Some of my friends describe Ananas as a dating restaurant. Romantic. Intimate. They like to cuddle up on the leather banquettes. They say, it’s a place you take someone to impress. For me, that would be good (if the need arose.) Yet for me, Ananas is the kind of place I’d like to eat any day or night of the week. Just for me. Even by myself. I deserve it. I don’t mind dining solo. In fact I like it.
It might be my longstanding leaning to the French cuisine; I’m known for that bias. But I do love this place: not only for the exceptional food. The design unfortunately is (in)famous for the toilets. I would have like to have seen them (the mens that is – before they were removed – lipstick red full-fat-lipped mouth-shaped urinals.) The design of the restaurant area itself is much to my liking. The Ananas menu states that “the pineapple has been the symbol of good hospitality for centuries.” But more than this, during the era of Belle Epoque (or Art Noveau), the same era used in the decor, the pineapple was a luxury, a tropical import that only the wealthy could afford. In the decorative arts of the late C19th and early C20th, the pineapple was popular and evoked the exotic. That is my favourite period in architecture and design for more than 500 years. So, personally, I could hang out at Ananas just to check out the pineapples.
But on to the food. The menu starts with an Oyster Bar, which also includes Shrimp Cocktail, Alaskan King Crab, Lobster or a Plateau de Fruits der Mer. Enough already? The girls at our lunch-time table did I might add start with oysters. Egg. I read egg. So I had to order. Unctuous rich and full flavoured from fine produce and fine cookery. And although it wasn’t from the Oyster Bar menu, I did order lobster later as my plat – main – contained in perfect raviolo – sweet and succulent, and swimming in a classical bisque style jus.
And if I’m a sucker for a fine French restaurant, I’m just as much a sucker for a beautiful eclair. This one was just that salt caramel, light yet buttery choux pastry wrapped around the indulgent filling. If that wasn’t enough, I put my second stomach into gear so I could try the other desserts on the table. I couldn’t resist. The lemon treat was sublime, not too sweet with just enough tang to tickle. Smooth. Silky. Irresistable. As was the chocolate, and the cocktail. Irresistable. Ah, now I understand why I am single. I wouldn’t want to share.
Oh and gosh, by the way, I did finish my day with more: an Ananas cocktail. And I did manage to get you the Absolutely Ananas recipe. Cheers!
Ananas Bar & Brasserie
18 Argyle Street, The Rocks Sydney NSW Australia
+61 2 9259 5668