It was hats off to Merivale Chef Peter Doyle in his 3 hat restaurant .est this week with a change of pace for the start of this year’s CRAVE Sydney International Food Festival at the special event dinner est. pañol
The degustation menu was inspired by the culinary powerhouse of Spain consisting of traditional tapas and contemporary Spanish cuisine inspired by such top names in the culinary world as Quique Dacosta, Asador Etxebarri, Mugaritz, El Celler de Can Roca and elBulli.
This was sensational food with matched wine that was just as exceptional. I for one won’t have the where-with-all to travel and eat at these majestic virtuosos. A lifetime dream would be to gain entry to just one. So eating the interpretations of these masterpieces under the deft craftmenship of Doyle made for a night to remember. Each course was exquisite. Jamon Iberico with pimentos transported me back to La Boqueria, Barcelona as did the Catalan entrance to the night.
vallformosa brut /musa/ cava penedes – catalunya
jamon iberico bellota, o couto pimientos
cuba libre of foie gras
n.v. sanchez romate ‘regente’, palo cortado – jerez
gambas a la plancha
2010 bodegas del palacios de fefinanes, rias baixes – galicia
fresh farm eggs
broken over toasted chicken wings and nasturtium leaves
2001 r.lopez de heredia vina tondonia ‘vina gravonia’, crianza – rioja
banana sorbet, vanilla and lime
interpretation of vanity
chocolate cake, cold almond cream and cocoa bubbles
2007 toro albala don px montilla-moriles – andalucia
cafe, te, tisana y pequenas locuras
Yes everything delighted from the first sip of Cava. Chef Peter Doyle was out of the kitchen and behind the tapas bar overseeing proceedings. YES everything delighted. And there were surprises. Hello! A rum and coca cola jelly protected the precious rich and creamy prize below. Cuba Libre: by some reports the cocktail high ball of cola, lime and white rum was invented at the beginning of the C20th (and perhaps even earlier.) I’m not a coca cola drinker so this dish – crazy as it sounds – took me out with a curve ball. What a stunning combination.
I am a great fan of the egg however. (I even dedicated a year to them.) This beautiful specimen was slow cooked at 62C leaving the yolk lusciously liquid as the white was just turning from transluscent to opaque. Perfection – out of its shell. Again a surprise when the crispy crackling chicken skin encased only tasty flesh in a little square package. Contrasts of textures. Bread was requested for mopping. Not an oozing drop was wasted.
You could have sworn that the beef had been smoked. The heady peaty Islay portrayal was intense in the outer searing and permeated to a lighter tinge within the rare inner treat. As an Islay whiskey drinker this dish definitely got a thumbs up: ‘Like’.
And the ear to ear grin and lick smacking pleasure continued with desserts and petit fours. Lime and banana yum yum – but the hidden treasure was the dulce de leche. The camera captured what my eye hadn’t seen and my mouth discovered buried in the bottom of the glass – caramel!
But I woke up still dreaming the next morning of the very last mouthful that I took on the night. I asked for (and was obliged with) seconds. Olive Oil jellies coated in sugar crystals.
Level 1, Establishment
252 George Street, Sydney, Australia
+61 2 9240 3000