Wednesday, July 22, 2009

23 Craigend St
NSW 2010

02 9357 1755

Rise came highly recommended from a close friend, and as they were having a sale in celebration of their 4th birthday, I thought it was a good opportunity to try out their Omakase Degustation menu. This would be the first time for both A and myself having degustation, and as such, we didn't really have any sort of expectations. We arrived around about 10 minutes after the booking time of 6pm. No thanks to my complete and utter lack of navigation skills. Even though I had with me the iphone, and the GPS was running. I shall speak no more of this embarassment. We almost walked past it...

But I digress... it's about the food isn't it?

Rise is a smallish restaurant, and as such, the seating were a bit cramped. It had a traditional wooden floor board meaning we'd experience a minor earthquake everytime someone heavier than 30kg walks by. This also caused many a blurred photos. The young couple in the seating next to us were also taking photos of the food as they arrive, so we felt a little better about snapping photos. Of course, to make things more challenging, Rise offered up mood lighting (read: candle light) just so that my photos will either be blurred, or very noisy. (Next time I go to a restaurant with mood lighting I'm taking my mini tripod...)

The first course was the ocean trout marinated with gochujang miso and porched quail egg. I think they mean poached. Mine had fallen apart while A's remained in the cylindrical shape. This was a disappointment as a first dish. I mean, the food still tasted fine, but the presentation is just as important, as we have all learnt from watching Masterchef. It's not a great way to make a first impression. My quail egg was a little more well done than 'poached' but nevertheless, the trout was fresh, chewy, and the miso was excellent.

The potato cream soup with prawn tempura and tofu was a great fusion of Western and Japanese dishes. The tofu is in the style of agedashi tofu, but it's placed in the middle of a creamy and sweet potato soup. Juxtaposed with the crunchy prawn tempura it was an excellent blend of contrasting texture and culture. They were smart enough not to dip the prawn in the soup, so it didn't become soggy. Just brilliant!

Sashimi of the day followed, and I believe we had kingfish, ocean trout and oyster. The kingfish was definitely the one. They came in little shot glasses with the corresponding sauce. All I had to do was dip and eat. Mmmmm....

Next up was the seasonal plate, which was a bit of a mix bag and offered up some fairly pedestrian South East Asian dishes. The rice paper rolls and fish cake were nothing to write home about. Or blog about, for that matter, but the egg flan, mushroom and miso red curry sauce was very surprising! I was literally in three countries at the same time. The flavours mixed well with each other, none overpowering each other and had just the right balance. This completely puts to shame everything else on the plate.

The steamed scallop and green tea noodle with ginger shallot sauce was apparently one of their signature dish. Now, if it's so signature, wouldn't you want the customer to taste more? right? I know I would... but I guess this is the whole point of the degustation menu. It's really just a taster, and if you like it, you can come back for more and pay more. This dish was done in one mouthful. And yes, I can 'taste' why it's their signature dish. It's that good. But... what's with the one mouthful???

Ahhh... the main course, the chicken confit, shiitake mushroom, potatoes and bamboo shoot with hoisin sause. This is another dish that is mainly Western, with some Asian leanings. The chicken was nicely cooked, soft and juicy. It was served with one bowl of rice. That's right. One bowl between 2 people. I mean, I know it's a tasting menu and everything, but we did get 2 servings of everything else. Having said that, I don't think I've tasted rice that's cooked better. This was rice perfection. For someone who really really doesn’t like eating rice as is... I'd be happy eating bowl after bowl of this. Yes I know, it's a lot of carb...

Dessert was pretty darn good too. Again, it's another Western/Asian fusion, but mind you, all of their fusion dishes have been very harmonious. More than I can say about the people...

Overall impression? I think it's very good value at the sale rate. The Tue, Wed and Sun $45 "special" price is probably as much as I would pay for it though. Would I come back? A slight hesitant yes. Either their pricing or their serving will need to be improved.

And since this is as much a watch blog as it is a food blog, my companion watch for the night is the Omega DeVille Co-Axial Chronograph. This is the first Co-axial chronograph that Omega made, and the advantage of having a co-axial escapement is that there is much less wear and tear and as the contact points are greatly reduced, there is less oiling required and it would keep better time over a longer period. The Co-axial escapement was designed by the watchmaker George Daniel and he had tried to sell this escapement to the likes of Rolex and Patek Phillippe, before Omega took the gamble and funded it for mass production. It is exclusive to Omega.

1 comment:

Head Tart . said...

I'm impressed .

Head Tart .