It’s that time of year when everyone starts to roll out their annual list of restaurant awards. So I thought I’d get in early – and keep it simple – with my Top 5 Dishes of the past 12 months. These are the dishes that I dream about and, no matter how hard I try, can’t resist ordering whenever I visit these restaurants.
Pecorino Brodo (Pilu at Freshwater)
I love this broth infused with pecorino cheese, poured tableside over fregola and seasonal bits and pieces – tiny cubes of chestnut and pumpkin in winter, shreds of zucchini and zucchini flowers as the weather warms up – flecked with mint oil.
Chirashi Zushi (Rockpool on George)
(closed) see www.ursulas.com.au
Curls of spanking fresh raw seafood (think salmon, snapper, yellowtail kingfish, bonito, squid), scattered free form around a plate with sushi rice, avocado, kim chi, shiso and sesame seeds – I can’t get enough!
Peking Duck (Flavours of Peking)
Crisp skin, juicy meat, slightly sweet hoi sin, refreshing cucumber and bitey green onions on thin warm pancakes. Is Peking duck the best duck dish ever? And is this Sydney’s best Peking duck? That’s yes on both counts in my opinion (even better with a smear of XO chilli sauce).
Mochi (Dokbeokki) (Moon Park)
I’m addicted to Moon Park’s rice cakes rolled in chilli sauce and finely ground peanuts. The firm, yet-yielding texture, nice hit of spice and crunch of the coating is more moreish than should be allowed – perfect with a cold OB beer or Romate amber wine.
Sauternes Custard (Marque)
(closed) see www.markbest.com.au
As I work my way through every delicious course at Marque, I find my thoughts increasingly wandering to that little eggshell filled with the most perfect custard topped with bitter caramel – then it arrives and, alas, is gone in just a few mouthfuls … thank goodness the memory lives on.