Etch: the new belle

The new summer menu at Etch is elegant and dainty yet tasty and filling, relaxed yet correct. Once again Chef Justin North allows his passion for produce to shine through. The produce sings. The art of cookery is mastered. Combinations of textures, colours, aromas and flavours harmonise beautifully. Food and life are celebrated: French foundations – Global Cuisine.

The evening commenced pre-dinner with the elegance, and in the comfort, of the new Etch bar area. It is known by many, that I am truly a champagne girl! Perrier-Jouët enchanted me. The champagne and the decor resonate of my favourite era Belle Epoque, and yet, Etch is thoroughly contemporary.

I loved it! I loved all that I tried. Yes, Etch is a belle indeed!

We continued the champagne theme into our first entree…

Marinated Hirasama kingfish, carrot escabeche, Champagne vinaigrette

Teasing the appetite, delighting the mouth, the entree was a testimony to freshness.

Local mushroom tortellini, Madeira consomme, sauteed mushrooms

This was followed by Justin North’s current incarnation of consomme. It was my special request. I was quite taken by the richness and depth yet the dish was so light and refreshing. Consomme is the test, like Michaelangelo’s perfect circle, and Etch’s result was A+

Pan roasted Queensland scallops, cauliflower puree, bhaji, curry oil

Truly, it was hard, to guide my hand to my camera before my fork. The sensational aroma captivated me. And the kaleidescope of tastes, textures and influences made this a winner. The Indian curry collaboration was a lovely supporting act for the scallops. Flavours did not collide as they could have so easily, and were very nicely balanced.

Local Mulloway, crumbed scampi, fennel puree, citrus a la Grecque

A truly delightful dish. Mulloway was a moist centrepiece. Light citrus contrasting different textures of fennel was also most enjoyable.

Crispy spiced duck, watermelon, cucumber, black bean vinaigrette

This has wow factor! Duck is a favourite food, and this is one of my favourite all time dishes. Tiny morsels including baby sweet radish danced with the juicy watermelon and crisy spiced duck. Another intelligent update towards a new global cuisine.

Lobster omelette Thermidor

The special request of my dining companion Lorraine, another North classic: smooth, creamy, luxurious, light, delicious.

Caramel date tart, burnt butter ice cream, Earl Grey tea syrup

How looks can be deceptive. My dessert looked elegant and simple. The creamy texture looked divine. But (just by looking) I could not realise just how simply close this was to heaven. Caramel, date, burn butter, Earl Grey truly a genius flavour combination – nothing dominated – all were devoured. I’d come back for this again … and again …

Chocolate and peanut butter mille feuille, Manuka honey marshmallow

And I did steal a taste of Lorraine’s dessert too

I’m going back to try out the rest of the menu … soon …

62 Bridge Street
Sydney NSW 2000

+61 2 9247 4777

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Comments for this article

3 Responses to “Etch: the new belle”

  1. Marlo Perry says:
    February 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    The new menu is glorious! Couldn’t get enough.
    I’m glad old faves like the caramel and date tart have stayed put.
    And just when I thought Etch couldn’t get any better, the bar opened!
    I’ve put a review of the bar on my blog :D

  2. Denea Buckingham says:
    February 13, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    Looks gorgeous Rebecca!

    I can’t wait to try it!

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