Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Etch - Casual Fine Dining with Singing Desserts

Set just inside the InterContinental Hotel , Etch is a luscious and comfortable dining room with classic arched windows, colonial columns, lush floral wallpaper and quirky artwork and pieces such as feathery bouquets. Accompanying its good taste in interior design, Etch offers simple modern European food emcompassing the same passion as Becasse where most ingredients are sourced locally from reputable growers who only use organic, ethical or sustainable farming practices.

Two years ago I had the pleasure of dining at Etch, and I can still vividly remember their dreamy desserts such as the infamous Caramel date tart and the Chocolate chequerboard. While I was overseas, one of those group deals came to my attention – Etch restaurant offering a three course meal for two at an incredibly low price of $85. Naturally I snatched up the deal and booked it as soon as I got back to Sydney. I thought it would be a great place to take my boy to in the hope of luring him into liking Justin North’s cuisine and start exploring the rest of his kingdom (including my favourite restaurant Becasse, Quarter 21, and Charlie & Co).

Cute decors can be spotted all over the restaurant

The menu is well thought out to include a meat dish, a vegetarian dish and a fish dish for both entrées and mains. Both Mike and I set our eyes on the meaty dishes tonight.

Tonight's menu consists of three options under each of the three courses
The pork belly entree is divine - it's beautifully cooked, incredibly tasty, marbled with fat and topped with a crunchy crackling. The crispy prawns are absolutely delicious and the granny smith brings a great balance to this dish. The only part I couldn't quite make sense of in this dish is the mustard puree. 

L Loves... Caramelised pork belly, crispy prawn,
pickled Granny Smith and cider vinaigrette
A closer look at the elegantly plated pork belly entree

Again for main we picked the meaty choice, which is a generous serve of juicy veal rump. Unfortunately we found the edges to be slightly overcooked. The sauce is robust and goes really well with the veal. The potato, cooked in duck fat, has a great earthy flavour and is Mike's favourite part of the dish.

Chargrilled veal rump, Sarladaise potato with malt vinegar jus
If you have to choose just one dessert from the great selection at Etch, it should be the caramel date tart with burnt butter ice cream and earl grey tea syrup. It's their signature for a good reason; it's silky smooth, delectably rich and not overly sweet. It reminded me of Aunty's incredibly yummy crème caramel which I adore. For this reason I recommend Mike to order this dessert (and no doubt did I tax him for that :P).

L Loves... Caramel date tart, Earl Grey tea syrup and burnt butter ice cream

As I have already tried both the "Market fruits, jubes, gels and sorbets" and the Caramel date tart during my previous visit, I decided to get the Brillat Savarin cheesecake. The cheesecake is elegantly laid out with every element of it singing "eat me, eat me"! The mandarin jubes and sorbets are sour and tangy, the Champagne jellies are refreshing with a slightly bitter aftertaste, the crunchy crumbles are deliciously buttery and sweet and the cheesecake itself is the real star: it's creamy, but at the same time light, smooth, scrumptious... it's heaven on a plate!

L Loves... Brillat Savarin cheesecake with Champagne and mandarin sorbet

 To finish off the night: Earl grey served with a charming jug of milk 
and petit fours of nut brittle and violet sherbet, much alike a mini Etch lolly tray

L's Verdict:
  •  Taste: 9/10 (heavily skewed by the desserts, after all, desserts are my MAIN!! :P)
  •  Ambience: 4/5
  •  Value: 5/5 (5 with a voucher and 4 without)
  •  Service: 4/5
  •  Creativity and other WOW factors: 3/5  

Overall rating: 25/30

Etch (Closed as of 18 June 2012) 

62 Bridge Street
Sydney 2000
Ph: (02) 9247 4777
Monday to Friday 12pm - 3pm, 5pm - late
Saturday 5pm - late

Visited December 2011

Friendly advice: Save room for desserts!! And if you are celebrating a special day at Etch, you can pre-order a cake especially made for you by Becasse Bakery (minimum 2-day advanced notice required).

Etch on Urbanspoon

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