One of the best places i visited recently was a relatively new restaurant called LuMi Dining. Situated at Pyrmont Wharf by the water, it is headed by Chef Federico Zanellato (ex Ormeggio). It’s a little hard to spot at first but its a beautiful glasshouse by the water close to Doltone House and the Star. Food is a set tasting menu only (at a very reasonable $89 p/p) which i actually prefer sometimes as it saves me the trouble on deciding what to eat.
I wasnt quite sure what to expect from a mix of Italian and Japanese cuisine but the answer to my question arrived shortly in the form of an Italian Chawanmushi. What was initially thought of as a strange combination turned out to be simply delicious.
The steamed egg custard was silky smooth and instead of the traditional dashi, it was infused with a parmesan consomme topped with some raw enoki.
Accompanying the egg custard came a plate of “snacks” with potato focaccia and Cheddar Sable.
I love my bread and my favourite from the snack plate was the soft pillowy focaccia topped with fragrant potatoes, rosemary and salt.
There was also the Cheddar Sable which had a slight smokiness to it and the savoury buttery sable crumbles apart in the mouth.
The first course arrives as the Sand Crab with dulse, Jerusalem Artichokes and Oyster Powder. This was a very textural dish with the crunchy Oyster Puffed rice and a soft mound of sweet crab meat and creamy artichoke filling hidden inside.
My favourite course of the evening arrives in the form of the burnt butter and pumpkin Spelt Ravioli. It was so good i could give up on desserts just for another plate for this. Unlike other raviolis ive had in the past, the skin of this was incredibly thin and delicate. You are advised to eat it in one go because the ravioli is so delicate it bursts in the mouth upon eating. It reminded me of an Italian version of the Chinese Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) except this was filled with a creamy pumpkin filling.
This was undoubtedly one of the best things i have eaten this year and it’s been on my mind ever since i had it.
Following the Ravioli, came the Stinging Nettle Chitarra with mussel cream, crispy pork and fennel pollen. This was basically a carbonara of the sea, with a very rich creamy mussel sauce which was quite strong and pungent. I absolutely loved this but some may find the smell a bit too overpowering.
The next course of eggplant with roasted potatoes and bonito consomme upon first impression did not look like a vegetarian dish and could have been mistaken for a piece of fish. I’m not a vegetarian myself but i quite enjoyed the light clean flavours of the fragrant broth and eggplant.
Our next course of the evening arrives under a bed of green but it was far from being light or healthy.
The meat course arrives with pork jowl, celeriac and buckwheat. If you love fatty pork you’d be please to find that meat is incredibly soft and tender which is what you would expect from a meat thats been slow cooked for many hours. The portion of the meat itself is very small in portion but it was incredibly fatty and rich, perhaps a little too much for my liking.
It was time for a palate cleanser and it arrives as a beautiful arrangement of all things green. The Evergreen is was a pretty sight to behold with sorrel, lemon basil, mint, shisho and parsley. There were mixed reactions on the table about this as it was quite strong and herbal (also keeping in mind its a rather big serving). However, it was definitely palate cleansing and refreshing leaving you feeling like you’ve just brushed your teeth.
A good meal must end with a good dessert to conclude with a memorable ending and this was exactly what the final dessert course did. The last course was the cherry ontop of everything, with milk ice cream, paired with sour cherry, citrus sabayon, milk crumble and cocoa powder. This was another favourite of the evening with the combination of sour notes from the fruits, the creaminess of the smooth quenelle of icecream and the wonderful buttery crumble underneath.
There was little to fault with the meal, starting from service, environment and food. For a very reasonable $89 per head this place was great for value and its evident from its high ratings on Urbanspoon so this is the general case for most people too.
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