6: crispy scaled snapper, smoked potato puree, calamari crackling
Last Saturday night, Panu took me out to dinner. It was one of those no reason treats (the best of all kinds of treats) just because I am wonderful me, I guess Anyway, I’ve been wanting to check out Gastro Park for a while. I’d heard so many brilliant things about their weird and quirky food. For me, an enjoyable meal (and one worth paying lots of mulah for) is not always about quantity. I’m most impressed by things that intrigue me, surprise me, things that make me smile.
And Gastro Park most certainly did.
Located in Sydney’s Kings Cross (and yes, the crowd outside grew curiouser and curiouser as the hour grew later and later), Gastro Park has an unexpectedly casual atmosphere, almost bistro-like. With floor to ceiling windows (and curtains if you choose not to observe the nocturnal life outside), it’s spacious and comfortable, and I suspect it would be lovely and bright during the day.
The menu at Gastro Park changes daily, based on availability. They do a la carte, and they also do 7 or 10 course degustations, with each course selected by the chef as they please. Well, seeing as my eyes wanted to order about 6 items off the a la carte menu anyway, we decided to go for the 7 course degustation.
1: putanesca wafer and cured blackmore shortrib grissini
Straight off the bat, we noticed the odd things that food was served on. Rocks, for example. I loved it all, the quirky food and the even quirkier presentation.
2: raw seared prawns, marinated tuna, soy, ginger & bonito dressing
Probably the most “normal” course of the night but still, very delicious.
3: foie gras, beet root, plum vinegar, red cabbage granita
Oh the foie gras! This completely brought me back to Momofuku Ko and their shaved foie gras. It’s one of those dishes that I still tell people about, that genuinely (and I know this is kind of sad) still sends my pulse into the stratosphere. Ko’s shaved foie gras dish impacted me that much. Gastro Park’s came close and believe me, I wanted to lick that pretty plate. The sweetness of the foie gras, tang of beetroot and vinegar and the cleansing red cabbage granita. Urgh. LOVE.
4: swordfish belly, pickled cucumber
All I can say about this is, why don’t my swordfish ever taste this awesome!? Even my pickled cucumber don’t taste this good.
5: liquid butternut gnocchi, mushroom consomme
Tied with the foie gras for my favourite course, these beautifully smooth, sugared almond looking things are actually delicate little butternut gnocchi. What’s even more amazing? Gently place them in your mouth and they pop! and ooze an amazing mushroom consomme. GOD I WANT MORE.
The sixth course is up top and another “normal” dish, although how they make the skin (and scales?!) so crispy I don’t know. I suspect they emptied a bucket of salt on the skin, but hey I’m not complaining. And the calamari crackling (which looked like a fossil) was bizarre. But in a good way.
7: fresh cherries, cooked & raw, hibiscus ice cream, chilled rhubarb soup, almond milk snow
Final course and dessert. Not pretty to look at, but utterly delicious to consume. I was hoping we’d get this, or the nitro pavlova. You know what this tasted like? Strawberry snowflakes. Interesting I know, because there’s no strawberry but it’s all that pinkness and sweetness and tartness mixed with the beautiful almond milk.
The 7 course degustation was $130pp. Worth it? For me yes, because I’d pay that much just to have the foie gras and liquid butternut gnocchi again. But seriously, yes it is worth it because the food is divine and to see it served in such creative ways is genius and I’m always willing to pay for genius
5-9 Roslyn Street
Kings Cross, NSW, 2011
(02) 8068 1017