Tuesday, March 20, 2012


65 Ocean Street
Woollahra, NSW 2025
Tel: +61 (02) 8388 8688
Website: http://www.chiswickrestaurant.com.au/

I’ve seen a whole lot of Matt Moran on TV but have never tried the food at his restaurants. However, when I learnt about the impending opening of Chiswick, I got excited. The menu isn’t fancy but what you will find there are comforting favourites and are pretty much the kind of food you could have all the time, again and again. And that was enough to catch my attention. You see, as much as I like to wine and dine at the fancy places, I love a casual place where I can just enjoy the food (especially over lunch) and the atmosphere with good friends. And I think Chiswick fits the bill here.

Situated in the "high end" suburb of Woollahra, Chiswick is housed in a beautiful space. I loved the décor around the place because it just made it all the more cosy and inviting. It’s a perfect place for a lunch date really especially when the weather is perfect outdoors. Just outside of the dining room is a garden where vegetables are grown and harvested for the kitchen’s use. At Chiswick however, it’s not all about the greens. I had my eye on many items on the menu but seeing that there were too many of what I wanted to try, I had to leave some for the next time. (Yes, I’m saying it here first, a return visit is definitely in the cards.) The dishes we had were all prepared well although they weren’t perfect in all fronts.

 Veal Slider "vitello tonnato"

The veal sliders were delicious. The bun was soft, the veal patty was tasty and I loved the use of vitello tonnato with anchovies as a sauce to bind everything together. R thought that the tomatoes were a little too tart for the dish but enjoyed it anyhow. The butter milk chicken was pretty enjoyable as well. It wasn’t by any means a mind-blowingly good dish but it was executed well. The meat was well marinated and tasty, there was a nice little crisp as promised and I think the harissa mayonnaise was a delicious sauce for the dish.

Crisp Butter Milk Chicken, Cabbage, Harissa, Mayonnaise

Char Grilled Scallops, Artichokes, Burnt Butter, Tarragon

We were a little disappointed when the scallops arrived at our table. It looked good but it also looked very very small. And for $20, I certainly was expecting slightly more than 3 scallops on a plate. Having said that though, I could not fault the dish otherwise. The scallops were well cooked; had a nice char on the outside, the artichoke puree was creamy and smooth and that burnt butter sauce was darn delicious (and bad for me).

Fish & Prawn Pie

This fish and prawn pie was a real highlight. I was initially torn between the wood roasted lamb and the pie but eventually chose the latter as the chilly and gloomy weather outside made the warm pie the more attractive choice. What arrived at our table was a comforting dish. Layers and layers of flaky pastry with large chunks of fish and prawns in a creamy sauce cooked with leeks, fennel (I think) and dill. It was moreish. R asked me on a couple of occasions if I thought the pastry was too thick but I didn’t think so. Call me weird but I usually like the soggy layers of the flaky pastry and not the crispy top. What I wished for was more of that sauce because I felt that more sauce was needed for the multiple pastry layers to soak up. That however, is just a personal preference. Definitely a dish that I will order over and over.

Baked Meringue, Yuzu, Granny Smith Apples

Dessert gave the whole meal the closure that it needed. I enjoyed both desserts actually but preferred the baked meringue because anything with yuzu in it is right up my alley. Whilst R thought that the meringue was too sweet for his liking, I thought that the tartness from the yuzu filling, the granny smith sorbet and apple bits helped to balance the sweetness. The éclair with the sugar plums was a pleasure to eat as well.

 Caramelia Eclair, Almonds, Sugar Plums

Chiswick seems like the place to be at the moment considering that I did sit next to a good looking celebrity and his fashion designer fiancée during lunch. And I’ve heard that you get the occasional celebrity coming in for a meal ever so often. Apart from overhearing that Kerri-Anne’s paid a visit (if I'm not wrong), I’ve also learnt that Jen Hawkins was a recent customer. Place to be or not really isn’t a concern of mine cos either ways, a return trip is in the cards. Next time however, I’m definitely going for the lamb.

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