18 March 2011

Bistrode CBD: March into Merivale special event – Jane & Jeremy Dinner, CBD Sydney (14 Mar 2011)

Level 1, 52 King Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Dynamic duo in the kitchen

Sydney Morning Herald contributors, chef/owners of Bistrode CBD and Bistrode in Surry Hills husband and wife team, Jane and Jeremy Strode re-unite for one night only at Bistrode CBD.

Thanks to Helen Lear and Phoebe Jackson from Stellar* for inviting me as a guest to the March into Merivale special event, Jane & Jeremy Dinner, at Bistrode CBD. The 5-courses ($85 per person) included a flute of Chandon NV or with matched wines ($130). Scrumptious slices of warmish Sourdough bread and Soy Linseed bread were offered once seated. The first dish of Sweetcorn & Sweet Basil Tart was well matched to the 2008 Champalou Vouray (Chenin Blanc). This ended up being my favourite dish of the night for its pure melt-in-your-mouth consistency and light pastry, nice flavours and sweet slight pop factor of the sweetcorn. The best thing I liked about the Smoked Eel, Spinach Puree & Cauliflower Bahji was the super crispy bahji. I found the smoked eel perhaps a little firm and stringy to cut for some reason but perhaps that was due to a knife malfunction.

The Char-Grilled Quail was unusually served whole and served on a sourdough & marjoram salad. Cooked to what I believe was medium rare I again found it a little hard to cut with my knife for some reason, but trying to negotiate the hidden bones didn’t help to make it a stress-free dish. I enjoyed the flavours but regretted not picking up the bones to gnaw on the tasty bits left. It was matched with a really nice 2006 Domaine du Coulet 'Le Bedos' (Syrah/Gamay) which I’d happily drink again. The Roast Lamb Rump, French Beans, Goats Curd & Harissa was a rich combination of flavours. The knife malfunction didn’t quite help with some of the sinewy bits and the goats curd certainly added a richness which possibly could have been toned down a touch for my liking.

For dessert the Fig Soup, Baked Custard & Walnut Biscuit was an interesting mix. I really liked the smooth textured baked custard and the light crunch of the wafer thin walnut biscuit. Although I was in two minds about the fig soup and thought there was perhaps just a bit too much of it. I wondered if I would have preferred the fresh figs to be slightly caramelised and just a few tablespoons of fig soup drizzled over the dish like a coulis. I really loved the 2009 Mount Horrocks 'Cordon Cut' Riesling though which was decently sweet without being sickly. The layout and décor seems to have remained the same since it was originally Bistro CBD and if you’re a fan of offal you might want to consider the Hearts & Minds ($75pp) event on 24 March or for seafood lovers the Fishtrode ($85pp) might be more to your liking on 31 March.

PROS: Nice décor and lighting, Professional service, Good quality wines, Interesting dishes
CONS: Some of the dishes were a bit of a hit and miss for me
MUST TRY: Sweetcorn & Sweet Basil Tart, 2009 Mount Horrocks ‘Cordon Cut’ Riesling, Picking up the bones to gnaw on even if it’s a fine dining restaurant

Glass of NV Chandon Yarra Valley, Victoria upon arrival

Sourdough bread and Soy Linseed bread

Dish 1: Sweetcorn & Sweet Basil Tart

2008 Champalou Vouray (Chenin Blanc), Loire Valley, France - nice match

Dish 2: Smoked Eel, Spinach Puree & Cauliflower Bahji

2008 J. L. Villa Wolf Pinot Gris, Pfalz, Germany

Dish 3: Char-Grilled Quail, Sourdough & Marjoram Salad

Left over bones from Char-Grilled Quail — I should have picked up with my hands and eaten them dry

2006 Domaine du Coulet 'Le Bedos' (Syrah/Gamay), Rhone Valley, France

Dish 4: Roast Lamb Rump, French Beans, Goats Curd & Harissa

2008 Bodegas Felix Callejo '4 Meses en Barrica' (Tempranillo), Ribera del Duero, Spain

Dish 5: Fig Soup, Baked Custard & Walnut Biscuit

2009 Mount Horrocks 'Cordon Cut' Riesling, Clare Valley, SA

Salt, pepper, candle and glassware

March into Merivale special event 'Jane & Jeremy'

Forks, knives and menu

Level 1 restaurant

Chef Jeremy Strode peering between the plates (probably thinking who the hell is this guy taking a photo of me and it better be good)

Ground floor bar


sugarpuffi said...

ohhhhhh how are you liking the new DSLR? i can see such an improvement in picture quality already! keep up the good work

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Whoa - quail looks MESSY!

Dumpling Girl said...

I love the Mount Horrocks 'Cordon Cut' Riesling as well, I always make sure we have a bottle on hand now :)

joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

Yay, more quail! Although it is always messy to eat if it's not deboned.

The eel looks really nicely cooked but is it small or is that bhaji huge? It's unusual to have the main protein overwhelmed like that.

Julie said...


hmm I want to try this smoked eel xD

Jasmin said...

It's always so hard not to pick up the bones when something is really good and you want to nom away.

Quail does look lovely and messy, but that sweetcorn tart does look divine.

john@heneedsfood said...

I love getting messy with quail bones. Fingers are the best tools!

susan said...

If there is meat still left on the bones I am picking up those bones! That place is really nice, I went there pre "Bistrode" and it was awesome. Would like to try it with the new ownership.

Simon Leong said...

hi sugarpuffi, it's great. so much better in low light. thanks for the encouragement.

hi tina, definitely messy if you eat with a knife and fork. i should have picked it up with my hands.

hi dumpling girl, a few bottles on hand in the fridge sounds like a great idea

hi joey, this one definitely not deboned. i think the eel was small and bhaji large or maybe was just my photo.

hi julia, SRLs rule hehe

hi jasmin, if they didn't give me cutlery i guess i would have used my hands hehe

hi john, you're right about fingers being the best tools for the job

hi susan, i'm usually like that but i'm not sure why i didn't pick up the bones this time.

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