It was the last of my Let’s Do Lunch occasions for this year’s Crave Sydney International Food Festival and I headed down to Circular Quay’s Number One Wine Bar with three work friends: Lustm, Catfish and Giuseppe.
As I slipped off to get some cash, the crew ordered our $35 special of grilled Hawkesbury skate with capers, kipfler potatoes and Beurre Noisette.
Our Brown Brother’s wine was a choice of vermentino or tempranillo. Lustm and I went white, Catfish went red and Giuseppe was medicated, so no alcohol for him. Instead our kindly waiter whipped up a freshly squeezed pear, apple and blood orange juice. Nice.
When the food arrived it was superb.
The skate was juicy and tender, flaking off in shreds of perfectly cooked white flesh. It matched wonderfully with thin curls of lemon zest, tiny salty capers and what seemed like thin slices of green olives. These were balanced well with the waxiness of the sliced kipflers and verdant beans.
And I forgot how wonderful a well-cooked Beurre Noisette can taste! I almost swooned from my chair when the buttery nuttiness exploded in my mouth. It’s such a simple sauce, but rarely done as well as this.
Unlike many mains, every mouthful of this dish was fresh and flavoursome, dancing across my tongue.
The boys were in shock (and a little squeamish) when Catfish and I told them skate was just a fancy name for stingray, but that didn’t deter them from devouring their whole meal.
After our mains we couldn’t help but order the (very well priced!) $7 dessert special: vanilla bean ice cream, berry tart and mango mousse. Each little item was perfectly balanced and singing with true flavours (real vanilla beans, fresh mango pulp, soft bright berries).
Our lovely waiter generously donated the last four glasses of a bottle of Brown Brother’s Orange Flora Muscat. Double nice.