Tomislav, Darlinghurst

10 September 2010
by Phuoc

It’s that time of the year again. The time when I turn a year older and get to choose where to go for my birthday with Ant. It’s particularly hard when there are so many restaurants out there to try; for me whenever I cross one off the list, another 3 or so pop onto it. With the buzz going on at the moment with Heston’s Feast being showed on SBS (that man is a God to me), the choice was pretty easy for me as I wanted to check out Tomislav. Chef Tomislav Martinovic has worked with Matt Moran, Guillaume Brahimi and Heston Blumenthal.

Molecular gastronomy. I love those words; it combines my two passions in life together in an edible form. Although you won’t see Tomislav using liquid nitrogen, dry ice or various gases in his kitchen like Heston. Molecular gastronomy is the study of the chemical and physical aspects that occurs during the cooking process. It involves transforming culinary experiences into something new and unheard/unthought of and dealing with the sensory phenomena associated with the pleasure of eating.

We start the night off with some Grilled Tasmanian Salmon on wafer-thin toast served with wasabi crumbs ($12 for 4 pieces). The salmon pieces were lightly grilled and simply melted in your mouth. Although it may look like a lot of wasabi crumbs, don’t be alarmed as the taste of wasabi (thankfully) was very subtle; the interesting thing with these crumbs was they fact that they initially looked crumbly but after a while, they kinda melted into a foamy and creamy mixture.

We couldn’t pass up having the freshly shucked Sydney Rock Oysters served with lemon ice and soy dressing ($24/dozen). The feature of the lemon ice was light and refreshing and a perfect accompaniment to these plump oysters.

When we finished off the oysters, Ant thought that the white stuff sitting underneath the oysters was the lemon ice so what did he do? He scooped up a chunk of the “lemon ice” (I don’t know why I didn’t stop him) and he placed that into his mouth… The look on his face was hilarious! Mmmm.. he said a few times. It took him a good 30 seconds to swallow the salt. Poor thing..

It’s always nice to go to a place that offers complimentary bread. However, Tomislav took it a step further as we were told that the kitchen freshly churned their own butter, which was good to hear as this was the first time I’ve ever come across a place that does it, and I think all places should start doing so because it’s amazing. The butter was so soft and the addition of onion powder had me intrigued, the onion actually tasted of onion and had a smoky/roasted taste to it.

For our entrees, Ant ordered the basmati rice risotto with poached Yamba prawns, chives and lemon zest ($19). It may not look like much but it was surprisingly filling. The prawns were cooked to perfection and very tender. This is not your traditional italian risotto where you expect the dish to be al dente and creamy; as it was made with basmati rice the result was a lighter dish. The little black squares are pieces of dried seaweed. An enjoyable dish to start off the night.

I’m so used to having quail either deep fried or over the BBQ and I rarely see quail being offered on menus as it is fiddly and a pain to eat sometimes but I decided to order the roast Red Gate Farm quail with chilli, coriander and roasted pineapple ($19). I was very pleased to discover that it was de-boned and that the flesh was so succulent and tender. The glaze on the quail was scrumptious; it was your typical balanced asian flavours of sweet, sour and hot (well not too hot). The addition of a creamy element, a pinenut andΒ  yoghurt sauce, complimented this dish exceptionally.

Ant has chosen the pasture-fed Angus scotch fillet with roasted bone marrow and horseradish cream ($32) as he overheard someone near our table raving on about how good it was when he had to wait about 30 minutes in the restaurant for me to arrive. The meat was cooked perfectly to a wonderful medium rare and it comes pre-sliced; this was complimented with the subtle horseradish cream, however Ant couldn’t handle too much of it as he isn’t a big fan. This was the first time he had bone marrow and he wasn’t too fond of it.

I don’t know why we didn’t order the triple-cooked crinkle cut fries as it would have matched perfectly with the streak but I guess I’ll have to get it when I come here next time.

I settled for the braised Murry Valley pork belly with carrots, broad beans and savoy cabbage ($32). Each slice of succulent pork belly had a thin layer of wonderful crackling and I enjoyed the cabbage as it appears to be cooked in a nice, sweet and flavoursome broth. A comforting but light dish.

I had a bit of dessert envy when Ant had the apple crumble with macadamia sponge and clotted cream ice cream ($15). You see, the crumble features pop rock candy and upon every biteful the sounds of crackling would escape which would send us both into giggling fits. What a fun and delicious dessert!

The dark chocolate and coconut bar with coconut milk ice and chocolate sorbet ($15) reminded me of a Bounty bar however the coconut filling was not as sickening sweet though and instead of being covered with melted chocolate, chocolate was sprayed onto it. The chocolate sorbet was so smooth and creamy that it was like eating a chilled mousse and it hardly melted as well. A streak of strawberry puree and a sprinkle of biscuit crumble provided a nice contrast of flavours and texture.

