Nestled neatly on a quiet side street in Petersham is a homey feeling French and European restaurant called Blancmange to which a group of us converged on to celebrate our friend Amy’s birthday. Lucky for us, she managed to secure the private dining room for the dinner on the restaurant’s last day of service for 2009 and we were ushered into the restaurant in style via a super secret back entrance.
Complete with a our very own (and very lovely) waitress named Marissa, the private dining room seats sixteen (though we squeezed in seventeen). One of the charms of this place is that the menu here is ever changing and is amended very frequently depending on the fresh produce the kitchen is able to acquire. At just $55 for a three course (and may I say very generous) meal, this place gives 5 star food at a 3 star price.
Despite our large group, I was quite impressed that the chef was able to send out each course to the table at the same time (albeit with several trips back and forth from the kitchen!). Definitely not an easy task considering we as a group ordered practically every entree and dessert dish available on the menu! Being in the private dining room also meant I was able to roam freely taking pictures of everybody’s dishes. I cannot comment on everything though – don’t think my friends would have been too pleased if I took a bite out of everybody’s meal!
Blancmange Private Dining Room
Fresh Bread & Butter
Don’t know why, but I adore having a piece of bread with some fresh butter and sprinkling of sea salt.
Beetroot Cured Salmon with Roast Baby Beets & Cherry Tomatoes with Creme Fraiche & Beetroot Vinaigrette
Braised Ox-Tail with Soft Polenta, Baby Spinach & Fourme D’Ambert
Seared Kingfish & Pancetta with Julienne Celeriac, Apple & Radish, Sweet Sherry & Vinegar Reduction, & Paprika Oil
The kingfish was very lightly cooked with just a slight bit of pink in the middle. Complementing the very lightly seasoned soft fish meat, the celeriac, apple and radish salad was very refreshing while the sweet sherry and vinegar reduction served to bring out the sweetness of the finely sliced apple nicely.
Twice Baked Herb & Gruyere Souffle with Seeded Mustard Bechamel served with Witlof, Watercress, Pistachios & Shaved Parmesan
My choice for my entree. The soft souffle was contrasted with the crunch and slightly bitter taste of the witlof. The seeded mustard bechamel served to enhance the richness of the souffle nicely while the parmesan brought out the the distinct earthy taste of the gruyere cheese.
Kipfler, Parmesan & Leek Croquettes with Enoki Mushrooms served with an Almond & Chilli Beurre Noisette
Pan Roasted Ocean Trout with Green & White Asparagus, Watercress Puree, Poached Quail Egg & Ocean Trout Roe
Roasted Berkshire Pork Belly & Loin with Roast Apple Puree, Salad of Frissee, Fresh Fig, Shaved Fennel, Apple & Walnuts
One of two of the more popular mains, the provision of both pork belly and pork loin in the dish meant that you were able to compare the texture of the soft fatty belly meat against the more fibrous meat of the pork loin. Always a perfect accompaniment to pork roast, the roast apple puree was sweet with a slightly sour note that was nicely brought out the taste of the fresh pieces of apple in the salad.
Roasted Angus Beef Fillet with Pomme Puree, Red Wine Braised Eschalots, Sauteed Mushrooms and Bordelaise Sauce
Definitely the most popular main at our table (I think a third of us chose this), this was a special main that we could choose for an extra $6 on top of the three course price. Definitely worth the extra cost in my eyes.
The steak was cooked perfectly which went very well with the slightly sweet and rich bordelaise sauce. Accompanying the steak was a nice assortment of sauteed mushrooms of which the enoki mushrooms were definitely the highlight with its crisp texture. Special mention must go to the pomme puree (a.k.a. mashed potatoes) though, which in my opinion has to be the best I’ve ever had – creamy and silky smooth with a distinct buttery taste. It might have been a simple side, but the fact that it was as close to perfect that you can get meant that everybody who got this dish could not stop raving about it.
Forme D’Ambert Cows Milk Blue served with Walnut & Currant Bread, Quince Paste, Fig & Apple
Dark Chocolate Belgian Tart with Valencia Orange Sorbet
Fresh Summer Fruits with Chantilly Creme, Mint & Vanilla & White Wine Jelly
Roasted Apricot with Bruleed Soft Meringue, Almonds & Raspberries
Mango Flummery with Fresh Mango & Lime Creme Fraiche Sorbet
With summer in the air, there’s little you can do to deny a dessert which features mango as its key component. Not knowing what a flummery was, we inquisitively asked and were told that it was a best described as a soft jelly. The texture of the flummery was as described which was nicely contrasted with the pieces of fresh mango. To balance out the rich mango flavours, the lime creme fraiche sorbet was refreshingly light with a distinct creme fraiche and lime flavour.
Vanilla Creme Brulee with Mixed Berry Compote & Chantilly Creme
Breaking through the caramel with the most satisfying crackle (I can’t seem to explain why I find it so rewarding to do so), the soft custard underneath was a traditional base with a distinct vanilla flavour. The sweetness of the caramel and custard was nicely cut with the extremely sweet and sour mixed berry compote while the chantilly creme was a nice smooth touch.
1 Station Street, Petersham, Sydney, Australia
P: 612 9568 4644