17 Randle Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Jumping on the sharewagon
Sydney chefs sure love the idea of sharing plates at the moment like Berta and Duke Bistro — it's like the new tapas — and Chef Warren Turnbull of Assiette now brings it to his cosy bistro which quickly became one of the most visited and blogged restaurants when it opened at the end of 2010. Surprisingly they advertised a deal on Jump On It which subsequently sold an incredible 2000 vouchers in 19 hours. After 4 weeks of opening it was hard to get a booking for the Jump On It deal because they only provided a limited number of spots per day and it also didn't help that SMH Good Living just published their review — people sure love flocking to anywhere that gets a good review, especially in Surry Hills. With finally a booking (maximum 2 vouchers per table) it was time to use the Jump On It $69 deal for a 3-course dinner for two including a bottle of French wine saving apparently $86.
Upon arrival we were seated by efficient and friendly service and soon discovered the Jump On It deal was restricted to a limited menu which was a little unexpected and disappointing so we didn't get the chance to choose from the full menu as I was hoping. Adding to this the entree is already pre-selected by the chef so no choices there either. Similar to Berta and Duke Bistro the dishes only list the ingredients and there's no description of how something is cooked. The entree platter consisted of Smoked eel paté cucumber green onion ($16), White asparagus barigoule king salmon orange olive oil ($18), Crispy quail eggs white anchovy tarragon mayonnaise ($14) and Veal tongue pickled turnip salsa verde almonds ($16). It was a nice selection to start but I was more keen to try their menu special of Crispy school prawns with lime aioli ($15) which was very tasty and crunchy as hoped.
For mains there's a selection of only 3 dishes for Jump On It customers. The Castricum lamb shoulder cumin honey baby carrots ($24) was tender and very flavoursome although unfortunately had too much fatty bits throughout making much of it quite unappealing. Good flavours were also in the Spiced pumpkin marinated feta honey walnuts ($16) and Hiramasa Kingfish miso radish salad eggplant ($20). As an additional dish I ordered the much loved Fried chicken coleslaw lime mayonaisse ($24). Quite pricey but I enjoyed the tender pieces of chicken with a refreshing coleslaw although I would have loved a bit more of a flavoursome dressing on the coleslaw.
For dessert there was only 2 choices of an Eton Mess style Strawberries raspberries meringue vanilla cream ($12) which was well liked and Efi's rice pudding cinnamon ice cream ($12) although I don't really like ice cream being served on a wooden board and think it would be better placed in a small side dish — and it seems so inner city and quirky to serve dishes and drinks in rustic style jars these days. As an extra I ordered the Coconut pannacotta mango lime coriander ($12) served in a small jar making it a little awkward to eat but thankfully it had some nice flavours with highlight notes of kaffir lime I believe. We were also tempted to try the Cheese platter ($22 for 3) complete with a nice selection of Brillat Savarin Triple Cream France, Fourme Dambert Blue France and Pyengana Cheddar Aus. The included bottles of French red and white wines of 2009 Bondeville Rouge Syrah and 2009 Bondeville Blanc Grenache Blanc were very quaffable and I'd would happily have again. Overall it was a good experience that leaves me wanting to try other dishes on the menu some day in the future.
PROS: Tasty and interesting dishes, Nice decor, Friendly service, Good wine
CONS: Lamb shoulder was very fatty, Under pressure service got a little forgetful about filling up our wine, Limited table space, Noisy when busy, Limited menu for Jump On It deal, Some dishes aren't as easy to share as others
MUST TRY: Crispy school prawns, Fried chicken coleslaw, Strawberries raspberries meringue vanilla cream, Other tempting dishes from the menu
Jump On It menu
Murray's Whale Ale ($8)
Chefs selection platter: Smoked eel paté cucumber green onion flatbread ($16), White asparagus barigoule king salmon orange olive oil ($18), Crispy quail eggs white anchovy tarragon mayonnaise ($14), Veal tongue pickled turnip salsa verde almonds ($16)
Crispy school prawns with lime aioli ($15)
SIMON FAVOURITE :-)
Veal tongue pickled turnip salsa verde almonds ($16)
Cheese platter ($22 for 3) Brillat Savarin tripe cream cows France, Fourme Dambert blue cow France, Pyengana cheddar cow Aus
Bill for 4 people $227 (2 x $69 for a 3-course meal for two including entree, main and dessert plus $89 for extras)
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