Sunday, 13 May 2007

astral @ level 17, star city

Was that a good meal or what?! I still remember sometime during the night, I uttered something along the lines of 'I wouldn't mind having my wedding reception here' but for the time being, that's totally irrelevant. And anyway, to have a wedding reception here would mean that I would have like 5 of my friends at the dinner table because this place is just way out of budget. An awesome 270 degree view of Sydney though and yay, we met the head chef Sean Connolly! To think that he may have personally crafted my meal! (Too bad he was actually at the next table :( I guess close enough anyway).

So anyway, it was almost out of whim that Justin, Karan and myself decided to head to Astral on a Thursday night. Seems like a handful of people have good things to say about Astral Bar but few managed to mention anything about the restaurant. Justin had his Entertainment card which meant we were going to get some sort of discount (might I mention, it was probably the smallest discount ever...the discount was only enough to cover the drinks!). Oh and by the way, Karan has officially become my new partner in'll even excuse your lame jokes! Girl, thanks for a great night out and yay, we can eat our way round Melbourne in our upcoming trip!

As I was saying, it was an amazing meal up at Astral! Little did I think that tucked up on Star City would be such an amazing place for food and surrounded by such a picturesque view of Sydney. Each course, each plate, each serve was crafted to perfection; attentive waiters that apologised for mistakes that would've easily escaped our attention, some rather yummy sourdough bread rolls and canapes, and to finish off; the cutest little petit fours! I think it was the closest I got to a degustation and really, I was satisfied. Sean's done a good job with the mix and intensity of flavours; he's even gone the further step of creating new combinations which are likely to challenge your palate! It's definitely worth a visit.

Unfortunately, the lighting of the place was prohibitive to photography. Added to that is that my camera is reaching its use by date and fails to take a decent photo in the dark but here are Justin's photos from his phone.

Entrees: Ocean Trout + Tartare (careful with the Steak Tartare - it's really quite heavy on the stomach or maybe that's because I'm not used to eating such a big lump of raw meat) + Tortellini (But really thumbs up to all!)

Mains: Beef Tendorloin (the BEST! I've never eaten meat this tender!) + Venison (tad salty) + Fish (I forget what it was exactly but oh so crispy!)

Desserts: Green Apple Soup + Banana Souffle (Arguably the best) + Chocolate Pavlova (slightly deceiving)

What would've been a flawless night of dining did actually end with a minor flaw. Of late, I've become a bit of a coffee connesieur and I nearly baulked at the sight of my flat white when it arrived. Lots of that bubbly, fluffy stuff which I believe is called froth. Not sure what happened there but nonetheless, Toby Estate Coffee agrees with me. The petit fours which came with it more than well made up for it. How tiny were the macaroons!

Anyhow, the bill at the end of the night is probably not for the faint hearted. Unless you're planning to spend a bit of money on food, I don't advise heading to Astral. However, for something that's just that bit special (loved ones in particular), give it a go. And let me know if they improve on the coffee!

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