Friday, 24 December 2010

Restaurant Review: Assiette, Sydney

My team and I decided that we'd treat ourselves to lunch at Assiette in Surry Hills as a Christmas celebration. The restaurant has two hats and when you step inside you can tell you've arrived somewhere classy with tables covered in crisp white linen filling the room.

The normally pricey joint does a three course lunch special every Friday for only $35 that we decided to sample. There are two choices of starter, main course and dessert which I think it pretty good for a fixed priced menu that costs less than a main course on the a la carte menu.

I started with the pork belly served on a bed of kipfler potatoes and rocket. Eating the pork I couldn't quite help the feeling that I'd made the wrong choice. I thought the potatoes were excellent, but the pork wasn't as flavoursome or as tender as I would have hoped.

The alternate choice was the pumpkin soup with prawn dumplings. I didn't taste the soup, but it went down very well with my colleagues. I'm told there was a strong flavour of cumin. It got one vote for dish of the day.

For the main course I had the crispy skin chicken thigh and mushroom rissoto. This dish was hot! It could only have been seconds between coming out of the pan and arriving at our table. It might sound like an odd complaint but it could have done with a few minutes resting so that I didn't nearly burn my mouth! There was nothing wrong with either the chicken or the rissoto, but they didn't knock my socks off.

The second choice of main course was salmon croquettes.

For dessert I had the set raspberry cream with raspberry sorbet and poached peaches. This was my favourite dish of the day. The sorbet had a lovely tartness. The cream was was smooth and rich going well with the crunch of the crumbed biscuit. Tasting great separately we couldn't decide if the sorbet and cream went together in the same bite. They weren't a match made in heaven, but then it definitely wasn't a chore to eat them separately.

The alternate dessert was a creme brulee.

About six months ago we did the Friday lunch special at Marque (a little more expensive at $45) and couldn't avoid comparisons. There is not point pulling any punches, Assiette comes a not particularly close second.

The food at Marque was inventive and fun. It turned concepts on their head. Marque made you feel like you were receiving the full potential of the kitchen and the same exceptional standards as the well healed evening diners receive.

While at Assiette I felt like we were in a classy restaurant, but they weren't making the same effort with the food as they do for their full price customers. I know you can't expect the earth with a fixed price deal, but when Marque do deliver it, everyone else looks second best.

Assiette on Urbanspoon


  1. Assiette is a great place. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and your family, Richard!

  2. It sounds a bit like the place would do better charging slightly more and being a bit better! It's like at some of those places which do The Times offer of eat for a tenner where they have a third rate menu and then sting you on the wine.

    I went to a fantastic place the other day but unfortunately I didn't have my camera so I can't do a proper review.

    Merry Christmas!