The Rocks restaurants Sake Restaurant and The Cut Bar and Grill are getting into the spirit with spring specials for the month of September.
|Cherry Blossom Festival at Sake Restaurant, Argyle Street, The Rocks|
We celebrated Sake's Cherry Blossom Festival in the restaurant's gorgeous private dining room with what look like cherry blossoms growing from above.
|Cherry blossom cocktail|
Served with a shiso leaf-wrapped sakura 'Cherry Blossom' mochi rice cake filled with red bean, the cocktail has a foundation in Cloudy Bay Pelorus sparkling wine.
|'Cherry blossoms' - lychee and maraschino cherries with elderflower liqueur|
|Cherry blossom cocktail|
It's utterly delightful to watch, and then of course drink - light and entirely appropriate for spring, with hints of sweetness and fruit that's hard to reach at the bottom of the flute.
Served with multicoloured cherry tomatoes and a zingy dressing of lime and chilli, there were at least half a dozen dreamy, thick, whole scallops beneath the mass of crispy bits, finely sliced Spanish onion and sweet potato cubes.
|Duck breast with red miso sauce, shitake mushrooms, asparagus and baby leek|
Fresh shitake mushrooms and frilled asparagus added to the 'spring on a plate' feel.
|Sake - an Amabuki daiginjo (left) and Sake exclusive Kozaemon junmai ginjo|
Meanwhile, a jumai ginjo (at least 40% of the rice grain is milled away) brewed exclusively for Sake Restaurant by Kozaemon had a bolder, dryness - which is my preference - that suited the rich duck meat.
From Sake, we walked the 10 steps or so down to The Cut Bar and Grill, and descended into the dark underground restaurant for their spring banquet.
|Tasmanian spring lamb cutlet with sweetbread, lamb shank tortellini, asparagus,|
mustard and tarragon
The sweetbread, cooked till golden all over, was a highlight nugget on the plate while the vegetables provided a healthy balance to the soft, full-of-flavour lamb.
Served with the dish were a 2010 Ngeringa JE Assemblage Chardonnay Viogner and a 2003 Lark Hill Merlot that was a treat with the lamb.
|Fried rosemary potato with prosciutto|
|Cabbage salad with poached egg|
It was so satisfying that cabbage and its Brassica cousins of all types are quickly becoming my favourite vegetable family.
|The Cut's signature cocktails|
I ended up with a rather pretty Zombie of sorts, all sweet and fruity with a floating half of passionfruit, hiding a myriad of liquors including rum. The bellini and cocktail with basil and pepper also got nods and swigs of approval.
|Passionfruit and yoghurt ice cream brioche sandwich|
I couldn't be happier to say so long and farewell winter for another year, and say 'Hello, come here, you,' to spring at Sake or The Cut this month. See more photos on my Facebook page.
Food, booze and shoes dined as a guest of Sake and The Cut, with thanks to The Cru Media and Lindy Thompson PR.