BLACK by Ezard, Pyrmont

iFat has been around since September and I’ve covered quite a few cuisines and dining styles since. However, there is a gaping hole that has been mentioned to me quite a few times and no, I’m not referring to the empty cavern where my brain should be (that joke was for my serial hate commenter, you can borrow that one for the next time you want me to retire my stomach).

What’s missing from iFat apart from good writing, high quality photos and an advanced palette?

Fine dining reviews.

Let me defend myself. I normally associate fine dining with romance, celebration and food for an occasion.

The thing is; my year has involved little to no romance, barely any cause of celebration and I consider being able to stay home on the weekends a huge occasion.

Fortunately for me, one of my best friends had a birthday on Sunday on top of getting a new job.

Guess I have a reason to go fine dining at BLACK by Ezard now:

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One thing I forgot about dining with my friends was that you’re always supposed to arrive half an hour after the scheduled starting time. It’s either that or to tell everyone that it’s set to start half an hour before you actually want an event to start. Fortunately for me, I was joined by Nessyeater (someone who believes in arriving to things on time) and we walked down memory lane for a bit. The views at Black are spectacular and it’s in the perfect position for someone to enjoy at NYE dinner or someone who has forgotten how beautiful Sydney is.

Nessy and I decided to order a couple of mocktails even though neither of us drove on the night. This is how responsible we’ve become over the years:

Grapefruit mocktail with cucumber, lime and Elderflower Apple cocktail with ginger beer, mint, lemon and egg white
Left – Grapefruit mocktail with cucumber, lime and Elderflower
Right –  Apple mocktail with ginger beer, mint, lemon and egg white

I had the grapefruit mocktail and was very refreshing. The lime and grapefruit fused to form a very potent mocktail with a sour kick in the mouth. I know a kick in the mouth doesn’t sound like a positive thing but it really is in this context.

Nessy ordered the apple mocktail which I eyed for a while before deciding to go with the grapefruit. It was so good that Nessy refused to share it with anyone. Please remind her I said that when you read her review on Black.

On to the complementary bread!

Bread and butter. The bread and butter of fine dining.
Bread and butter. The bread and butter of fine dining.

I normally try to limit my intake on bread before dinner due to the fact that I don’t want to get full before my mains arrive. However, the satisfied looks on my friends’ faces indicated that this was something I shouldn’t miss out on. The bread was flaky and reminded me of the texture you get in a freshly made croissant. It was delicious and the ultimate test of my will not to knock everyone’s hands out of the way and demolish the entire tasty loaf single-handedly.

On to the starters:

Crab salad featuring remoulade of queensland spanner crab, green apple, avocado pudding, salted peanut caramel and kaffir lime
Crab salad featuring remoulade of queensland spanner crab, green apple, avocado pudding, salted peanut caramel and kaffir lime
Sashimi of hiramasa kingfish, sesame custard, edamame puree, chardonnay and shallot dressing
Sashimi of hiramasa kingfish, sesame custard, edamame puree, chardonnay and shallot dressing

I use the term starters loosely due to the fact that the only thing that started when these dishes arrived was regret within my loins. I didn’t order any starters due to the fact that I ordered three sides and piling a starter on top of that seemed a little glutinous even for someone self-christened as iFat.

Here’s another chapter of regret to the iFat chronicles of 2013.

Let’s move on to some food I actually did sample before I put both my hands in a toaster as punishment.

Pork tenderloin with crisp pork belly, braised swiss chard, apple puree, cider and mustard dressing
Pork tenderloin with crisp pork belly, braised swiss chard, apple puree, cider and mustard dressing
Nothing but love for porn belly...no typo.
Nothing but love for porn belly…no typo.

Every dude on our table ordered steak so I decided to go for the pork. There’s not much logic in that stance now but I swear it made sense last night.

There are so many levels to this dish that they should call it Super Mario on the menu. It arrived in front of me and I thought the bed of substance that housed my pork was potato. Nope; it was apple puree which apparently is a combination that stretches back to the days of Bonnie and Clyde. I loved the Swiss chard (the greens) that accompanied my pork as its buttery flavour really shone through with all the other flavour complexities sitting on my dish.

The pork belly was amazing. I generally like my pork belly to have an imbalanced level of fat (cause I’m iFat) but the balance on my serving was great due to how well cooked it was. The meat just gave way to the light prodding of my fork and greeted my tongue like an old friend. The uppermost layer was crispy and didn’t venture into ‘way too crispy it’s actually hard to eat’ territory.

Great dish, would not serve it to someone I didn’t like.

Now for my side dishes:

Mac & Cheese with elbow macaroni, three cheese sauce and bacon crumbs
Mac & Cheese with elbow macaroni, three cheese sauce and bacon crumbs

I told my best friend that I was going to BLACK and she insisted that I order the Mac & Cheese. Clearly, the only reason anyone goes fine dining is to sample a restaurant’s mac & cheese.

Jokes aside, this side dish was no laughing matter. The key to great mac and cheese is to have the crisp layer of melted cheese on top and this sampling nailed that aspect. The three cheese sauce would’ve been overpowering in any other dish but there was one ingredient that prevented that from happening.

Bacon; because nothing overpowers the strength, dexterity and overall awesomeness that bacon brings to the table.

Mushroom ragout with fine herbs in a golden pastry
Mushroom ragout with fine herbs in a golden pastry

I know I’ve waxed poetical about the pork and the mac & cheese but this might have been my favourite dish of the night. I love mushrooms and if you add some fine herbs with them and then encase them in a puffy golden pastry? Well, I might just have to wax poetical about you too.

The mushrooms were delicious and this is a dish that I would happily have had as a main. The reason the photo is as bad as it is because I was daydreaming about what I’d do to the little mushroom pie if I was ever alone with it in a room.

Food porn alert:

Chocolate with warm couverture ganache, fresh mint ice cream, raspberry mousse and chocolate cookie
Chocolate with warm couverture ganache, fresh mint ice cream, raspberry mousse and chocolate cookie

My photo really doesn’t do this dessert justice, check out Nessyeater’s video of the chocolate shenanigans HERE to get the full scope of how awesome this dessert’s unveiling was.

You’re probably wondering how this tastes…I’m also wondering this because I was too busy watching my buddies demolish this and it was gone by the time it occurred to me that I should probably get a nibble in. In my defence….I was very sleepy, full and about to fall into a food coma.

See how nap friendly the lighting is?
See how nap friendly the lighting is?

Here’s the TL; DR for everyone wondering when WHITE by Ezard will open:

– Enjoy the view at BLACK and then enjoy the views when looking out the window (ha-hah!)

– I don’t want to hear any tales of people mocking my mocktail.

– Order a starter. You don’t want to be that guy on the bench.

– People that order pork are cool; especially if you order multiple sides to accompany it.

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BLACK by Ezard, Pyrmont

80 Pyrmont St Sydney, NSW

Opening Hours:

Sunday 12:00-3:00 pm, 5:30-9:30 pm
Monday Closed
Tuesday 5:30-11:00 pm
Wednesday 5:30-10:00 pm
Thursday 5:30-10:00 pm
Friday 12:00-3:00 pm, 5:30-11:00 pm
Saturday 5:30-11:00 pm

BLACK by ezard on Urbanspoon

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