The idea of eating locally and knowing where your food comes from is not a new one. It’s always a pleasant surprise to find a restaurant that adheres to this philosophy through getting to know the local farmers who supply the produce and even producing some if it themselves on their own rooftop – right in the heart of the CBD! Jpb restaurant proudly follows this through their revamped restaurant in Swissotel Sydney, with a menu that shows off produce that is sourced within NSW.
The local produce starts right from the moment you are served the complimentary bread, which is house made using organic spelt and served with olive oil from Megalong Valley. The bread was rustic and stuffed full of whole grains, with lovely soft innards.
I love scampi, so as soon as I see it on the menu, I know I have to order it. It comes as three scampi halves, grilled with pernod sauce and salsa verde. Underneath is a fennel and orange salad, with probably a little too much fennel but the flavours are balanced and the scampi is cooked perfectly.
The duck leg confit is an artfully arranged plate of duck, apples, beetroot and hazelnuts. It’s a little confusing to be honest since all the ingredients seem to be scattered and we aren’t given any instructions on how to eat it. The duck itself is shredded and tender, blanketed in what is similar to a Peking duck pancake. Cooked red delicious apples are dusted in curry powder which is an interesting way to serve apples. Unfortunately the beetroot is a little too undercooked for my liking, and we’re at a loss of what to do with the little pool of sauce on the side. While each component is fine on it’s own, they don’t seem to gel together as a unified dish.
Sir D decides to order the scotch fillet for his main. It is a hefty slice of beef that is served with fries, beetroot, asparagus and bearnaise sauce. Unfortunately, the beef is overcooked and verging on well-done (he requested it to be medium rare) and the fries are lacking a little colour and crunch.
My chicken dish is quite a large serving, with two pieces of chicken breast set on top of a layer of beans, lentils and wild mushrooms. While the lentils and beans are fine, sadly the chicken is dry and can’t be saved by the minimal sauce on the dish, and the mushrooms have an unpleasant, burnt flavour.
We find a bit of redemption with the apple pie, which uses Bilpin apples fanned out on a puff pastry round. The cinnamon ice cream is a little lacking in flavour and quite icy, but overall it’s a simple and pretty dessert.
I’m not usually one to pass up something sweet but the cheese plate catches my eye with the promise of honeycomb sourced right from Swissotel’s very own rooftop! It’s an enormous platter of blue-vein, soft brie and cheddar cheese with house made lavosh, grapes, dried dates, walnuts, quince paste and a wedge of sweet honeycomb which is a pleasure to eat.
While the food was a bit hit and miss, I think the concept of sourcing local NSW produce and using what is seasonal and available is executed very well at Jpb Restaurant. It’s not everyday that you can sample honeycomb that is produced on the roof of the restaurant itself!
Penguin says Feed Me dined courtesy of Jpb Restaurant
68 Market St
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 9238 7088
Open Monday to Saturday, 6pm – 10pm