But even in the latter situation, it's nice to have some quiet moments with a couple of good friends to talk about absolutely everything - without restraint: today's fashion, your life path, your ridiculously lowered alcohol tolerance, darn young people, love, life and all that stuff.
|View from Tomislav, Kirketon Road, Darlinghurst|
So intimate it is, you have full view of the kitchen in action, especially if you're sitting inside. The kitchen's warmth and activity travels out to the dining area and makes for an enjoyable, casual environment.
We're looking forward to chef Tomislav Martinovic's dishes incorporating techniques of the school of molecular gastronomy, and we see both the chef and many of his kitchen gadgets over the kitchen bench and pass.
|Rice crackers with sea salt and vinegar spritz|
The spray was not nearly as lethal as packet salt and vinegar crisps can be, but instead with a restrained underlying sweetness - even after about nine sprays.
|Butter with smoked onion powder|
The colour appearance was certainly intense, though the flavour didn't quite match the intensity. That's not to say the flavour wasn't amazing; expectedly smoky with remaining hints of the onion's sweetness. It certainly lifted the bread and butter experience from the restaurant norm.
|Fresh shucked Sydney rock oysters|
|Basmati rice risotto, poached Yamba prawns, chives, lemon zest|
The rice was distinctly un-sticky, unlike arborio or carnaroli rice, with separate grains swimming in the sea of butter with a healthy helping of chives and lemon to lighten the load. The large pieces of chopped prawn retained all their crunch and cap off a superb dish. If only it came in a main size without the cholesterol worries.
|Roast Red Gate Farm quail, chilli, coriander, roast pineapple|
The quail was beautifully cooked, pairing rather well with the fruit. The brown sauce was incredibly sweet while the sliced red chilli was more a visual than a taste, like the microherbs.
|Roasted blue eye trevalla, baby leeks, tomato chutney, salted caramel|
The fish fillet itself was apparently cured in salt and sugar, poached and then roasted - which is quite a process that I don't think I will be trying at home any time soon.
|Pasture fed O'Connor scotch fillet, roast bone marrow, smoked potato cream|
The steak was tender and juicy as its pink appearance might suggest while the mango was an interesting, tart accompaniment alongside the very sophisticated mashed potato.
|Grilled Junee lamb cutlets, lamb rib, mint sauce, baby onions|
Most interesting was the lamb rib, roasted with a thin, crisp skin and doused in a thick, caramelly sauce. After the skin and several millimeters of meat, the rest of the rib piece was mostly fat which I just couldn't fathom.
|Chips and snow peas|
|Amadei chocolate and coconut bar, coconut milk ice, chocolate sorbet|
|Coconut milk ice over chocolate sorbet|
Presumably also made of the world class Amadei, the pure bitterness with barely any sweetness was a sophisticated taste, rather nice with some of the strawberry in the same mouthful.
|Vanilla cheesecake, cream cheese, rhubarb sorbet|
There's more biscuit base crumbled beneath the tart and slightly bitter rhubarb sorbet, and the strawberries with basil reaffirm sweetness. On the whole, it's a dessert I'd have fun with rather than fall in love with - you know, that sort.
And that's really the sentiment I got from the entire evening overall. While I thoroughly enjoyed my evening at Tomislav, too busy to take in views of the Coke sign or Harbour Bridge; it doesn't fall into the lust list but rather the intimate, fun and good times list.