One email later, I was booked in to lunch at two-hatted (well, it was when I dined there) Assiette. I think I could definitely handle the 'ladies who lunch' lifestyle.
|Kreglinger 'Vintage Brut' from Assiette, Albion Street, Surry Hills|
The $35 prix fixe menu was evidently popular, with a choice from two of each entree, main and dessert, along with suggested wine matches.
Being not too long after breakfast, I wasn't sure I could stomach three glasses of wine. We started with a festive glass of Tasmania's Kreglinger Vintage Brut; a sparkling with a fun and fruity beginnings, and a drier finish.
|White bread roll|
|White bean veloute with duck rillettes|
In the middle sat a stump of duck rillettes; unexpectedly sweet on its lonesome, but making more sense when eaten with the soup. The hazelnuts in the rillettes were in sharp contrast with the soft and silky textures of the rest of the dish; while the drizzles of presumably basil oil made it look like an artist's palette.
|Salt cod croquette with potato puree|
Assiette's was insanely perfect: light with seasoned mashed potato and populated with chunks of salt cod flakes that had gorgeous texture with a bit of resistance. And if I thought the veloute was creamy, it had nothing on the potato puree beneath the fine, cylindrical croquette.
|Pan fried mackerel with pumpkin, feta, raisins and pine nuts|
Pumpkin, feta cheese, sweet raisins and pine nuts aren't the hallmarks of French cooking, but they seemed to work together. While the raisins and pumpkin were entirely appropriate for the salty feta and some parts salty fish, the mackerel itself had a slight fishiness that was difficult to conceal.
The three thin slices of pan fried mackerel formed a triangle over smashed pumpkin and the array of other ingredients, although it all just ended up feeling like disparate but well-cooked parts as opposed to a unified dish.
|Roast pork belly with pearl barley and apple sauce|
The crackling was fabulous, except for the thick layer of fat beneath it which turned the chewing exercise into something like that for stickjaw toffees. The meat, however, just melted - even more tender than the very tasty and homely pearl barley, and was pure comfort with the classic pairing of apple sauce.
|Chocolate brownie with caramel ice cream|
The slice of chocolate brownie looked threatening with its gooey fudginess. The chocolate hit wasn't huge but it was just the right sized slice, while the caramel ice cream started to make it all a little too sweet. I liked the shortbread crumbs beneath the ice cream, and the vice-versa chocolate crumbs on the ice cream.
|Strawberry Eton Mess|
There was more meringue mixed into the whipped, light-as-air vanilla cream and swirled with the ruby red puree, it was a taste of a girly childhood without a sugar high. Happiness, of another kind, in a martini glass.
The prix fixe three-course Friday lunch menu is simply incredible value, and with a different menu every week, there is now even more reason for Fridays to be on my mind.