It was a fun little adventure to head up from Surry Hills to Crows Nest on a Tuesday evening for dinner at S’Age Bistronomy. Billed as Japanese with French influences, it’s located on a corner on Pacific Highway, formerly Waqu, and the waitress told us perhaps long ago a bank.
The space is cool and beautiful, with a clear Japanese aesthetic (it helps to have sake bottles on the bar). The views out of the window are a little unfortunate, the traffic and not very pretty buildings. But settle in, and ignore the outside world.
I think they’re doing a very interesting thing here, offering diners a special meal experience if they desire with a degustation, but also offering more casual fare (and interesting cocktails). It’s a mid-range restaurant, quite inexpensive I think for what you get (and cheaper glasses of wine than most places I’ve eated at lately in Surry Hills).
We opted to pick and choose different dishes from the menu and got to try an interesting range of chef’s techniques. Loved the duck liver pate filling of the beetroot macaron, though the macaron was a touch too crisp for me. Great combo of flavours.
The squid ink lavosh and smoked cod cream seemed deceptively simple, yet the texture of the lavosh and the intense, beautiful flavour of the cream made this a standout. Also, presentation was very nice.
My better half commented on how the bonito sashimi (with smoked soy and raspberry and a delicious black garlic cream) tasted of the sea; I thought the sashimi tasted very high quality. A great dish. Photo at the top of the post.
We had high hopes for the glazed lamb ribs with sweet potato, but alas, it was not to our taste, even though I give full marks to the complicated system set up for the finger bowl and bones! I’ve never seen such a system. Somehow I’ve gotten used to slow-cooked ribs, melt in your mouth, but still crisp on the outside. These were tender but not done in the same technique, and the potato was underdone.
But this dish: what a dish. And a humble side dish too, for only ten bucks. Thrice cooked potato with burnt butter. It was the essence of deep-fried on the outside (but not greasy) and then soft and creamy in the middle. The hint of the guilty pleasure of junk food (or really good fish and chips for example) but so perfectly done, it had to come from a fine dining restaurant. The burnt butter sprinkled on top just made it even better.
To drink, we had cocktails, a Fragroni, a negroni with amaretto mixed in (I slightly prefer the original’s bitterness but this was good).
And a salty sake, an interesting concoction with lime, cointreau. salt and sake and yuzu – but I couldn’t taste any of the sweet notes at all. It really was salty and sour. Cocktails are only $16. A bargain! I also had a very nice glass of organic Italian pinot grigio. Yum.
It was just one of those nights where we couldn’t fit in another dish, nor dessert. But left happily sated after our culinary adventure in Crows Nest.
We dined as guests of S’Age, but the opinions above are my own. In the meantime, what’s up with the Zomato ratings? It’s listing 3.2 out of 5 from 10 votes, but of the 8 public votes on the page, there is only one 3 and the rest are 4’s and 4.5’s. Certainly not an average of 3.2 unless two anonymous voters both gave a 1 star without rationale…