Thank you Sydney Festival and Fast Festival Feasts … because of you, a couple of hungry broke kids could still eat fancy for their six-year dating anniversary.
I’ve wanted to eat at Wildfire since the long ago days when I judged the fanciness of a restaurant by the elaborateness of its light features. And the chandeliers did not disappoint! Created some nice ambience despite the dismal weather outside…
Wildfire is offering a $55 premium Fast Festival Feast – two set courses + a glass of chardonnay + a bottle of still water. Not bad for a place with mains priced around the $45-$50 mark! In these tough financial times, one has to carefully evaluate the bang for one’s buck when fine dining.
“Tasmanian Rain – Captured from the Purest Skies on Earth” WOW it was like we were standing at the peak of Cradle Mountain in a storm with our mouths open! … not really it tasted just like regular water. However, it did come in a pretty bottle which I subtly shoved into my hand bag to use for my glass bottle centrepieces. SCORE! Matt says its getting too embarrassing to take me out in public anymore.
Entree: Yellow fin tuna with buttermilk snow, pickled cucumber, cuttlefish, bonito salt and dill emulsion
First thought: “PRETTY!”
Second thought: “This is TI-NY!”
Not so much thoughts as things I said out loud. I also expressed my concern that the main was going to be equally as small because the FFF main was actually listed as a “Starter” in the Wildfire menu. And then I expressed my concern that we were going to be ripped off. It was funny because every time I said something like this, our waiter would come up to our table and ask “How is everything tonight?” and I would reply with “Oh, it’s amazing!” with a smile.
Flavour wise, it was just okay. Matt went so far as to describe it as “bland” but I won’t be so cruel. Sashimi is always subtle in flavour, and the caviar was nice. Hold on…. where’s the cuttlefish?! Can you see it? Ugh I hate when people list ingredients on the menu and hope you won’t notice their absence…
C’mon Wildfire… don’t make me hangry and ruin my 6 year anniversary…..
Main Course: Berkshire pork belly with candied watermelon rind, fennel pollen, liquorice and natural yoghurt
NOW THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT! That is one big-ass chunk of pork belly. Let’s look at it from another angle…
Bang for buck fears officially allayed. This is probably the biggest piece of pork belly I’ve ever been served on one plate… and of course I ate all of it!
While Matt is usually a quantity over quality man, he’s been spoilt be predominantly French fine-dining and his palate expects a hit of salt and butter whenever his wallet expects to be emptied of fifties. He described this as “Just a slab of meat on a plate – it doesn’t give you that punch in the mouth!”
Fair comment, when you eat something this fatty you kind of want to go all the way and smother it in salty broth or buttery sauce. This dish seemed to take the opposite direction and make excuses for the heart-stoping pork slab with really fresh and tart accompaniments. Unlike Matt, I like sour flavours so I appreciated the candied rind and what I’m fairly sure is a lemon slice with the pork. It’s pretty ballsy to put a raw lemon wedge on a plate like this, you’d expect something a little less hardcore-sour like grapefruit or orange, but it worked!
And the yoghurt bubbles were fun too.
With bellies full of belly we headed to Guylian Cafe for something sweet. I insisted we just order one thing because I was full and would only eat a mouthful but Matt knows me too well. You always say that you’ll only eat one bite and then you end up eating more than half! I’m hungry for waffles so lets be realistic and order something else too. The boy’s gotten smart over the last 6 years!
Are you kidding me? I’m no expert on Belgian cuisine but I’m pretty darn sure that ain’t no Belgian Waffle. It was so light and airy and tasted more like store-bought wafer! I like my waffles chewy, doughy and dense thank you, you poor excuse for a dessert. Matt like it though… strangely.
My custard tart was better…. but next time we’re going to Pancakes.