Thursday, July 28, 2011
The Devonshire, Surry Hills
Duck and pinot, two of my favourite things, and a match made in heaven! They seem to bring out each other’s best qualities. We were gathered at The Devonshire in Surry Hills on a chilly Tuesday evening, in celebration of this famous combination. During the month of July, seven of Sydney’s top restaurants have hosted the ‘Duck Trail’ with each putting on a special duck dish, matched with a Cloudy Bay 2009 Pinot Noir.
Each dish on the trail has been designed to bring out different characteristics in the wine. With July all but over, don’t fear if you’ve missed out, because next year’s event is set to be even bigger and better! I loved the cozy, intimate atmosphere of The Devonshire, and would definitely love to come back in the near future.
We started with some bread, hot from the oven (complete with a warning not to burn our fingers from our lovely waiter) which was served with two butters – Lescure from France, and a house made whipped honey butter that was just amazing! It was just so light and airy, and perfect on the delicious warm bread. Then we were served a luscious little amuse bouche of Salt fish brandade with parsley and preserved lemon , which was a great start to the meal.
We had a choice of two entrees, a delicious dish of scallops, squid, celeriac, pomegranate and golden raisins. I didn’t actually try this dish, but from all accounts it was delicious. Our waiter tells us that in order to use the whole squid, the celeriac puree is tinted with squid ink so none of the creature goes to waste.
I chose the Macleay Valley rabbit raviolo, which was served with mushroom, tarragon, spinach and liver cream. It looked stunning on the plate and was quite a substantial entrée. I loved the way all of the flavours and textures worked together, from the shredded rabbit filling inside the perfectly cooked raviolo, to the awesome crispy rabbit belly that sat on top. It was a beautiful dish with some really sophisticated flavours.
The reason we were here tonight was the main course – breast and sausage roll of duck with salsify, hazelnut and parsley. I loved the novelty of the sausage roll, but it was a world away from the kind I used to eat as a kid. The pastry was so buttery and delicious, encasing a lovely, rich, meaty filling. I had never tried salsify before, it seems to be a bit of a neglected vegetable. It tasted sweet and earthy, and was absolutely lovely with the duck.
I had been secretly hoping that we would get to try The Devonshire’s signature dessert, a cute and clever play on Devonshire tea. I was delighted to see it on our menus! Earl Grey crème brulee was served in retro, mismatched tea cups alongside scone ice cream and crumbs, cherry jam and vanilla bean crème chantilly.
I love infusing creams and custards with tea and the crème brulee was lovely, and the toffee shattered with a satisfying crack under my spoon. If you had a little bit of each element together, it was uncanny how much it tasted exactly like scones and tea. Magical.
Many thanks to Kate and Erica from Mango (who are both awesome gals) and to The Devonshire for hosting such a lovely evening. I can’t wait to come back soon to try some other dishes from the menu!
Spicyicecream dined courtesy of Mango and The Devonshire
The Devonshire - 204 Devonshire St, Surry Hills
The Devonshire, Surry Hills