TOP-5 DISHES (2019-2020)
This time each year, the announcement of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list heralds the start of restaurant awards season. Not this year … with the hospitality industry among the hardest hit by Covid19, most organisations are more concerned with how best to promote all that’s great in the industry and support those fighting to come back from the brink. This year, instead of a World’s 50 Best list, the organisation behind the industry’s most influential awards has launched the 50 Best for Recovery project, including an online auction of once-in-a-lifetime prizes closing this Sunday. If bids look a bit steep for your taste, make a donation of just $13 or more to get a copy of the e-cookbook ‘Home Comforts’ with recipes from the world’s top chefs; a very cool Covid19 souvenir. Closer to home, here’s my list of some of the best dishes I’ve eaten recently in Sydney restaurants now open and waiting for your bookings. Please, get back out among it and support the chefs and restaurateurs that are always the first to put their hands in their pockets to support others!
Sheep Curd, Plum, Tomato
I ate Clayton Wells’s delicious plum-wrapped cheese in tomato broth at a bushfire relief dinner at Yellow. He cooked with Lennox, Ross, Pasi, Federico and Brent, chefs as always supporting those in need. Yellow, Automata, Firedoor, Café Paci, and Restaurant Leo are all open again.
Mozzarella in Carrozza
What’s not to love about stretchy molten mozzarella deep-fried in a crisp crumb coating? Add some basil, anchovy, lemon and salt, and I’m in heaven! Pasi Petanen baked his way admirably through the crisis, now I’m so glad his full menu’s back and I can get more of this!
Black Pasta with Seafood
When Lucio’s pivoted to takeaway and discovered their legendary black handkerchief pasta didn’t travel well, they reinvented it as fettucine with the same delicious frutti di mare sauce. Who knew it would be even better, especially with a sprinkling of lemon crumbs? Innovation out of adversity!
Hot Sweet Sour Prawns
I love the contrast of hot and cold foods together – like Ajoy Joshi’s juicy hot, sweet, sour prawns on crisp lettuce (for wrapping) sprinkled with fried curry leaves. I also love the way Ajoy and his wife Meera have fed those in need throughout the darkest days of Covid19.
It may be over 12 months since I had this simple dish of pasta and beans at Beppi’s … but I haven’t stopped thinking about it since! Simple yes, but when done well it’s sublime! I’m so pleased to see Sydney’s oldest continually operating restaurant reopened for business!