In celebration of my birthday, Boyfriend took me out to Chiswick in Woollahra on Friday night.
Chiswick is one of Matt Moran’s restaurants and just last night received a hat in the Good Food Awards. I hope this means I can still count it as a hatted restaurant even though we ate there just days before it received the title.
Chiswick is located in Chiswick Gardens, in a standalone building with plenty of glass windows. The inside is stunning, adorned with a lot of wood, white and green for a rustic, country feel. I can imagine it would look even more stunning during the day with the light streaming through the floor to ceiling windows that surround most of the restaurant. Outside is a vegetable patch growing herbs and vegetables which the kitchen uses in their dishes. I like this about Chiswick and it kind of reminds me of my favourite food show, River Cottage. The idea is fresh, seasonal produce.
Boyfriend started with a beer and I tried one of Chiswick’s home-made sodas ($7). I chose lychee and and Thai basil. It was a strangely enjoyable combination of sweet and not exactly savoury, but that mineral water taste.
The menu is a combination of nibbles, small plates, mains and shared mains.
We plan it strategically so that we can try as much as possible.
We ordered two sets of nibbles and Boyfriend couldn’t go past trying an oyster which came with shallots, red wine vinegar and black pepper ($4 each).
Our first nibble was a couple of Snow Crab sliders with lettuce and kewpie mayonnaise ($9 each). The portions were quite generous and the crab patties were juicy and delicious. Overall with the kewpie mayonnaise and lettuce on a mini brioche bun, these Snow Crab sliders were certainly something to write home about.
Our next nibble was a bowl of popcorn prawn with jalapenos sauce and iceberg lettuce ($13). This was also incredibly generous. I reckon there was about 15 pieces in there and we definitely could have shared them with another couple of people. We did manage to finish it off – it was too tasty to leave behind.
For our second course, we ordered a couple of small plates.
First to arrive was crisp butter milk chicken with cabbage, harissa and mayonnaise ($22). I’ve never had butter milk chicken before and I think this dish was my favourite of the evening. The chicken was incredibly flavoursome, tender and juicy on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside. It tasted even more delicious with the cabbage, harissa and mayonnaise piled onto my forkful.
Our second share plate was pulled veal ravioli with soy beans, cornichons and shiso ($22).
This was a unique but tasty flavour combination and the veal inside the ravioli was melt-in-your-mouth incredible.
Finally, after all that, came the main event.
We only ordered one main, assuming (correctly) that by this time we’d almost be done.
We ordered the orecchiette with spanner crab, snow peas and chilli ($33).
The pasta was perfectly al dente and the overall taste of the dish was fresh and flavoury. The crab itself was sweet and salty. Better yet, there was a lot of it.
We had a look at the dessert menu but being so full nothing jumped out at us and we decided to give it a miss.
In the end it worked out to be quite an expensive evening so it’s not a restaurant we could frequent but it was definitely worth it and a very special place to celebrate a special occasion.
If you asked me whether I’d recommend Chiswick restaurant, my answer would definitely be yes. But. I’d really recommend that you go in a group of at least four people to get the most out of Chiswick. The share plates were so generously portioned you could easily share with another couple of people. It would work out more economical too I suppose, and you’d get to try a bit more. I kind of wished that Chiswick did what China Doll do – allow you to order half portions so that you can order more to share.
Would I go back? I’d love to see what their summer seasonal menu has to offer.