Early Dinner @Cotton Duck

Went to Jared Ingersoll’s new(ish) establishment last weekend. Wasn’t sure what to expect but raving online reviews and my previous experience at Dank St Depot (Jared’s famous breakfast cafe/resto at Waterloo) somehow tells me that it won’t be too bad. And as it turned out, it was very very good.

Booked in for an early dinner. Don’t know what came over me when I made the booking. I thought 6:30pm dinner on a Saturday made sense since I normally sleep in the weekend won’t have breakfast/lunch till 11-12ish.

Guess I didn’t take into account a morning culinary trip with my flatmate to the organic food market in Leichardt where I unashamedly sampled every dips, pastries, cheeses, fruits and everything else available for sampling and went over my budget on Goat’s and Roquefort’s cheese, Balsamic Vinegar, fresh pasta and dips.

As the consequence, I was late for my late brunch, pushing it to 1.30 – 2pm start and by 3pm, I was stuffed. Took an afternoon nap to help with the digestion. Didn’t feel like getting up at 4:30pm but the thought of good food gave me some encouragement so I did.

I even got there early! Turns out that parking was a non-issue pre 7pm. I’ll keep this in mind next time I have to drive to Darlinghurst.

The restaurant is pretty nice. It has a cosy and contemporary feel to it. Obviously a different concept than Dank Street Depot. I quite like the artistic ‘plant in the wall’ ornaments and the spiral light fixtures.

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For appetiser we had this mix Canapes with Brasserie sourdough bread and Pepe Saya culture butter. I’m a big fan of Brassiere sourdough bread so I’m familiar with their yummy soft and slightly chewy bread with wonderfully sour flavour. The butter on the other hand was new to me and it tasted fantastic. Smooth, creamy and just slightly tangy, love it.

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IMG-20120114-00616xEntree of Duck Cigar. Mildy gamey and juicy duck confit wrapped in brique pastry and deep fried to yeild a crispy tender goodness placed over a sweet sauce of quinoa, apple sauce & juniper jus. Love the edible flower they used to garnish the dish, very smart.

Entree – Giant octopus with pickles, ‘burnt olive’ oil & aioli. Simple and fresh. The octopus was cooked nicely. It was slightly chewy without being too rubbery. I love the fresh pickles and creamy aioli combination. Not usually a fan of ‘cold’ entree dish but this one I like.

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Hiramasa Kingfish – pan roasted, in Nigella (seeds not Lawson) and Jerky crust. Simple and delicious. Perfectly cooked Kingfish with a nice caramelised crunchy salty crust and warm roasted tomatoes. Feels and tastes pretty healthy to me.

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Berkshire Pork Belly – Roasted crisp and delicious with soubise (oniony bechamel sauce) and sweet vinegar tomatoes. Quite the opposite of the pan roasted fish this is a naughty but of oh so nice dish. The incredibly crispy pork crackling, the tender pork meat and the sweet and velvety soubise are mouth-wateringly delicious they keep you wanting for more. The sweet and tangy cherry tomatoes were thoughtfully peeled leaving the stem attached for a beautiful presentation. This was a winner.

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No dessert but a refreshingly delicious Watermelon and toasted Fennel seed salad provide an awesome healthy alternative. Such a interesting concept combining sweet watermelon flavour with the fragrant and distinct anise flavour of fennel seeds that WORKS! Will definitely try to make this at home :D

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Cotton Duck on Urbanspoon

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