Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review : Gotham - CLOSED

35 Oxford St, Darlinghurst NSW

At the Hyde Park end of Oxford St.

Phone: 9283 1891



Tue - Sat 5pm to midnight

As huge fans of Laif Etournaud's (ex-Onde, Bistro Moncur and Berowra Waters) style of cooking (mustard crumbed beef cheeks, anyone?), we are really keen to see what he is bringing to Gotham now that he has signed on as consultant chef.
When you add mixologist extraordinaire, Dane Reid (Jimmy Liks) to the mix....well Gotham becomes a must do destination....doesn't it?

The question proves rhetorical as Squeak and I decide to stop in for one of those midweek early dinners that help shake off the cares of the working week. With the name intrinsically entwined with a New York sensibility Gotham promises much in terms of moodiness and sophistication, so expectations are high as we step over the threshold.

Moody? Check!  Sophistication? Check! However some of the nooks and crannies, fireplaces and photo frames also provide a slightly cosy and intimate atmosphere.

We immediately take to this place. The booths are spacious and look perfect for larger group gatherings, but the lounges and designer armchairs are also perfect for a catch up with friends.
Squeak and I are here solo for the drinks and tucker though, so nab a table in the middle of the room.

The menu is one that is looking increasingly familiar (and welcome) for Sydney at the moment with a number of shared plates to snack on, either as entrees or just along with a few drinks. They are all right up our alley... think Stuffed, crumbed and fried green olives, Pissaladiere, Fried parmesan stuffed Zucchini flowers and Roasted peanuts.


'Uptown Pear'
We struggle to narrow it all down so ponder our choices whilst sipping on a couple of cocktails from mixologist Dane Reid. Gotham offers all the classic cocktail combinations that sometimes you just want to hang with, but tonight we want to sample something a little different. Squeak orders the Brooklyn - passionfruit and pineapple muddled with dark rum, tuaca and caramel. This is really good. While the fruit makes it very refreshing and light, the caramel makes it very smooth and elegant and the rum hits the spot on this crisp night. I go for the Uptown Pear which is fresh pear muddled and shaken with vodka, pear liqueur and lemon. The pear flavour is very fresh and true and goes down a treat.

We decide to order three of the share plates to start with. First to arrive are the Crisp Chicken wings with lime mayonnaise. These look really fresh and crispy! With a generous squeeze of fresh lime over the top, the flavour of these piping hot, moist, slightly spicy chicken wings is outstanding and they really hit the spot! Out of all the chicken wing options we've sampled in recent months - these are definitely the best. The lime mayo actually does taste of lime and the whole combination has us pretty keen to see what else is in store.

Next to arrive is the Pan fried Olive and Parmesan sandwich.  Could this dish scream our names any louder?? It is more-ish. Nice sharp, melted parmesan with delicious salty olives. Toasted sandwiches have to almost be the perfect winter comfort food.

The final one to arrive is the Roasted field mushrooms with persillade, bone marrow and bread crumbs. The bone marrow is beautifully rich and unctuous which combines really nicely with the delicious mushrooms. The persillade provides a warming garlic hit, while the crumbs add some needed crunch.  We are truly impressed by this point.  For most people just a  selection of the shared plates with a swag of cocktails would make the perfect night out, but we are not most people and decide to power on to see what the main options can provide.

I order the Pan fried fillet of ocean trout served with a lentil vinaigrette. After the richness of the shared plates the lentil vinaigrette zings in all the right places. It is fresh, acidic and full of great flavour. This goes really well with the ocean trout which probably has the crispiest skin I've ever encountered on a piece of fish. It is a truly delicious dish.

Squeak decides to go for something a little different for her... and chooses the steak. In this case, a Grilled Angus sirloin served with fries and a beurre marchand.  The steak is tender, has great flavour and it is also seasoned to perfection. The wine butter is deliciously rich and works well with the truckload of crunchy fries on the side. She actually does not finish them all!!

We wash all of this down with two glasses of 'La Vie' Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir, which I'm sure isn't 'supposed' to match with these dishes specifically - but we love it all the same.

Finally we cannot end any meal (as most should know by now) without something sweet. The options are limited at Gotham, but both sound fantastic, especially for winter. There are Warm madeleines with sauternes or a Warm Chocolate Brownie served with double cream. We just have to share dessert this time and of course my penchant for brownies wins the day! The warmth of the chocolate brownie is perhaps uneven throughout which means half of the brownie is delicously warm and gooey, while the other half is a bit dry and cold... but the warm half is amazing which goes a long way to forgiving the other bit. The pecans scattered across the brownie deserve special mention however. They are perfectly roasted which enhance their flavour, but also seem to be lightly encased in a sweet, toffeed coating which is a big, but very welcome, surprise.

Service suits the style of the place, with it striking quite a good balance between professional and friendly.  The food is perfect for the intention of the space and what we find most striking is that it is relatively simple food, but made in a way to really showcase the flavour - which we love!

We leave Gotham already planning a return vist - maybe a Friday night wind down with M1 & M2.... next week perhaps!

We dined as guests of Gotham & Folke on this occasion and certainly loved our experience. If you have had a different experience, please feel free to share it here, or by all means, let us know if you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Gotham on Urbanspoon


Simon Leong said...

i love the cosy decor and those chicken wings looks yummo :-)

chocolatesuze said...

oh wow the mushrooms with the bone marrow sounds to die for

Dumpling Girl said...

I'm intrigued by the pan fried Olive and parmesan sandwich and I love the look of that brownie.

joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

I haven't been back here for ages but I loved our first time there. The chicken wings look super and the steak and chips too. I just need a reason to go .... :-)

Buggles and Squeak said...

@simon Leong....some of the best chicken wings we have sampled in a while, really moist & full of flavour.It is a really great space, very inviting.

@Chocolatesuze...I know mushrooms & bone marrow, how fantastic is that. I love bone marrow and combined with the mushrooms it worked really well.

@Dumpling Girl...The Olive & parmesan sandwich, is really very good. For us if you fry anything, it immediately tastes better. The brownie had great chocolatety flavour but the pecans were the real surprise hit.

Buggles and Squeak said...

@FoodiePop...not sure how much the menu has changed since your last visit, certainly the steak sambo you enjoyed so much is no longer there (nor the duck pancakes either). however the food is really very, very good & certainly worth a return visit.

Jasmin said...

I've only had cocktails here and never bothered to look at the food as it's normally a pre-dinner pop in.

I think I might have to go back for some mushrooms and bone marrow.