Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Blackwater, Sans Souci

This one is a bit late, but better late than never, right?

About three weeks ago, when I was last in Sydney, FH Alphie took me out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. My flight in landed at 8.20 so we were aiming for a late dinner somewhere between Sydney airport and home. Blackwater in Sans Souci fit the bill perfectly. They were more than happy to take a late (9pm) booking, although warned us that they take last orders at 9.30.

We arrived right on the dot of 9, and the place was bustling. After being shown to our table, the menus arrived, and a waitress turned up the dimmer on the egg shaped lamp on the table. Knowing that we had to order early, we got straight into reading the menus and made quick decisions. Unfortunately the waiter was not in such a rush, and after asking us if we were ready to order, promptly wandered off once we said we were ready to go!

After that little bit of confusion, he returned to take our orders, a waitress dropped by to turn down the dimmer on the egg, and quickly after some warm bread and olive oil was brought to the table (apologies for the super-blurry photo, I'm blaming it on the egg).

Neonata (grilled white bait fritters with celeriac aioli)

We decided to share the starters, as neither of us could decide on just one thing! White bait is always FH Alphie's favourite, so that was a definite, and the house cured Atlantic salmon sounded too good to pass up.

Carpaccio (lemon cured atlantic salmon with lilliput capers, chives)

As to be expected FH Alphie's favourite was the white bait, which I found a bit bland and needing just a touch of salt, while I preferred the salmon, and could have easily eaten the whole plate myself. The lemon curing resulted in velvety smooth salmon, and the saltiness of the capers balanced well with the lemon.

Conchiglioni (baked shell pasta filled with veal bolognese and buffalo mozzarella)

We went in very separate directions for the main. Being an Italian restaurant, and me living with a veggo and being deprived of red meat, I opted for the veal ragu stuffed shells. The ragu was fabulously rich, and the veal soft and fall apart-y (is that a word? I don't think so...), but the real star was the soft and creamy buffalo mozzarella.

Scampi (grilled NZ scampi with leek and pine nuts)

FH Alphie stuck to the seafood theme, and tried the scampi. Essentially large salt water yabbies, these lived up to the scampi hype. FH Alphie found them a bit fiddly, but then again, what shellfish isn't?, these were well cooked, fully opaque, but not dry, and very tasty.

Sauteed brussels sprouts with speck, onion & chestnuts

Just to make sure we got our greens for the day, we also ordered a side of brussels sprouts. I usually love the combination of brussels sprouts with some form of cured pork product, and I looove chestnuts, so I thought this would be a winner. Unfortunately, these were a bit of a miss. I'm not sure how, but somehow these just didn't match up to the rest of the meal - maybe brussels sprouts weren't a good match?

Apart from the sprouts, this was really a great meal, and given that Blackwater is on our side of the city, I imagine we'll be back soon.


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