Posted on Monday, 17th August 2015
THE BRIDGE ROOM
The Bridge Room in Sydney is located within the heart of the Sydney Central Business District (CBD) and is within walking distance of key landmarks such as the Opera House and Circular Quay. Owned by Chef Ross Lusted and his partner and Sunny, The Bridge Room is recognised as one of the best restaurants in Sydney, receiving many glowing reviews and high critical acclaim. The Bridge Room holds a Two-Hat distinction (out of a possible three) as awarded by the prestigious Sydney Morning Good Food Guide. In 2014 Chef Lusted himself was also recognised as The Chef of The Year by the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and as the Hottest Chef in Australia by the Weekend Australian Magazine Hot 50 Restaurants.
Chef Ross Lusted has had an illustrious cooking career, previously holding the positions of Executive Chef at Sydney’s Rockpool, Park Hyatt Sydney’s Harbour Kitchen & Bar and Singapore’s Mezza9. Chef Lusted then went on to become the Head of Food & Beverage Development for Aman Resorts before returning to Australia and opening The Bridge Room in 2011. The Bridge Room serves Modern Australian cuisine, drawing inspiration from European and Asian influences cooked with the best of local, seasonal Australian produce.
Housed in an art deco building, The Bridge Room features an open kitchen with a custom built charcoal grill. The dining room is rectangular in shape and is modern and airy in its design, with a key feature being the hand-made ceramics designed by Chef Lusted himself.
We had an amazing experience at The Bridge Room, starting with some Smoky Bay Pacific (on the right) and Port Stephens Rock oysters ($4.50 each – £2.10), both of which were gorgeous. Meaty and tasty with a rich sea flavour, the oysters were served with a shallot and red wine vinegar as well as a white miso dressing with chives that was fabulous.
A steamed scallop mousse ($34 – £16) was beautifully light, creamy and tasty, and had been wrapped with a slice of cured pork cheek for an added dimension and flavour. Accompaniments included some foraged mushrooms, perfectly cooked pieces of cut scallop, a drizzling of buttery sauce and some Upland cress for garnish. Delicious!
I loved the Moreton bay bugs ($36 – £16.90) with roasted chilli paste and tamarind. The bugs were perfectly cooked, succulent and juicy and paired with some mint, endive and celery salt that brought the dish together nicely. The use of tamarind had been subtly handled and complemented the flavour of the bugs nicely. Also on the plate were some fine slices of apple that added a wonderful freshness and contrast to the loveliness of the bugs. The apple elevated this dish to something rather magical.
Moving onto the mains, and I could not fault the wild caught snapper ($46 – £21.60) which was moist and delicious with a well-crisped skin. The dish was finished with burnt celeriac, celeriac softened in butter, cipollini onions and a glorious, sticky chicken sauce that was rich in flavour and full of umami, and which surprisingly did not overpower the flavour of the fish.
Rangers valley 7+ wagyu sirloin ($54 – £25.40) was wonderful and incredibly tender, made all the more delicious with a slightly charred flavour from being cooked over the charcoal grill. There were also some crispy grilled banana shallots, a smoked milk foam and some crispy potatoes. To complete the dish was a spinach sauce, which was tasty, but was a touch salty. This was a hearty, sound and lovely tasting plate of food.
We also had some sides of Dutch cream potatoes ($11 – $5.20) pureed with Joseph olive oil, and some steamed broccolini ($11 – $5.20) with a smoked onion puree and sweet pickled onions. I found the potatoes to be the weakest aspect of this meal. Texturally, the potatoes were smooth and creamy, but I also found them to be somewhat lacking in potato flavour. The brocolini was really nicely done.
To dessert, and The Bridge Room’s signature of whipped black sesame with white chocolate, toasted sesame powder ($18 – £8.50) was gorgeous. This dessert reminded me of the black sesame soup dessert that is popular in the Chinese culture and which I loved eating as a child and still love today. Only it was better as the flavour was more refined and lighter, elevating it to something rather sophisticated. Accompanying the sesame was some delightful puffed black rice that provided a lovely crunchy texture and some aromatic coconut sugar. Finally some compressed melon acted as a pretty garnish, but which I didn’t think added much flavour wise to the dessert.
A second dessert of aerated passionfruit ($18 – £8.50) with roasted nougatine, passion fruit ice cream was also delicious with its light creamy, zingy and refreshing flavours.
The Bridge Room is an outstanding example of Modern Australian cuisine, with faultless cookery techniques being applied to the finest of seasonal Australian produce. The menu was original and inspiring, with each dish having been thoughtfully conceived and constructed to find the perfect balance of flavours on each plate. I loved the food at The Bridge Room and I thought the service was excellent. It was a delight to eat at The Bridge Room and I would happily go back there again and again.
1. The exquisite Moreton Bay bugs dish.
2. The wonderful scallop mousse.
3. The whipped black sesame dessert.
4. The inventive and original menu.
5. The service.
1. The Dutch cream potatoes.
Food rating: 4.5/5
Service rating: 4/5
3 courses – $93 to $108 (about £43.70 to £50.70), excludes drinks and service.