When our group of girlfriends started treating the birthday girl to dinner in lieu of birthday presents, I realised what a good opportunity this was to finally check off some restaurants which have been on my go-to list for a long time…
Monopole was FeFiFoFum’s choice for her birthday dinner, and I was secretly pleased because it was a place that I had been wanting to visit for a while. The outside of the restaurant was so dark and inconspicuous that we nearly walked right past it, but when we finally opened the door, we saw that the dark exterior was matched by the “mood lighting” on the inside.
Luckily we had phones to light up the menu, which was split into cured meats, shared dishes, cheese and desserts. Instead of choosing a la carte dishes though, we went with the Monopole menu, which gave us 7 courses for $65pp.
We started with three cured meats arranged on a wooden platter with some pickled vegetables. We had the cured duck breast (foreground), cured pork neck (background left) and cured Rangers Valley tri tip. The duck breast was probably the chewiest out of the three, with a slightly more gamey flavour. While others preferred the tri tip bresaola, I relished the silky fatty texture of the cured pork neck.
We continued on with a cold course of cured trevally, which was served with discs of pickled cucumber, blobs of smoked yoghurt and sea greens. It was a light and cooling dish, with the slight acidity of the pickles tempered by the smokey yoghurt.
I love beef tartare so it’s no surprise that this was one of my favourite dishes of the night. The beef was finely chopped and subtly seasoned, but what really made the dish stand out was the combination of textures from the sous vide egg yolk, powdered mushroom and crisp potato skin shards on top of the dish.
We moved onto the warm and more substantial dishes with the grilled snapper fillets. The fish had a crisp skin and flesh that flaked away easily. Surprisingly, the broccoli was the start of the dish for me, with the charred florets imparting a smokey and nutty flavour.
We were getting quite full by this point, so were glad when the lamb arrived as the last protein course. There were thick slices of succulent lamb rump cooked to a perfect pink, and seasoned with spices. There were some sauteed rapa leaves draped on top of the lamb, and a creamy goats curd underneath. Even The Cheerleader who doesn’t usually partake in lamb went for seconds of this!
I was personally more interested in the roasted cauliflower, which was a sizeable chunk of cauliflower roasted with curry leaves and served with a jet black garlic sauce. This was a hit with the whole table as well and we cleared this dish out pretty quickly.
Our final dessert was an interesting one. A citrus cake was served alongside a quenelle of orange pumpkin ice cream, which kind of reminded us of pumpkin pie. It was served on a swirl of milk chocolate ganache, crushed salted pepitas and intensely flavoured freeze-dried mandarin. Eaten together, it was a dessert that was not too sweet and had a balance of salty, creamy and sweet elements.
For $65, the Monopole menu was great value and definitely good for those who want to try a bit of everything on the menu. The food was executed really well with punchy flavours. It was clearly a popular place because when we left around 10.30pm on a Wednesday night, there were still people coming in for a drink so I would definitely recommend making a booking.
71a Macleay St
Potts Point NSW 2011
Ph: +61 2 9360 4410
Lunch: Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon
Dinner: 7 nights from 5pm