Ask me what my favourite seafood restaurant with fine dining in Sydney is and my answer would definitely be Pier Restaurant at Rose Bay. I first visited here as a poverty stricken university student when a single meal here could have easily paid for over a week’s worth of university cafeteria sandwiches. Many years on, I still remember the meal I had there. So when a high school friend announced a quick visit to Sydney and Pier pipped as the place for our catch up, I didn’t have a moment’s hesitation in saying yes at the chance to re-visit.
Over the years since my original visit, the restaurant has consistently won a bundle of awards including the several lucrative Three Chef’s Hats year on year. Definitely proof of the restaurant’s impeccable consistency and ongoing dedication towards serving the best seafood around. The seafood was the freshest I’d ever tasted when I originally went, and it’s certainly the same case the second time round.
Food aside, Pier is aptly named for the pier it sits on located sticking out into the waters of Rose Bay. No matter where you sit in the restaurant, you’re guaranteed a view of Rose Bay – that is, unless you have a late booking like we did, then you’ll just end up with a front and centre view of the pitch black night. :) The interior is primarily monotone with bursts of blue here and there as a homage to the bright blue boathouse the restaurant resides and to draw in the colour of water surrounding. Service as expected is white gloved silver service all the way.
I really liked the Robert Welch cutlery here, very modern yet elegant at the same time.
Cone of King Salmon Tartare
A little amuse-bouche to start off our meal. The raw salmon cubes were served in a mixture with roe, shallots, onion and capers for just that little bit of zing while the cone it was served in was super crisp and broke off with each bite with a distinct crunch.
Carpaccio of Coral Trout
Served with a tangy and refreshing tomato and lime water vinaigrette and a dash of olive oil, the thinly sliced pieces of john dory were barely visible on the dish. Only when you took a closer look were you able to see the pieces of fish sneakily camouflaged with the white of the plate it was served on. Having only eaten john dory cooked, I was nicely surprised by how delicate the meat was.
Tian of Spanner Crab
Served with a scallop ceviche, pea salad and pea jus, the sweet meat of the spanner crab was lightly seasoned with black pepper and contrasted with the sharp lemon marinated scallop ceviche. The pea jus was a vibrant bright green and the flavour nicely brought out the taste of the pea salad.
Cauliflower Tofu & Lobster ‘Agedashi’
Pier’s play on the traditional Japanese agedashi tofu dish was something completely different. The lobster broth was rich and brought out the flavour of the seared scallop. The cauliflower tofu was a little softer compared to a traditional piece of tofu, but a nice substitute nonetheless. The richness of the poached foie gras topped it all of nicely.
Crispy Skinned Murray Cod
Cooked to perfection as can be expected. The skin of the fish was thin and crisp while the juiciness of the meat was retained. The bitter orange sauce contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the caramelised witlof while the addition of the Serrano ham (very similar to prosciutto) gave it a nice salty and meaty edge.
With the winner of 2007′s Chef of the Year awarded by the SMH Good Food Guide in the form of Katrina Kanetani at the helm of the dessert portion of our meal, we were sure to be amazed when the dessert courses came around. Needless to say, we were not disappointed. The carrot sponge that came first was unlike anything I’d had before. Shaped into a sphere, the sponge was extremely bouncy, light and fluffy and had a very subtle carrot flavour to it. The highlight of this was definitely the ginger sherbet – the chef’s favourite according to our waitress.
Something new that I’d never come across before, the chiboust, as I later found out, is a custard made of pastry cream lightened with a meringue mixture and then stabilised with gelatin. The taste of the buttermilk was subtle when compared to the rich sweetness of the raspberry sorbet and the peach-pepper sherbet.
The original dish in the 8 course degustation menu was a Texture of Goats Cheese served with apple and celery, however since none of us were big fans of goats cheese, we requested a different dessert to substitute and were nicely surprised that we were offered a raspberry souffle instead. It was like swapping a fake crystal with a diamond in our eyes! :)
Served with a side of chantilly cream, the souffle was brought out and the raspberry sauce poured into the souffle table-side. The sauce was extremely sweet and the souffle was soft and fluffy, however in my opinion, having it right at the end of a long meal meant it was a touch eggy and rich for my liking.
594 New South Head Road, Rose Bay, Sydney, Australia
P: 612 9327 6561 F: 612 9363 0927