I was thinking my resolution for 2012 could be to buy less meal deal vouchers seeing as I bought so many in 2011. But then I came to my senses and realised what a ridiculous idea that is as it would mean missing out on the likes of the amazingly good deal we scored for Graze in Pyrmont.
This voucher cost us $79 for two people and I'm about to show you what a fabulous bargain that way. Loosen your belts as here we go...
We kick things off with a beverage. As it is one of the only hot days Sydney had experienced so far this summer we decide to try a refreshing Cider. We order both the Pear and the Apple Cider so we can have a taste of both. My favourite was the Pear...just a little less acidic than the apple and perhaps a fraction sweeter.
Lunch starts with Chicken parfait and grilled sourdough (normally $12.00). The parfait was delicious - so smooth and creamy. Despite piling our bread high with the delicious spread we still had ample parfait left over and Graze happily topped up our sourdough supply so we could finish our little pot of gold.
Next up is another incredible flavoursome dish - Five Spice Soft Shell Crab with a Citrus Mayo (normally $12.00). I've heard the words "molecular gastronomy" and "Graze" used in the same sentence before and I can see where that comes into play with this dish. The top of the crab has been cooked in such a way that it has become like clear cellophane and almost has that salty flavour of pork crackling. Bloody good is all I can say.
Another fun dish is the Cauliflower Milkshake with Jamón and Taleggio Toasty (normally $12.00). Jamon is "fancy ham" from Spain in case you're wondering. The Boy and I were chuffed that we each got our own little toasty and perspex carton containing the frothy, warm cauliflower milkshake as neither of us wanted to share this dish (him especially as he kept asking if I liked the milkshake as he'd happily relieve me of it if I didn't. Nice try buddy).
I'm a huge fan of crispy polenta after recent visits to Jamie's Italian and Bloodwood. I squeal like a little girl (rather than the big gal I am) when our plate of Crispy polenta, chilli jam and lemon is placed in front of us ($12.00). Things are not always what they seem in molecular gastronomy and the lemon is presented in a gel form dotted on the plate rather than the pieces of actual lemon I was expecting. The polenta is perfect - crispy on the outside yet pillowy soft in the middle.
After tasting the Chorizo slow cooked in Red Wine, Tomato, Basil and White Beans (normally $12) The Boy kept reminding me I wasn't supposed to be eating meat (another ploy to dupe me out of my lunch). I quickly reminded him that the food here is all sourced from local growers and suppliers (etc) so I'm willing to break the rules for this lunch.
The last savoury dish is a plate of Cape Grim Beef Rump, Caramelised Shallots, Puy Lentils and Pickled Mushrooms (normally $20.00). Cape Grim is a Tasmanian beef farm operation and ALL of their beef is 100% Grass Fed. This means no nasty concrete floored feed lots where cows go to get nice and (artificially) fat (and unhappy) before we eat them. Cows were made to eat grass, not grain, and to me grass fed is the way to go. It's kinder and it's taster. This dish was so tender and melt-in-the-mouth. Beautiful.
And dessert. By this stage I'm feeling quite full but decline The Boy's offer to eat my half of dessert. The Iced Mandarin Parfait with Warm Chocolate and Cointreau Mousse ($14.00) was wonderful, and definitely one for the sweet tooth's. The iced mandarin was buried at the bottom of the cup and was a nice, fresh counterbalance to the sweet, fluffy chocolate mousse.
But wait, there's more. We finish off lunch with a cheeseboard of English Cheddar Cheese served with Crisp Bread, Toasted Fruit Loaf and a smear of Date Chutney. Despite being near bursting point I diligently ate my share of this - I'm willing to risk my burst stomach for cheese!
Graze Pyrmont is at 182 Harris Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009, Australia (02) 9518 5025.