Tag Archives: The Rocks

Ananas Bar and Brasserie, The Rocks, Sydney

029French 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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018035Ananas Bar & Brasserie, 18 Argle St, The Rocks, ph (02) 9259 5668

http://www.ananas.com.au
Ananas Bar & Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Sake, The Rocks

Where was modern Japanese before Sake entered the Sydney dining scene? Its hard to believe its only been around since 2009, and its a favourite of mine.  The rich wood of the room, the often buzzing atmosphere, only add to the great Japanese that will be delivered by warm and friendly staff. I’ve been here several times and have had a good experience each time.

On the menu that day:

 Snapper Sashimi with sesame seeds, chives, yuzu juice and white soy dressing. Simple and beautiful.  You can rely on all sashimi and sushi dishes at Sake to be excellent.

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 Tokatsu cups – panko fried pork belly with lettuce, mustard miso, and Japanese barbeque sauce. I’m not sure why I haven’t ordered these before, they were fantastic.  Rich pork balanced by the fresh crisp lettuce.

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Prawn dumplings with spicy ponzu.  Always a fan of their dumplings.  Reminiscent of the ones at sushi-e, which is no surprise considering thats where Shaun Presland came from.

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 Chirashi Salad – Yuzu dressed sashimi, thin noodlels, sushi omlette, fish roe, daikon tsuma and tempura crunch.  This salad is a staple when we go to Sake.

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Wagyu Teriyaki wiith buckwheat and shiitake with yakiniku sauce – good if you need a meat hit, alternatively there are skewers.

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Popcorn shrimp – tempura prawns with a creamy spicy sauce.  A very rich dish and is probably best shared between four.

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Great Japanese in great surrounds. The only thing I will say is that the food came out too quickly – a little more pacing would have been good.

They also have some nice private rooms and banquets available for groups. 

Sake Restaurant and Bar, 12 Argyle St, The Rocks, ph (02) 9259 5656

Saké Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon