Cool Britannia

This rustic, sort-of English, sort-of French bistro cum industrial restaurant is as creative as Sydney restaurants get. Arras, in Walsh Bay just up from the Sydney Theatre, had our party reeling. I’ve posted already with some gushing about the desserts and petit four, so won’t harp on, but I promised something on the mains tout suite so here ’tis.

The charcuterie plate includes chef Adam Humphrey’s Brit-inspired pork pie (see Brit explanation here), his own blood sausage (including other things he prefers not to go on about for fear of dissuading eaters), a little pot/jar of potted pork, topped with a voilet, and a deconstructed piccalilli, set on a slate platter. I am going to do little pork rillette or potted porks in little jars like this for some quaint little get together when I feel like impressing. Just so sweet to eat such a thing out of a little jar.

Fish and chips always seems like a good idea. And then after you’ve had all the batter and realised it’s physically and emotionally impossible to stop eating chips until they’re all gone, you feel ill and down on yourself for accidentally slipping off some ridiculous and also impossible diet. The Arras fish and chips main is different. It did seem like a good idea, yes, but the grilled mulloway (fish changes seasonally, cleverly), with butter pan-fried shrimp and wafer cones filled with a pea foam and another with mushy peas, and then all vaporised with an totally cool spray of vinegar, was completely amazing. I know the fried things were replaced with buttered things, so am really not suggesting this is a healthier option to the English-seaside staple. But somehow the guilt was not there afterwards, while it still evoked that summer meal. The only thing missing was it being served  wrapped up in a sheet of newspaper.

And then comes the cheese, which rotates seasonally but will generally include a bitey sheeps cheese that I forget the name of. But it also comes with a series of little chutneys and jams, also made in-house.

{All pictures by Kate Gibbs}

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