As Mama says to me, “Food brings people together!” Growing up in an Asian household, many memories were formed around the round dining table accompanied by numerous dishes laid out on the ‘lazy-susan’. Meals have always been a family affair characterised by the sharing of daily tales and dishes. So, when eating out, I love joints that are able to create this familiar feeling even within the world of fine dining. Graze, Pyrmont does just that, even within its context of unusual and innovative cuisine of molecular gastronomy!
Ending the first week of university semester two (!!), the meal started off with their famous “Cauliflower Milkshake, Jamon & Cheese Toasty”. Our waiter very kindly provided four little espresso cups, allowing us to split up the warm, creamy goodness of the milkshake. I couldn’t resist dipping the oh so crispy toasty into the sea of joy, savouring every mouthful and sip of this unusual entrée!
Being the seafood nuts that we are, Mumma and I went straight for the “King Prawn Croquettes” when we spotted it on the menu. The lightly crumbed exterior encased ridiculously smooth innards that were bursting with the flavour of fresh prawn. More please?
When looking for our carb hit, the “Mushroom risotto with smoked morel butter” and “Butternut pumpkin gnocchi, caramelised chestnuts, basil, mushroom puree” both sounded unbelievably delicious. Which one were we going to choose?! My mind had been sent into a mode of complete and utter confusion, while my heart sank at the thought of having to choose between two such options. BUT NEVER FEAR…We were eating at Graze, where their menu is designed for sharing – trying and savouring samples of a variety of dishes. So both dishes were ordered to the delight of my stomach.
The subtle flavour of the mushroom risotto was delightful, however it somehow lacked the ‘hit’ of flavour that my tastebuds were yearning for. The perfectly cooked, fluffy gnocchi however, made up for this as I lathered on copious amounts of the mushroom puree on. No, I didn’t scrape up every last drip of this smooth and creamy puree…..*cough*
Lil’ bro always needs some meat because “I’m a growing boy!” so we ordered the “Seared Wagyu Oyster Blade with swede puree, snow peas, crisp sweet potato and wasabi jus”. Wow! The meat was unbelievably tender and the flavours just seemed to create a complex yet harmonious symphony!
Crackling pork belly can undoubtedly put a smile on my face. Graze’s “Confit Pork Belly with Apple and Fennel Salad” managed to do just that! I think this may have been my favourite dish of the night…oh…but everything else was so good too!! The crackling skin was truly executed and balanced by the tender meat that almost melted in my mouth as I savoured each bite!
The “Roast Duck Breast” was absolutely delicious! The spring-roll look alikes were filled with MORE DUCK and pine nuts. I took my time eating this as Lil’ Bro looked at me inquisitively while I smiled with each mouthful of happiness J!
The “Herb Baked Ocean Jacket Fillets” were cooked to perfection. The smooth texture of the fish was heavenly. The subtle flavours of the puree and peas let the freshness and perfectly cooked fish speak for itself. Even Lil’ Bro, who prefers to steer clear of fish enjoyed it!
When I saw the words “truffled” “potatoes” and “parmesan” together I knew I had to try this side dish! Papa and Lil’ Bro could not stop eating these, so sadly, I was only left with one piece! The crispiness of the potato and taste of the truffle almost tipped me into a daze! This was undeniably the best side dish I have ever had. Oh if only every restaurant made the simplicity of potatoes taste so good!
Don’t judge…we had dessert too! The “Eaton Mess”, “Espresso Brulee” and “Blueberry Dougnuts” were ordered and devoured within 5 minutes. I might add there may have been some negotiation as to who was going to eat more of what. Yes, yes, we still shared, but I claimed more of the “Eaton Mess” with the meringue perfectly complementing the double cream and fresh berries while Lil’ Bro very kindly took the caffeine hit for me in the form of the smooth and punchy brulee. The dougnuts although quite ordinary were accompanied by a great blueberry compote which I may or may not have scraped clean…Dessert heaven!
The overall meal was definitely worth what we paid as the quality of each ingredient was evident. I’ll definitely be back for that special occasion meal or perhaps a spontaneous treat!
My heart skips a beat when I look back at the numerous dishes that we ordered and enjoyed sharing – each diner experiencing the same combination of flavours as the other. Eating out is no longer characterised by set individual meals but rings true to the wise words of my Mama; bringing people together to share a collective experience as they make their way through an eclectic ‘grazing’ menu. After all, sharing is caring!