courses come out we’re surprised by the generous servings of all the dishes. Between the five of us, we manage to cover most of the mains on the menu. The salmon is cooked to a perfect medium rare and has a deliciously crisp pan-fried skin on top. Underneath the thick, creamy sauce are black chunks of squid ink gnocchi, peas and cuttlefish so finely diced we don’t even realise it’s there until later. This ends up being one of my favourite dishes.
Charm goes for the duck breast which is quite pink but still tender. There is a golden fried piece of duck skin garnishing the dish which is devoured with a loud crunch. The duck crepinette is like a small sausage or a meatball made from duck meat which tastes a little more gamey than the breast. The porcini mushrooms lend a deep earthy flavour to the dish and all the flavours of the dish marry well together.
The confit lamb shoulder is shaped into a round and the meat falls apart with the poke of a fork. This dish is quite rich and perfect for those colder nights with a warming eggplant puree and slow cooked garlic. And yes this is where my memory fails me because I don’t remember what the white cubes are or the fried nubbins on the side of the plate….
Sir D chooses the steak with the oxtail hash hiding underneath and some roasted pearl onions on the top. Though the steak is cooked to rare as requested, the meat is quite tough and gristly and proves difficult to cut even with a steak knife. The beef ends up being rather chewy and Sir D is quite disappointed.
When the waitress announces that the day’s special is pork with crackling I’m immediately sold. It’s a massive piece of pork and I have a seriously hard time finishing it, but it’s cooked well and after offloading pieces to my family it’s mostly gone. And the crackling? It has a bit of crunch but it’s not as crispy as I hoped it would be.
We’re completely stuffed but have just enough room to share one dessert. Picking one from the menu is hard but we settle on the lemon tart. It has a thin, crisp pastry and the top of the tart is lightly blowtorched. The star of the dish though is the blueberry sorbet, a deep purple scoop of berry goodness that is finished all too quickly.
The Burlington Bar and Dining
6 Burlington St
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Ph: +61 2 9439 7888
Open Monday to Friday for lunch from noon; Monday to Saturday for dinner from 6.00pm