80 Pyrmont Street
Lunch: Fri 12pm - 3pm
Dinner: Tue - Sun 5.30pm - 11pm
Ever since we starting reading about the grand plans for Star City, we have been looking forward to its opening, hoping for a dining precinct similiar to Crown Casino in Melbourne. We certainly felt as though we were getting our wish, when we heard David Chang & Teage Ezard had jumped on board & were both opening restaurants at the newly named 'The Star'.
As soon as bookings opened for BLACK we secured a table for a Saturday night that seemed 'oh so far away'; so we counted down the weeks, then the days until our designated Saturday arrived.
We arrive at 'The Star' early (luckily), as we do two laps of the casino before we actually find the restaurant.
The restaurant's timber facade is warm & inviting, the room with its dark tones feels comfortable, with large well spaced tables, with most facing the wall of glass looking out onto the harbour.
We are lucky indeed to score a table right beside the window as we watch day, slowly turn to night.
We kick things off with a couple of cocktails, while we look over the extensive menu. It all looks fabulous & we have very high hopes.
With arrival of a tiny loaf of bread, unsalted butter & black salt we begin our journey. While we enjoy the bread with its lashings of creamy butter & sprinkling of salt, we both agree that the sweet brioche style bread, to us, is not as satisfying as a sourdough.
Our entrees arrive soon enough & Buggles begins with Prawns, ocean water poached, shellfish veloute, nashi pear, radish, coral sauce ($26). The prawns are big, meaty and spectacular, the accompanying salad is crunchy with a very zingy dressing. The dish has a good hit of citrus and is really fresh and delicious.
As I love both egg and potato, I really can't go past the Organic Farm Egg, potato cream, black truffles, iberico ham, herb salad ($34). The egg is encased in a cage of brik pastry, which is thin, crispy and almost dissolves in the mouth. The egg is cooked to perfection & has a wonderfully oozy yolk, it is so rich and creamy. The dish is very well seasoned and the iberico gives it a wonderful salty kick; but I have to admit I am not as blown away with this dish as I thought I would be. I would even go as far as to say I prefer Buggles' prawn dish....and I don't eat prawns!
Next we both go for steak, all steaks at BLACK are sous-vide and then finished on the grill.
Buggles goes with the Grain Fed Angus Scotch fillet ($65) 350g, with the addition of the lobster bearnaise. The steak is beautifully cooked and very well seasoned, however, there is no real flavour to the meat itself, maybe it is because we are used to eating grass fed beef, which to us seems to have a greater depth of flavour. This steak however, is very tender & enjoyable nonetheless. The sauce is quite understated for a bearnaise, but perhaps this is deliberate so as not to overwhelm the pieces of lobster throughout.
I order Rumpcap of Grain fed wagyu MBS 9+ ($75) 250g, and just because the steak itself isn't rich enough, I top it with truffle butter. My steak has great flavour, is tender & most delicious; the truffle butter is abundant & very good, but I would have loved just a tiny bit more truffle flavour to come through....a minor complaint though.
We order two sides to go along with our steaks. A salad of watercress, apple, celery, walnut, blue cheese; contains more lettuce than watercress & what cress there is seems to be mainly stalks. The apple is good and adds nice crunch, there are certainly not enough walnuts and the blue cheese is very understated.
The rosemary and salt handcut chips on the other hand are quite spectacular, if a little too oily at times....still we knock these off no problem.
Full to the brim we soldier on & order dessert.
Apple Pound Cake Calvados ice cream, walnut crumble, golden raisin syrup is the highlight of Buggles' meal. The cake is very moist and light, the apple really tart while the raisins are sweet and very plump having soaked up the golden syrup, they work incredibly well with the rich, creamy ice cream.
Lemon Curd Citrus shortbread, candied endive, liquorice, pink grapefruit has my name written all over it & it doesn't let me down. The generous mound of lush, citrusy curd sits atop a beautifully crumbly, buttery shortbread, which is to die for.
The candied endive is a real surprise & adds an almost bitter sweetness to the dish, which is complemented by the flecks of liqourice throughout. A truly wonderful end to the meal.
We find the service at BLACK to be hit & miss. Our main waitress seems, at best, disinterested, as she goes through the motions of asking about our dishes. The drinks waiters on the other hand, are very good & one in particular (who goes to great lengths to explain my Brooklyn Lager to me) is incredibly knowledgeable and generous with his time.
While we really enjoy our night at BLACK, we come away a little underwhelmed, it is not all we had hoped it would be, but perhaps these are early days and things will only get better.