For weeks I’ve been wondering what those pesky pink dots adorning our footpaths have been about. What the hell are they for? As I got off the bus at the QVB, where I was meeting up with The BFF, there they were again...dot dot dot dot as far as the eye could see leading right past the Hilton’s Glass Brassiere.
Maybe that’s what they are saying – “go and eat at Glass Brassiere, you won’t regret it”.
Being a modern gal I’d made our reservation at Glass via Twitter – directly with Executive Chef Joey Pavlovich, who came over to say HI when we arrived at the restaurant. The BFF and I both thought this was really nice, especially for a chef who oversees a kitchen as busy as the one at Glass.
Adding to our excitement is the fact that the dining room at Glass is just stunning! A thirteen meter high window runs the length of the restaurant giving the most stunning views of the QVB. This has to be one of the most captivating views in the city - the QVB is just so close it feels like you could just reach out and touch it. I love seeing this beautiful old building from another vantage point - spectacular.
I also have to give massive props to our lovely waiter who endured are inability to make a decision about what to order. Should we have the degustation? No, too much food. What about steak? Hmmm...no. What about fish. Nah. He then runs as through his favourites...nope again. In the end we ordered a whole bunch of Tapas dishes - everything on the Tapas menu in fact (minus the Samosas as I just wasn't in a Samosa kind of mood). We thought this would give us a small meal - a taste of lots of different small dishes. How wrong we were - I was literally bursting by the time we got through everything.
Deciding what to order is thirsty work so we start off with some drinks - a cranberry juice for The BFF and a soda water for moi - it is a school night after all. A basket of bread quickly arrives too which we foolishly demolish - there goes the stomach room.
Because we're now "friends with the chef" thanks to the marvel of twitter, Joey sends out an Amuse Bouche to start us off - a spoonful of avocado salad. It's delicious and bodes well for the rest of the meal.
Next four of our tapas dishes arrive: prawn toast with coriander, corn and topped with a chipotle sauce ($8 pp); Spanish Ortiz Ondarroa anchovies from the tin with garlic toast ($24 00); Spring Bay scallop with XO sauce, tofu, pork scratchings ($8 pp); and last (for now) but not least tempura zucchini flower with ricotta and anchovy ($7 pp).
We shared just one piece of the zucchini flower, the scallop and the prawn toast and it was so sweet when our waiter came along and cut these in half for us...neatly down the middle so we were all even Stevens. I gotta tell you, cutting a zucchini flower in half looks like hard work, but I reckon he did a pretty stellar job.
Each dish was really lovely - very flavoursome, and they all looked so vibrant and fresh. I especially loved the crispy prawn toast with its spicy hit from the chipotle. The anchovies with garlic toast were also a hit with me - the garlic toast was a great offset to the saltiness of the anchovies, and the dish felt very rustic being served on a wooden board with the anchovies still in the tin and sitting atop its very retro looking packaging.
Maybe Joey read my post about my Yum Cha adventure at The Eight where I lamented at only having one Peking Duck Pancake as he sent out a basket of Duck Pancakes. A whole basket just for us - we each had four or five pancakes. Oh happy days.
By this stage I'm starting to feel quite full. Having gorged ourselves on bread and duck pancakes both The BFF and I are groaning as our tummies expand. Luckily there is a bit of a breather before the next course arrives: chicken liver parfait with a pear jelly, chutney and toasted brioche ($15.00) and a charcuterie board with onion relish and grilled bread ($22.00).
The parfait, oh the parfait! It was silky smooth and utterly moreish. The BFF ordered a second basket of bread and wouldn't let the waiter take the pot of parfait from him until every last morsel was removed - it was THAT good! The charcuterie board was absolutely stellar - the cured meats cut so paper thin they practically melted on the tongue.
By this stage I really need to lay down and let my poor stomach digest some food. No time for that as our last three dishes arrive at the table: chilli whole crispy school prawns with Szechuan salt and an aioli dipping sauce ($15.00); tempura soft shell crab with nam jim ($10.00); and slow cooked octopus with kimchi and apple ($15.00).
I am in a serious food coma by this stage and forgot to adjust the white balance on my camera to account for the fact that the sun had set - so apologies for the slightly "yellow" hue on this photos.
Crispy school prawns and soft shell crab are two of my favourite dishes (amongst all my other favourite dishes that is) so I am in heaven at the first taste of each dish. The prawns were fantastic - a pinch of Szechuan salt gave them a fiery hit and a squeeze of lime took the edge of the burn. The octopus was also great - tender with just the right about of bite, and I love green apple in a salad - just that little bit of acidity is perfect to offset the heat of the kimchi.
Now that the meal is over I go off to "powder my nose" only to return and find that The BFF has ordered dessert!!! He admits he is in totally tummy agony from our epic feast but he couldn't go past the mango and coconut bombe Alaska with lychee salad ($18.00). Furthermore he insists that I help him eat dessert. Oh, alright then. My favourite part of this dish was the dehydrated lychee - it was sweet, crunchy and tasted a bit like a solid form of fairy floss.
Glass Brasserie is on Level 2 of the Hilton Hotel - 488 George Street, Sydney. Phone them on 9265-6068.