From excellent morning coffee, to an elegant but relaxed classic supper, a beautiful cocktail at the bar, and everything in between: Brass Bistro has it all.
This food is right up my alley: stunningly executed French and Italian bistro fare. One bite and you’ll want more. Starting with the gorgeous fluffy and delicious roasted chickpeas as a snack, my first eating experience at the old Potts Point heritage Yellow House, was superb from start to its cassata sweet finish.
And as I’ve been known to embibe in a cocktail or two, that’s where my night started: in the bar. Restaurant and Bar Manager (and Sommelier) Jacopo Craboledda created something special for me. He must have picked me as a Campari girl, as the first of my two predinner drinks – (Campari 45ml vodka 20ml red vermouth 25ml fresh orange juice 30ml) although named on the night for me … ‘The Rebecca’ – was based on the Negroni. Stunningly suitable, I must say. Slipped down well.
And what about dinner?
At the Brass Bistro helm is Chef Darren Taylor, surely one of Australia’s most versatile Chefs with three very significant strings to his bow. Darren is probably best known for his French cuisine. He should be, having worked with some of Australia’s and the world’s most famous chefs.
In the early eighties, he worked with legends Patric Julliet at Le Café Nouveau, Mark Armstrong at The Yellow Book, Anders Ousback at Anders Ousback Catering and Tony Bilson at Kinselas. He then worked along side Michel and Pierre Troigros at Restaurant Troigros in Roanne before returning to re-join Tony Bilson to open Bilson’s then the renowned Restaurant Fine Bouche together. Darren also ran the Gundarimba Restaurant Guesthouse in Jamberoo and his own place, The Burton St Restaurant in the early ’90s. Most people would consider this a great career if it stopped there.
Darren Taylor then joined Sydney’s top rated Italian restaurant, Buon Ricordo as head chef under Armando Percuoco. ‘It was Armando who really taught me to understand Italian food’ says Darren. ‘Its simplicity can be deceptive, small things have to be done so perfectly’ he adds. Taylor had two stints at Buon Ricordo totalling seven years and became an exceptionally good Italian chef.
In between his times at Buon Ricordo, Darren launched Darren Taylor Catering which evolved into Gastronomy ‘the art and science of food’.
Perhaps I indulged a little too much, but Taylor had me from the chickpeas. At the table, the cloth was first laden with a salad with the beautiful bitter witlof (and a perfect dressing). Reminiscing about one of my mum’s favourites, I couldn’t pass on soup. The velvety cream of mussels was perfectly balanced with saffron, each holding their own, neither dominating. More classics, again perfectly crafted as we moved onto the twice baked souffle. Who needs more than one cheese, when a Swiss Gruyure can hold your attention in this way? I could have been a greedy girl and had a second, right then and there. Soul satisfying pleasure! When a classic souffle performs like this, you can’t help but want more (and more, and more.)
On the current menu, I had to forgo other pleasures: Brass Minute Steak (Scotch fillet) Bordelaise sauce, thick hand cut chips; Roasted Thirlmere spatchcock, herbs and preserved lemon; Pan fried crispy skin Cone Bay barramundi, baby tomatoes, rocket; New Zealand snapper fillet, black olive tapenade and tomato petals; Prime fillet steak (cime di rapa) tarragon mustard, horseradish cream.
Are you salivating?
These gorgeous classics just had to be passed (on this occasion, but I’ll be back) as the winter magic of cassoulet beckoned. What a crescendo. I’m still dreaming of it. I want more.
And what of the wines? Brass Bistro has an elegant wine list of exceptional talent. Wines by the glass uplifted the heavenly food to a purely divine gastronomic event. With careful and attentive service, who could ask for anything more?
Well, perhaps just one thing: dessert to complete the evening. Dessert and dessert wine that is…
57 Macleay Street Potts Point NSW Australia
+61 2 9357 3400