|Woodfired sourdough bread and butter from Pei Modern at Four Seasons Hotel, George Street, Sydney|
|Pei Modern dining room|
|Domaine de la Tour du Bon Bandol|
For a sizeable group sharing a large proportion of the entire menu, the sommelier did well in pouring the Domaine de la Tour du Bon Bandol white wine, which matched exceptionally to a broad range of starters.
|Clyde River rock oysters|
There's no better place to start than with "Some raw"; namely the simply stunning specimens of Sydney rock oysters from the Clyde River on the NSW south coast. These Sydney rocks were just outstanding; so fresh, creamy and packed with flavour.
I couldn't comment on the vinaigrette as a few drops of lemon were all I needed for oyster heaven before I started to worry that there was no way the rest of the meal could reach the heights of the oysters.
|Culatello 'King of prosciutto'|
The culatello was thoroughly satisfying in both texture and flavour. Cut thin, but not too thin, with a slight edge of fat and some marbling, it had a real creamy, melt-in-the mouth characteristic and none of the stringiness you sometimes get with normal prosciutto. Personally, I didn't need the pickled pear although it made for a unique partner to the dish.
|Anchovy, parmesan shortbread|
There was something quite striking about the simple presentation of the anchovies as a snack, and then palate-wise too with the major hit of salt from the anchovy which I found a little overwhelming with its cheesy accompaniments.
|Beef tartare, local sea urchin, horseradish on toast|
I adored the velvety texture of the well seasoned raw beef which was piled generously onto the toast thin, though I'm still yet to appreciate sea urchin and its rather alkaline-y flavour.
|Young dandelion, blood orange, bronze fennel|
Crisp and slightly bitter, the dandelion leaves were paired with sweet blood orange slices and segments and topped with bronze fennel fronds in a very modern, very Australian and very sustainable dish.
|La Luna goat cheese custard with asparagus|
|Burrata, Romanesco, egg yolk jam|
The stretchy, cream-filled cheese was an utter delight and anything but subtle, made only prettier and more desirable with its playmates of green Romanesco broccoli and a vibrant egg yolk with jam-like consistency.
|Salt cod croquettes|
|Tiger prawns and slow cooked pineapple|
|Ricotta dumplings, kale, hazelnuts|
The large, soft pillows of gnocchi were paired prettily with kale leaves and a browned butter sauce, and contrasted nicely with the delicious crumble of roasted hazelnuts.
|Whole Holmbrae chicken with yams|
|Salmon tail cooked on the bone, samphire and rouille|
|Milly Hill lamb shoulder cooked in chamomile|
Throw in some hand-cut sebago potato triple-cooked chips and it's a party for at least four diners to share.
|Tamarillo, vanilla ice cream|
|Spiced doughnuts, blood orange, whey butterscotch|
|Meringue, white chocolate ganache, blueberries|
|Duck egg sauternes custard and crostoli|
The duck egg custard was pure faultless luxury with the toffee-sweet sauternes, and satisfying enough on its own without the fried pasta strips.
|Chocolate tart, eucalyptus cream|
|Cheese selection with quince paste and crackers|
With quince paste, jam and some fabulous crackers, this was a classic cheese board promoting the very best of Australian cheeses.
Feeling like we'd eaten half the restaurant's menu, the clear highlights were the starting Sydney rock oysters, the burrata, the roasted salmon tail and the cheese selection. But with coverage over both standard hotel fare (read: steak and chips) and line-pushing modern Australian cuisine, Pei Modern is a key pillar of Best's restaurant empire that looks to dominate both casual and hotel dining in Sydney.
Food, Booze & Shoes dined at Pei Modern as a guest.