French food – I’m thinking foie gras, confit, tarte tatin. Pineapples – I’m thinking Hawaii, cocktails, Summer. So where the name Ananas, the French word for pineapple, fits in, I’m not quite sure. I ask the question and apparently in France in the 1700’s, pineapple was considered a luxury item. This provided the inspiration for this upmarket French brasserie in the Argyle building in The Rocks, with an attractive bar space which you walk through to get to the restaurant. The atmosphere is great, and the music pitched at the right volume, so you can actually talk to people and hear them. Ananas recently scored a Hat in the Good Food Guide awards.
As I arrive there is no one at the door, and I’m left waiting for quite a while before I begin to wander to find a staff member. It’s a small oops in an otherwise great evening – through our meal our waitstaff that evening are attentive, polite, and well informed, and the restaurant manager comes by later in the evening to check we were happy.
It is difficult to decide on entrees because they all sound appealing, so we decide to try more of those and only one main course. We start with duck liver & armagnac parfait and rabbit rillettes, accompanied by toasted brioche. The parfait has great texture and I love the rillettes, fantastic flavour.
We follow on with a brandade of house salted cod, baby fennel, softly poached quails egg, which has a nice hit of citrus and is pleasant to eat.
The lobster ravioli with the tomato is an almost perfect dish, and I mop up the delicious bisque with my bread, not wanting to leave it on the plate. What stops it from being perfect is the unexpectedly cold topping, I would have prefered it all to be hot.
The only let down of the entrees was the wild mushroom pappardelle with hen’s egg and truffle – way underseasoned and bland, needed a punch of something. You could smell the truffle when it was set down on the table, but couldn’t really taste it while eating it.
For our main course we debate between the lamb and the snapper, and the waiter strongly encourages the latter. The snapper comes with a blue swimmer crab and squid risotto – it’s a stand out dish, with perfectly done fish. (Hey, I rhymed!)
When it comes to dessert, the waiter does point out the eclairs – “we want to do for eclairs what Zumbo has done for the macaron”, but we aren’t feeling eclair-ish that night. I have my eye on the Ananas four ways (chip, sorbet, consomme, caramelised) with the coconut mousse, and I love it, it is fresh and unique.
We also opt for the Snickers Revolution, a chocolate and peanut dish. Beautifully presented; chocolate desserts aren’t really my thing, but if you like chocolate, you will love this.
I forgot to order the truffle pomme puree which a friend said was the Best. Ever. Truffle. Mash. Oh well, next time, and I’m pretty sure there will be one.