Friday, 26 March 2010

Capital Grill, Circular Quay

I always said I'd never do a review/blog of where I work, it's... immoral..?  Nevertheless, I would like to say that I am trying my best to leave my bias out of it.

Furthmore, I unfortunately have no photos because I didn't really feel right taking photos where I work - I don't really want my colleagues to know I'm a food blogger. Not because I'm embarrassed or anything, I'm just not sure how appropriate it is to be a chef/blogger, doing reviews of competitors etc. Anyway, will add in some pics from our website.

Anyway, onto the food. I recently went to Capital Grill with a couple of friends who are currenly living in Hong Kong and visited Sydney for four days this week. I'd planned on going to Sake, a Japanese place in the Rocks but they wanted anything but Asian food.

The girls ordered cocktails, Nic had a fantastic fruity thing (created by our Bar Manager) and Rach had a pretty good looking Pisco Sour - she enjoyed it but I didn't taste it myself.

Having been seated upstairs, we were given the royal treatment. It was a quiet Tuesday evening so the head chef had time to create some specials for us: Obviously I'm a chef there so I knew the menu, which meant that he tried to mix it up as much as possible and ended up providing us with a fantastic 7 course meal. We were also offered a fantastic Pinot Noir that had been matched to our menu (not sure of anything about the wine though; it was recommended and we drank it!)

First up, we had an amuse bouche of a spicy gazpacho with basil oil, followed by our first entree of Sydney Rock Oysters (from Port Stephen I believe); served with Red Wine Vinegar Granita, diced eshallots and cracked black pepper. Awesome - much prefer these to the Irish Oysters I'm used to back home.

Next course was what is becoming our signature dish, having featured in our Telegraph and SMH reviews. Carpaccio of Hiramasa Kingfish with Pomegranate, Watermelon Vinaigrette and Salmon Roe. I'd tasted it several times before but never actually had a whole dish, and it was beautifully presented and the flavours will brilliant, only I might've liked a little more salt, even with the saltiness of the Roe.

Kingfish Carpaccio

Third course, we were sent up two seared scallops on sweetcorn puree with sauteed trompette mushrooms and parsley. This dish isn't on the menu as such, but the flavours were fantastic together, the sweetness of the scallop and puree, which give way to the deep earthiness of the trompettes.

The Fish Course, and we received a fantastically presented fillet of Blue-Eye Cod with Desiree Potato scales, sat on top of sauteed Cavalo Nero (a Tuscan Cabbage), with whole roast garlic cloves and a Bordelaise sauce (not an overpowering bordelaise though, we made it half chicken and half beef, and the Blue-Eye is a fairly meaty fish that can stand up to the flavour of the jus.) Again, everything was delicious.

Meat Course was Beef Fillet from Riverine, SA, with Soubise (a creamy onion puree-ish), Red Wine Jus, a Fondant Kipfler Potato and Roasted King Brown mushrooms. The meat was cooked to perfection, a beautiful medium rare, although the girls would have preferred it more well done. (Rest assured, for normal customers the meat is cooked to their requests, it's just for me that he sent up the meat cooked [in a chef's opinion] how it should be!)

Finally, on to dessert. I was trying to guess what Zac, the head chef, would send up to us but I'd completely forgot he'd been experimenting recently with a peach souffle... It arrived at the table, towering up over the plate, garnished with a fat chunk of beautifully creamy vanilla parfait and some scattered fresh raspberries, and I prayed the girls were too full to eat theirs!!! I love desserts - I hope to develop into a pastry chef eventually - and this souffle was magnificent. For those of you that are turning green with envy now, there is a chance that it'll go on the menu soon, and I promise you wouldn't be disappointed!

Mezzanine Dining Area

So, that's all folks. Definitely the best meal I've had in my five months in Sydney, and one of the best I've ever had. Granted, we weren't "normal" customers so we were treated to that extra bit of attention that makes all the difference, but I am still confident that when the new Good Food Guide comes out in September(?), we'll win our Chef's Hat.

I don't really intend this post to read like a review, I pretty much just wanted to make you jealous. I know I'm salivating just thinking about it.


  1. Did I read souffle?? Oooo one of my many weaknesses, anything sweet really!

  2. Uh yes....definitely salivating. It isn't even breakfast time yet!!

  3. It's certainly not unethical to write about where you work. I'd love to see more of it as it looks pretty good from the tiny bit you've shown us :)

  4. Belle, you should come in and eat there! Let me know when you're coming and I'll see if we can do a little extra - although I can't promise anyhing! (that goes for any of my readers!) :D

  5. love your blog.
    it's cavolo nero - cavolo for cabbage.
    greetings from a know-it-all German foodie

  6. Danke Schoen! Admittedly I'd never heard of it until about 4 weeks ago when the head chef ordered it.


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