My experience at Tomislav was very enjoyable. The staff was easy-going, knowledgeable and extremely helpful. The food was comforting and exciting. I would definitely be back to try more of Tomislav’s wonderful creations.

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  1. Anh

    I remember reading about this place and have been wanted to try out. Darn! Why don’t I live in Sydney? LOL

    PS: spot your pretty face @ chocolatesuze. ! πŸ˜‰

  2. kristy @ ksayerphotography

    The food sounds really interesting. I can’t be sure that i’d find anything I’d like too eat though because i’m so particular about my food. But those desserts look delish.

    Happy Birthday Love πŸ™‚

  3. Zina @ tastedbytwo

    Nice to see some new dishes on the menu. The pork belly looks divine!

  4. Ant

    I think my salt levels still haven’t lowered….

  5. dogwithabone

    I am absolutely going there. I’ll tell the missus to thankyou!

  6. joey@FoodiePop

    I’m glad you tried Tomi’s cool food, and happy birthday too!

  7. Helen (grabyourfork)

    Aww sounds like you had a lovely birthday dinner πŸ™‚

    And I hope you finished Ant’s bone marrow if he didn’t appreciate it. lol. The travesty!

  8. billy@a table for two

    After attending the cooking demo, now I want to go back for a proper dinner even more so! Looks like you had a great birthday! πŸ™‚

  9. Steph

    Ooooh their freshly churned butter sounds amazing!! Sounds like such a fun birthday dinner, the desserts look so great!

  10. mademoiselle delicieuse

    People keep telling me I should eat here – now I know why!

    Looks like you had a fabulous birthday and can’t wait to hear about your adventures when the shiny red KitchenAid stand mixer arrives =)

  11. Jacq

    Looks like you had an awesome birthday dinner, and I love that smooth creamy looking quenelle of butter – how impressive that they make their own butter! And popping candy brings out the child in everyone I think, I can literally have hours of fun with that stuff! haha

  12. Richard Eliot

    Happy Birthday! It looks like you had an amazing night. Sometimes the simple things are the ones that make me happiest, like an amazing well dressed French salad or beautiful butter. Regardless of how good that steak looks I want to visit, just to try the butter!

  13. Ant

    I didn’t mind the bone marrow and I finished it off, just nothing crazily special, that’s all.

  14. Anita

    Wow! Only recently heard of this place. The food looks very nice. Looks like you had an awesome birthday. Have you used your Kitchen Aid yet?

  15. Sweet.Petite(LikeMe!).Treats

    “Molecular Gastronomy” for me that’s the Holy Grail of cooking (Lovvvvvvve Heston!).

    Thanks for the sneek peek into Tomislav. Simple concepts & actions such as lemon ice & freshly churned butter can make such a big difference to the whole dining experience.

    Pop rock candy (I feel an idea coming on…).

    Sprayed on chocolate (Genius!)

  16. Phuoc

    Anh: Next time you come to Sydney, I’ll take you if you want πŸ˜€

    Kristy: Psst.. A little birdie told me that he will be doing a dessert degustation in the near future. Watch this space

    Zina: Funny that though, considering it’s only been a few months since you last went.

    Dogwithabone: Tell me how it goes πŸ™‚

    Joey: Thanks! Would def have to go back when there’s a new menu

    Helen: It was a fantastic birthday. I could do with some more apple crumble though.. I’m so going to have to make it since Steph has the recipe πŸ˜€

    Billy: You should definitely do it! Maybe go when the dessert degustation is available so you could have an epic dinner.

    Steph: And who would have thought he didn’t have a pastry chef?

    Mademoiselle delicieuse: I hope you get to try it soon. I’m uber excited for it πŸ˜€

    Jacq: Popping candy is uber awesome! There needs to be more of it in desserts me thinks.

    Richard: I know what you mean by that Richard. One of the best meals I had in Italy was a simple Caprese salad, with a few cured meats, bread and marinated veggies. However, it is nice to go a little fancy once in a blue moon.

    Anita: It’s only been open for about 7 months now and it’s doing pretty good for itself. KitchenAid will come sometime this week * fingers crossed * Everyone will know of it though πŸ˜€

    S.P.T: I love Heston too. Oooo.. do tell me of this idea πŸ˜‰

  17. Isis-Rae

    Those oysters look amazing!!! your bday dinner is alot more sophisticated than jorges bday dinner. We were excited by ordering 1 entree, mains and desert i can’t imagine how happy we would be ordering and eating the way you do!

  18. Phuoc

    M’dear you are such a darl, when you become a famous designer I’ll probably be the one envious of you! Those oysters were delish. Yum!

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