I haven’t been out to a nice dinner without kids for – wait a minute, I haven’t even been out to a not-that-nice dinner without the kids – such a long time that I hardly remembered how to behave. In the elegant surroundings of 12-micron, I twitched and fidgeted and tried to act tres cool – a dead giveaway that I was disproportionately excited to be dressed up, child-free, and enjoying the most beautiful food I’ve had in a very very long time.
I managed to sneak away for this early Mother’s Day dinner with two friends who I used to work with, a lovely mash up of great company, freedom (from our little people), fanciness (of wearing anything other than jeans and kicks), and exquisite food (that we would never dream of ordering with little hands around).
And 12-micron was the perfect venue. Freshly opened on 1 March, this venue takes up an expanse of a Barangaroo building, spreading across what could easily fit two restaurants and a bar. But it suits their purpose, you see, which is to offer their clientele the most tailored experience – from a casual couch drink, to a (more than) fully stocked bar; a long, indulgent meal, to a quick evening dessert stop.
Their menu is suitably cryptic, with but a few words to describe each dish. The waiter expands on this when the food arrives but by then you’re so gobsmacked by the delicate and gorgeous presentation (and um, maybe taking photos of said dishes) that you hardly hear what they say.
Moreton Bay Bug, prawn, crustacean sauce
Yam, olive, feta, basil, aniseed myrtle
Celeriac, truffle, wattleseed
One word: amazing. We were all enchanted by the wafts of truffle or crustacean or whatever it might have been, and doubly impressed when we actually tucked into our starters.
Lamb, purple carrot, quinoa, curds, whey
Duck, beetroot, macadamia, alpine pepper
The savouries are divine, but who am I kidding? We came for the dessert, full well knowing that the pastry chef for 12-micron is non other than Darren Purchese, one half of dessert-powerhouse Burch & Purchese.
Cherry blossom | cherries, miso caramel, milk chocolate
Smoked vanilla ice cream | plum, Barossa Valley wanera, thyme sable
Coconut | passionfruit, ginger, mint
Aesthetically and palatably pleasing doesn’t even begin to describe Purchese’s creations. I mean, these desserts were emotionally healing! The combination of flavours and textures which you don’t expect from the simple names of the dishes – such as the slice of cheese served with the smoked vanilla ice cream, a salty hit that complements the rest of the flavours perfectly, or the crumble, sago and custard hidden beneath the mint foam of the coconut dessert. And because looks do matter, how f**king pretty is the cherry blossom?!
Anyway, wonderful food and impeccable service – just chatty enough, not over-bearing, friendly and helpful, 12-micron is up there as one to watch for the rest of 2017 and well into the coming years. So happy I went there on one of my rare nights off. I think the next one will just be local fried chicken – not that I’m complaining about that either!
Level 2, 100 Barangaroo Avenue
Barangaroo, NSW, 2000
02 8322 2075