I start this post by stating that this is not a sponsored post but somehow I ended up getting complimentary dishes as part of my dining experience at The Bridge Room. Which is why this write up has become a lot more fun and interesting to talk about.
My friend LA, who has been on secondment in Sydney for the past 6 months, is about to return to her native New Zealand. I wanted to treat her to an amazing dinner as a souvenir of her great time in Sydney. For the past 3 weeks I have been trying to organise a dinner with her and some other friends and my venue of choice was The Bridge Room. But the dates kept changing due to work constraints and at one stage I was beginning to think this dinner would not happen.
But it finally did about 4 nights ago. I am pushing this post through now as I want LA to read this before she heads off to the land of the long white cloud.
It ended up being just the two of us as our other friends cancelled at the last minute. As the booking was for 6.30 on Thursday, we were one of the early arrivals so the restaurant was still quite empty. We were seated at the table nearest to the kitchen and we could see the chefs at work by looking through the open window. As we were being seated, I quietly asked LA if I should take a picture of the chefs at work. I had noticed that Chef Ross Lusted and his team were literally standing at the window only a mere feet or so away.
I was so excited to firstly be at the restaurant and on top of that I was so excited that Chef Ross Lusted was in the kitchen that night as he is the recently minted and newly crowned Chef of The Year by the Good Food Guide about 2 nights prior.
As I was asking LA this question, a voice piped up behind me saying 'I can hear you'. I turned around in surprise and realised straight away it was the Chef himself talking to us! I don't know what prompted me but I immediately stood up and went over to the window. I introduced myself and blustered about how excited I was to be there and asked to shake his hand and congratulated him on his winning the Chef of the Year. I also introduced LA as a friend from NZ. I then mentioned that I would like to take a photo of him and he said he would come out later to pose with us! Wow! I couldn't believe it and I was really excited by then!
So back I went to our table and we perused the menu and decided on the following.
My entree was Moreton bay bugs with sweet grilled endive, roasted chilli paste, tamarind and celery salt. I loved the texture of the bay bug. It was perfectly cooked, as in not overcooked which would resulted in the meat being tough, and the sauce which had a tamarind flavour was beautifully rich and worked perfectly with the subtle taste of the Moreton bay bug.
LA had the Raw Wagyu shoulder with robota smoked enoki mushrooms, Celtic sea salt, fresh horseradish and soft pickled chilli. LA loved the dish and commented on the wonderful textures in her dish.
At the same time another entree dish was served to us. It was the Spanner crab (picked and shelled) with mandarin, mandarin curd, nashi pear, chestnuts and verjuice jelly. We were told it was with the compliments of the chef! I couldn't believe it, we were served a plate each of this beautifully cooked spanner crab. The favours were clean, subtle but yet full of flavour. The citrus flavours of the mandarin just melded with the very refined spanner crab.
My main was the Snapper with silken tofu, chinkiang black vinegar, cloud ear mushroom, greens, ginger and chilli. I was initially worried the black vinegar might overwhelm the snapper but how wrong was I? It had the right amount of black vinegar to provide the acidity required for the snapper. The silkiness of the tofu and the greens provided just the right Asian flavour to the dish.
LA had the Ash grilled duck with organic prunes softened in Banyuls, creamed Jerusalem artichokes and candied walnuts. Let's just say LA finished every morsel and left her plate quite clean.
When it came to dessert time, LA was initially hesitant to order dessert but in the end we both did. I had the Varlhona Opalys pure white chocolate, new season blood oranges, puffed black rice candy, almond sponge and blood orange snow. Wow! The burst of flavours were amazing. A riot of textures were going through my taste buds! One minute I tasted sweet chocolate, then tangy citrus flavour, then it was crunchy then it was spongy but sweet. Gorgeous!
LA chose the Burnt Caramel cream, candied Peckham pear salad, pistachio crumb, mint, basil, raisins and pedro ximenez. It was deliciously decadent.
But at the same time, the waiter served us another dessert dish and once again it was with the compliment of the chef's!!!! I couldn't believe how generous Chef Ross Lusted was and I couldn't work out what we had done to deserve such generosity! It was the Aerated passionfruit with roasted nougatine, passionfruit ice cream, passionfruit seed powder and glass biscuit. We thought our desserts were great but this one stood out! It was bursting with passionfruit flavours. Truly delicious!! More please! :)
The waiter Adam was also wondering what we had done to deserve all these complimentary dishes and I had no idea but I was grateful for it though! Could it be that the chef was chuffed by me personally congratulating him on the Chef of the year award??
I cannot explain how truly enjoyable an experience that night was. I was so stoked to meet the chef and he did do as he promised. He did come out to pose with us for a picture during the dinner service but just before it suddenly became busy with other orders. I cannot fathom why the chef gave us those complimentary dishes but I did thank him for his generosity as we were leaving the restaurant.
What a truly wonderful souvenir for my lovely friend LA. She kept saying how amazing the meal was and how amazing the evening was and for that I am grateful to the team at The Bridge Room for helping make it a special evening for us. And I cannot get over how down to earth Chef Ross Lusted was and how generous he was with us. Thank you so very much!
And by the way, did I mention how good the food was? And did I also mention how great the service was too? Adam was so nice and friendly to us. We even made jokes about how clean our plates were and how we should have been rolling out the door by the end of the evening! :)
The Bridge Room
44 Bridge Street
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- 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.