Like fashion seasons and collections, Cara&Co presents a new menu at the turn of every season. Crafted by Belgian chef Dave de Belder, this winter's menu is said to explore the textures, temperature and taste of winter flavours, with a very fine, very modern European touch.
|Champagne Deveaux at Cara&Co Restaurant, Level 4, Westfield Sydney|
|Bread roll with butter and salt|
The moist cake of sun dried tomato hinted at the Mediterranean with somewhat summery accompaniments of a cucumber jelly sheet and lemon cream; the flavours combining for a momentary escape from winter.
|Salmon at the Dill Academy – Cured salmon gravlax, dill, brioche, lettuce, crab|
Texturally-varied accompaniments included a herbaceous sorbet, crisp air-dried brioche, lettuce segments and crunchy tubes filled with spanner crab flesh; all allowing the salmon to shine as the star ingredient.
|King of the Bulls – Beef tartare, capers, quail egg, chive, oyster|
But it was all outshone by the oyster pearls which were tiny, liquid nitrogen-frozen spheres of pureed natural oysters. Melting in the mouth the pearls disseminated the pure, unadulterated and even intensified flavour of oysters in an absolutely astonishing addition to the dish.
|Lamb a la Dolce Vita – Lamb shoulder, sweet potato, plum, Earl Gray tea|
The slow cooked lamb shoulder, which had a sous vide and roast treatment, arrived as neat little squares of fall-apart meat, rich with fattiness and hours of seasoning and cooking.
It was served with an unlikely partner of plums - prunes and seemingly fresh slices - adding sweetness to the dish along with a puree of sweet potato. The early grey tea-scented veal jus was the finishing touch, poured at the table.
|Slow Cooked Bull Wins the Race – Wagyu beef, radish, pastrami, aged cheese, wild grains|
Crisp pearl barley was a great way to present the grains on the side and add texture while the distinctly aged cheddar foam was a dominant flavour of the dish though melding reasonably well with the jus.
|No Animals were Harmed – Gnocchi, celeriac, carrot, beetroot, nutmeg|
The colourful carrots and beetroots were a delight to look at and eat, with cubes of celeriac (not feta cheese as I'd originally thought) upping the vegetable count.
|Bon Bon Bomb – Macadamia, apple, raspberry, chilli|
The intense macadamia nut cream dessert toys with refreshing apple sorbet and fresh apple rings, while the chilli aspect was a bit lost on me, unless it was somehow in the perfect quenelle of raspberry sorbet.
|Noisette de Indochine – Keffir lime leaf, hazelnut, coffee|
It had so many colours and textures, accessories and main events, all combining for an overall look and feel that's undeniably fine, European style. And don't forget to strut, just a little, on the catwalk way out because, darling, it's fashion.
Food, booze and shoes dined as a guest of Cara&Co Restaurant, with thanks to WM Media.