About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Gowings Bar and Grill

This place has been on my 'to dine at' list since it first opened last year. Something about the menu attracted me. Upon reflection the food described in the menu didn't sound fancy, quite down to earth actually. Plus there had been a lot of hype when it first opened in the new and trending QT hotel.

So I finally got a chance to dine here with 2 good friends, who I consider to be part of my 'family'. When we got out of the lifts, there was a rather flash reception area (which felt like a hotel reception). We then realised that we had to walk up a flight of stairs to get to The Bar and Grill. As we walked up to the stairs I was quite distracted by the amazingly brightly coloured wall facing us. Quite striking and it did set the mood for what the Gowings Bar and Grill would feel like.

I liked it! It felt new and vibrant, it looked like a place which had been heavily invested. It was very much an image driven environment. Why would I say that? I think it will be more obvious as I describe our dining experience. Watch out for when I mention the waitresses' attire. :-)

But I came with high expectations because the prices of the meals were not your average prices, they were leaning more towards the hatted restaurant prices.

After poring over the menu for a considerable length of time, we decided to go for 3 courses.

The butter served with our bread rolls were from Pepe Saya. It was the first time I had tasted Pepe Saya's butter. Am I allowed to say that it is beautifully addictive?!?!?

Entrees of choice were:

Beer Steamed Prawn Cocktail - a modern interpretation of a classic entree. Surprisingly lovely and P was definitely enjoying it!

Wood Roasted Garlic Snails with Lemon and Mint Butter - G's comment was he could taste the earthiness of the snails. He said it was the first time ever that he could taste the snails as opposed to other snail dishes which he found to be overwhelmed with garlic butter. These ones were actually more focused on the texture and flavour of the snails. Interesting feedback!!

Tartare of Yellowfin Tuna with horseradish, and preserved lemon. This was served with Sesame Grissini. I deliberately selected a light starter in anticipation of a heavier meat dish plus I had to fit in dessert somehow. I liked how light and fresh the tuna tasted. I fell in love with the Grissini. More please!!!!

Thrown in to the mix was an order of a scallop each. 2 of us had the scallop with wild garlic and basil butter. G was slightly adventurous and chose the scallop with sea urchin, lemon and mint butter. The scallops were large and perfectly cooked. I loved it!

Mains of choice were:

Whole Roasted Quails - these were partly boned. They were filled with malt, barley bread, sage, Parmesan, double smoke ham with pea and lemon thyme. P seemed to be enjoying it. The stuffing was the star of that dish as the combination of flavours infused the quail meat.

Milk Fed Veal Wiener Schnitzel served with Organic Egg, Ortiz Anchovy and Nut Brown Butter. The serving was huge! I don't know when was the last time I saw a schnitzel that large a piece!!! It did look good and G thoroughly enjoyed it. I managed to get a sliver to try and I must say it was a lovely piece of schnitzel. I could taste the saltiness of the anchovy which surprisingly lifted the flavours of the veal.

1/2 Crisp Spiced Duck served with Paris Mash, steamed greens and salt bush. I couldn't help myself, I just had to have the duck but OMG! I didn't expect how big the serving was going to be!!! It was such a good dish, the duck was juicy, succulent and thoroughly delicious!!! G had a taste of it and commended me on my choice. In his opinion it was the dish of the night.

We also ordered some side dishes; Paris mash and Steamed silver beet.

Desserts were:
Classic Profiteroles filled with Creme Patisserie and Vanilla Ice Cream and topped with Dark Valrhona Dark Chocolate sauce.

Apple Crumble Flavours - a deconstructed serving of sweet and sour apple empanadas, peanut brittle, salted caramel ice cream, apple pickle and caramel cider.

Apple and raspberry tart with Italian meringue. I decided on this because I only wanted a small serving of something sweet. I had already hit the brick wall with the wonderful duck dish. But my tart was a surprise, the pastry was light and the meringue tasted like light whipped cream rather than a sickly sweet crumbly meringue!

Did we enjoy ourselves???? You betcha! Throughout the meal I noticed how sexy the waitresses looked. They were dressed beautifully, and were very attractive looking. When I said sexy, I meant sexy in a refined manner, not garish at all. Why am I even mentioning this? It was just something that struck me while I was dining and people watching. :-)

The open kitchen works well in this restaurant! It was fascinating to see the wood fired oven working very hard throughout the night. My duck was cooked in that open fired oven, yummy!!!!

Verdict: if you haven't been here before, you should check it out.  You might find the prices are slightly pricey but I don't think you will regret it.

After our dinner we exited the restaurant and walked around and checked out a rather cool and retro lounge. I loved all the retro artefacts on display.

Gowings Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Gowings Bar & Grill
49 Market Street
NSW 2000
Website: qtsydney.com.au/food-drink/gowings-bar-grill/

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