Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Etch Dining

62 Bridge St
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9247 4777
Open: Monday to Friday 12pm - late, Saturday 5pm - late

This watch may look familiar, but it isn't. It is not, in fact, this watch, but the "no date" version. This version of the reissued Legend Diver (L3.674.4.56.2) was produced earlier than the reissued date version, and I believe in smaller quantities as well, which means that it is now difficult to track down new.

Contrary to what some believe, the original Legend Divers came in both "non date" and "date" versions. Originals are difficult to find, and come at a premium, but the elegant contemporary versions, both of them, are value for money, equally versatile as a dress or sports watch, and sit easily on the wrist for their 42mm size.  It is a watch that I find myself liking more each time I look at it.

Also familiar was the location of our lunch this day, as P had dined here many moons ago when it was another establishment.

Etch consists of one spacious modern dining room, and was surprisingly empty when we arrived. I think that other than us, there were three or so tables, and this only increased by one table for the duration of our lunch.

The current menu, which is not the one that appears on its website at present, contains dishes noticeably lighter than the dishes I'd read about in blog reviews. It being one of the extraordinarily hot days that we've had this Summer, we both opted for fish.

Local sea bream (described as), crumbed scampi, fennel puree,
citrus a la grecque ($31)

Bream was not available on the day, and Mulloway was its replacement.  This slightly affected the experience of this dish, as bream would have been a preferred option, but the Mulloway was nicely cooked, and in totality, the combination of tastes in this dish enjoyed.

Flathead, Serrano ham, parsnip puree, potato fondant, jus gras ($33)

My choice was the flathead.

Parsnip "chips"

The Serrano did not dominate over the taste of the fish, and in fact seemed to almost meld into it. The small potato fondants were best eaten smothered in the sauce. I enjoyed my choice, but it somehow lacked the "wow" factor that for some reason I had expected from this younger sibling of Bécasse.

It is strange, the balancing of high expectations with reality. I wonder how many times our expectations are just so out of whack that nothing could possibly match them? Part of me thinks that in retrospect I should have ordered the beef dish that was available on the day, as pleasant as this was (especially the jus gras and the strings of "chips"), I was left wondering whether I should have ordered something different. I'd like to go back there, but try something else next time.

Marinated Heirloom tomato, red onion salad ($7)

As a side dish, the Heirloom tomato salad was perhaps the most beautiful looking tomato salad that I've eaten for a long time. Tastewise it was light, Summery, and a good counterpoint to the fish, but the tomatoes were not as sweet as I would have personally liked them to be.

I suppose by this time you were wondering whether only one person was wearing a watch.

As you can see, there were indeed two watches, the other a Peter Speake-Marin.

The name of our group is "the Sydney Tarts", so there really was no option but to order the dessert special for the day, Tarte au citron.

This came in at a hefty $15. Despite the obligatory plate smudge, and the price tag, which I would question, this was the best tarte au citron I've had in Sydney for a long time, and particularly the slightly caramelised top, but the best ones I've had in the last year or two were in Laos. The French influence runs strong in the patisseries there, and the ones that I had were just stunningly good.

Le Banneton. Vientiane, Laos - 2008

Le Café Ban Vat Sene, Luang Prabang, Laos - 2008
Incredibly good tarte au citron.
The base was astonishingly buttery and good. 
For the tarte & Lao smoked tea, it cost 30,000 kip, approx AUD5.45.

Etch is open throughout the day....I wonder whether it would be okay just to pop in during the afternoon for a lemon tart?  Or perhaps the lolly tray, which I had also wanted to try?


Etch on Urbanspoon


Reemski said...

I want to try the lolly tray, but ah, it's not to be...

The Sydney Tarts said...

Not to be? Pray tell why not? We can share a lolly tray.


Kim said...

Lemon tarts and watches! Mmmmm ... perfect combination. That is a very beautiful Longines watch. The other Longines I like is a little more "complicated":

The Sydney Tarts said...

Kim - That's a beautiful Longines. Are you getting one? Yes we love watches and lemon tarts :)