Tonight we dined at Emmilou’s at Surry Hills.
I’d heard a lot about this restaurant, from reading reviews of other food bloggers to word of mouth. So it was no surprise to me, that the restaurant itself was an upscale tapas bar serving exotic cocktails and an even more exotic menu amongst a clean and sophisticated Surry Hills setting.
I’d researched the menu beforehand and immediately determined i would be ordering the tasting menu. Partner (+1) has a cold and is irritable, and did not immediately warm to the idea, but I swung him over to the dark side with some glaring looks & a touch of the silent treatment.
The night started well… an amazing starter – 2 in fact – a scallop, pear and puree toothpick pierced delight and a smoked seafood morsel (the name of which I have unfortunately forgotten). Very nice… Obviously being a tapas restaurant we expected small morsels throughout the night and both this dish (devoured in a few bites) the next were no surprise. The waiter was very attentive and mentioned he was happy for us to tell him if the meals were coming out too fast or too slow – lucky for us, they were at just the right pace.
The second dish was the potato croquettes with mustard vinaigrette. Very nice, although for the +1 they were a little on the spicy side, but I enjoyed them. Nothing overly fancy, exactly what you would have expected from the menu item. The third dish was the real treat of the night. Stuffed zucchini flowers with goats cheese and truffled honey was amazing. The batter was crisp, the zucchini themselves were a little hard, but delicious and cutting into them and seeing the cheese concoction pour out onto the plate was amazing. I truly loved this dish (although I knew I would, I always adore zucchini flowers). I should mention… there was a slight weird situation whereby a waiter brought us some cute little sourdough squares in a bowl (of which +1 had a couple, and he put 1 on my plate to be eaten) and shortly after the zucchini was brought out, the bowl was quickly snatched away without a word… we were a little scared we had received the wrong meal! Either that, or they thought we were done.. most likely the latter.
Second to last was the Serrano ham and salami served with pickles, sourdough and a few other condiments. This was very nice, the Serrano ham was melt in your mouth amazing, and just what I love on a Saturday night. +1 enjoyed it also, although he does have a delight for pickles (insert your own joke here) however, just as we were finishing up (he saved the pickles for last) our plate was quickly snatched up (obviously the waiter thought we left the pickles as we didn’t like them!). Sad face for +1. No pickles for you.
Lastly the night finished up with the pork belly. Beautiful, rich and exactly what you would expect, however by that stage I was really not in the mood for a very rich pork belly dish (side with potatoes and aoili which always makes me feel a little ill). After eating half, I gave mine to the +1 to devour.
During this time we had some pretty intense discussions on the topic of cost. +1 is quite frugal, and I am devoutly opposed to discussing cost at a dinner table – especially at the place we are dining! +1 assured me that the cost was for the entire meal, not per person, and I assured him, he was 100% wrong. When the bill came to us (at this stage, we had shared the tasting menu and had 3 ciders and a sparkling mineral water all together) to around $190 he was appalled. I have to say, although I knew how much it would be (as I researched it before coming) having had the meals, I was slightly disappointed. True, it was no ordinary tapas, but then again, it was no Urbane degustation menu either…
All in all, I’m glad I went but honestly i probably wouldn’t go again. It’s a fairly confined space, is perfect if you probably want to be ‘seen’ but not really the place I want to sit down on a Saturday night and chill with the +1. Maybe a good place for a first date if i was 22 again… but alas, dreams are dreams :)
That’s me 1500 calories over my daily limit for the night. night y’all!