Updated: Apr 7, 2019
City Tatts on Pitt Street
Photography by Felicity Oswell
Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP
5 April 29019
What would you do if you had access to some of Australia’s top chefs?
CHEFIN is a company that connects them with hosts of private and corporate events, and now they’ve created an opportunity for individuals to enjoy a range of culinary experiences.
CHEFIN has created a “pop-up restaurant” in The Dining Room, formerly the fine dining restaurant, Esperanto, at the City Tattersalls Club in Pitt Street.
This is the way it works. It’s only open on Fridays, and there’s a different resident chef each month. The menu changes every week. There’s a three course lunch, and dinner is a five course degustation menu.
On the night, Tom Kime, who has had a few restaurants, created cookbooks and cooked at Jamie Oliver’s wedding, was our chef.
So how was the food?
We started with Carpaccio of Tuna with Toasted Fennel Seeds, Lemon, Dill & Chilli, which was dairy free, gluten free and fortunately, not taste free. The fusion of flavours, along with the crunch of the fennel seeds, built anticipation for the subsequent dishes.
Burrrata with Grilled Asparagus, Peas, Broad Beans and Mint Pesto was a beautiful, vegetarian, gluten free green dish. The burrata cheese, with its mozzarella shell and gooey stracciatella and cream centre provided a subtle contrast to the greens without taking over.
Sometimes, when crab is part of an advertised dish, the crab is only a rumour, but in the Crab, Saffron & Fennel Risotto with Fine Herbs, the crab flavour definitely came through, even though the other elements were quite strong.
It wasn’t until the fourth dish that we saw meat. The Roast Rump of Lamb with Salsa Verde, Roast Layered Potatoes, Wild Mushrooms, Rocket, Watercress & Roast Fennel Salad provided a burst of flavours and textures. However, the lamb was a bit overcooked and the dominating salsa verde overpowered the subtlety of its flavour.
Three of the four dishes contained fennel, which is apparently one of the chef’s favourite ingredients.
The Roast Pear & Nut Tartlet with Caramelized Hazelnut Dressing & Creme Fraiche was the perfect way to round off a fine repast. The concentrated form of the pear, the crunch of the hazelnut and the thin pastry that absorbed the caramel was a delight.
To underline the experience, the standard of service is superb. The well-trained staff are friendly, respectful, professional and attentive without being intrusive.
The change of menu every week, the quality of the cuisine and the change of chef each month, coupled with the impressive level or service, will compel customers to frequently return.