22 November 2010

Restaurant Balzac: Friday $35 set menu lunch special, Randwick (5 Nov 2010)

141 Belmore Road Randwick NSW 2031

A special yet affordable lunch

It's very frustrating when Restaurant Balzac send out their e-newsletter each week advertising the dishes of their Friday Lunch Special Menu ($35) because I work in the city but finally having a Friday off work made it all possible to pop in to try. With no booking in hand and downstairs fully booked I had to dine upstairs which doesn't have as much atmosphere but it's still nice. Thankfully there were another two tables dining or it would have felt a little too quiet and weird.

Complimentary bread was first up and then the 3 course set menu started with a well presented entree of Carpaccio of Marlin with Prawn, Fennel and Lemon Vinaigrette. Flavours were fresh, delicate and very enjoyable with citrus highlights of orange. For main the Slow Roast Pork Belly with Horseradish Gnocchi, Pumpkin and Sage had a nice piece of crackling on top with juicy moist meat underneath — the way it should be. Flavours were rich and worked well together. Finishing with a tasty dessert of Pineapple Tatin with Coconut Sorbet. Wine by the glass isn't cheap at this 1 hatted restaurant but the 2008 Zarephath Riesling, Great Southern WA ($12) and 2009 Greystone Sauvignon Blanc, Waipara NZ ($13) were very nice and quaffable and went well with the entree. This was one of the nicer meals I've had at Restaurant Balzac and wish it was possible to enjoy more of these each Friday with such friendly service and nice decor as a special treat.

Other visits to Restaurant Balzac:
1 Jan 2011 - Zucchini Flower, Sweet Corn Veloute, Risotto of Braised Wagyu Beef, Crisp Skin Salmon, Poached Peach, Cumquat Pudding with Orange Custard
5 Nov 2010 - Carpaccio of Marlin, Slow Roast Pork Belly, Pineapple Tatin
14 Feb 2009 - Seared scallops, Foie Gras Parfait, Panfried Ocean Trout, Roast Wagyu, Bittersweet Chocolate Tart, Vanilla Creme Brulee

PROS: Polite service, Well presented dishes, Fresh ingredients, Seasonal ingredients, Nice wines, Good pork crackling, Dishes change each week
CONS: Upstairs doesn't have as much atmosphere as downstairs, $35 set menu only available for Friday lunch
MUST TRY: Slow Roast Pork Belly, More $35 lunch specials, Taking more Fridays off work

Complimentary bread

Carpaccio of Marlin with Prawn, Fennel and Lemon Vinaigrette

Slow Roast Pork Belly with Horseradish Gnocchi, Pumpkin and Sage

Pineapple Tatin with Coconut Sorbet

2008 Zarephath Riesling, Great Southern WA ($12), 2009 Greystone Sauvignon Blanc, Waipara NZ ($13)

Friday Lunch Special Menu ($35)

Upstairs dining area

2 Hats during 2008, 2009, 2010 — Back to 1 Hat in 2011


Sara @ Belly Rumbles said...

I have had my eye on the Friday set lunch at Balzac for a while now, but as I too don't work in the area it is a bit of a difficulty.

The meal you had looks delcious, I think I will have to make the effort.

Miss Piggy said...

The roast pork looks good enjoy to wag work on a Friday and go for lunch. Great photos!

The Book Harvest said...

I usually get Friday's off, so I think I'll have to check this out. Thanks for the tip! :D

fluffy said...

I went there last week for the Friday lunch and I actually found the serving to be VERY small. I'm not a huge eater but I left the place still feeling pretty hungry. Was that the case with you too?

joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

Three good-looking courses there. I don't mind smaller courses as I just eat more slowly. :-)

Zina @ tastedbytwo said...

You had me at 'good pork crackling'. 3 courses for $35 is fantastic value, the food looks great too.

Mona said...

wow!!! I wanted to go to this restaurant with my cousin few months back because there was a discount voucher in Entertainment Book but we didn't go because I lived too far from Randwick. The food looks awesome. I think I should go there one day.

Jen (jenius.com.au) said...

Wow that's a bargain! Trying to find a free Friday afternoon for this now! ;)

Portuguese kitchen said...

Yum the Slow Roast Pork Belly looks incredible.

thang@noodlies said...

The pork belly looks good.. great presentation

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

The pork and crackling look SO good!

I now love pineapple tarte tatin after this event...

Sushi Naples said...

My problem is when it comes time to leave a tip. Recently, my wife and I had a glorious dining experience up the central coast of California. The food and atmosphere were excellent the service was decent.

Simon Leong said...

hi sara, i think it will be worth your while to take a friday off to try it. pretty good value.

hi melbatoast, a wag lunch hehe hope you get to try it.

hi the book harvest, you're lucky to have fridays off. no excuses for you then to check it out. you can see the menu online before to see if you'll like it.

hi fluffy, i think it might depend on what they're cooking. i found the servings were small but enough for me which didn't make me feel too heavy after. i think depending on the menu might decide how filling the meal will be. i could have probably eaten more but i was comfortably happy :-)

hi joey, smaller dishes are probably healthier too because French style cooking can use a fair amount of butter.

hi zina, i'll have to try assiette's to compare their $35 friday menu. i think they might have 2 choices for each course.

hi mona, hope you get to visit it one day. the friday lunch special would make it good value. not sure if they accept the entertainment card for this special though? you'd have to check. although i have the entertainment card too so perhaps i should have asked.

hi jen, hope you get to check it out soon to try it.

hi portuguese kitchen, i love roasted pork belly, especially when it has a great crackling. i could have eaten more of it.

hi thang, i think their presentation of dishes is improving which makes it more delicious as well :-)

hi tina, bring on the pork crackling! :-) wow you're so lucky to get invited to that special event. totally jealous!

hi sushi naples, strange comment for this post but thanks for dropping by :-)

Anonymous said...

The place looks amazing, and that is one of the better lunch specials I've seen. Especially when you consider what's being served. Glad to hear the food tasted as good as it looks(great pics by the by).

Simon Leong said...

hi ehram, thanks for dropping by. you'll have to try one day if you get a chance :-)

MissDissent said...

I get these torturous emails too. You certainly picked a tasty Friday to have off! I must remember to do the same...

Simon Leong said...

hi MissDissent, if they were in the city i probably would be visiting at least once a month :-)

Simon Food Favourites Map

View Simon Food Favourites in a larger map Key: BLUE - Location visit and review PINK - Simon Favourites and places offering something special

Small Bars in Sydney map

View Small Bars in Sydney in a larger map