Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Review: Agape Organic Restaurant & Bar

1385 Botany Road
Botany (cnr Botany Rd & Bay St)

Tel: 8668 5777
e: agaperestaurant@me.com

Dinner: Tues - Sat from 6pm
Lunch: Fri-Sun 12pm - 3pm

Our last experience of a restaurant that attempted any form of 'organic' was a rather disastrous meal at Newtown's The Peasant's Feast many, many moons ago. It did not inspire us to give it another go! This is probably the reason we had not tried Agape Organic Restaurant & Bar before now. One evening though, Squeak suggested a spontaneous visit, so we headed out to Botany to see if they could erase all Peasant Feast memories (horrors?!) from the past.

When we arrive we are seated by a very friendly staff member, handed some menus and given some time to peruse the room and menu.  The space is decorated in a way that, I'm sure, is to some people's tastes - it's just not ours. But the tables are nice and big, especially to cater for some of the tapas plates.

Apologies for appalling photos!!

We decide to kick it all off with a couple of drinks and some organic handmade spelt bread with olive oil. The bread is dense, and delicious with the olive oil (although I will admit to preferring butter with my bread).

We decide to share a couple of tapas plates and start with the Potato, leek and cheddar croquettes with a saffron aioli. I'm sure you recognise the key words in this dish - potato and cheddar! Can you go wrong? Not really. I do think I would have liked a little more kick in terms of flavour - perhaps more of a sharpness to the cheddar, but the aioli goes beautifully with them and they are tasty morsels to begin.

We also order the Grilled haloumi, vine leaves, beetroot and olive salad. This is absolutely delicious with some very distinctive and bold flavours. This is probably one of my favourite dishes of the evening.

Squeak decides to go out on a limb tonight and order some beef - specifically the Slow braised Gundooee Wagyu beef with honey roasted carrots, kale, barley, royal black quinoa and truffle butter. Quinoa is really a newish ingredient for us but it is surprisingly good and the beef is delicious. The honeyed carrots add a nice sweetness to balance the other flavours.

I order the Spice roasted Pork Scotch fillet with fennel, cabbage, apple, spring onions, royal red quinoa and sweet potato. The vegetable component is basically a coleslaw, but I happen to love coleslaw and it works very well with the delicious pork. The pork is moist and has good flavour. 

Naturally we do require some hand cut chips to accompany the meal, and the accompanying home made tomato sauce is really good.

Dessert beckons and we are disappointed to see that on this particular evening the dessert menu is rather truncated compared to the one we spied online and is missing the very objects of our desire. With stiff upper lips, we trudge on and manage to find other things to satisfy the sweet craving to finalise the meal.

Squeak orders the Honey, Cinnamon and Vanilla brulee with almond biscotti.
She finds it rich and creamy as brulee should be. The honey and cinnamon flavours are certainly there, but do not overpower the dish. The almond biscotti are short, buttery, nutty and all round yummy.

I can rarely go past any dessert that mentions apple and butterscotch so cannot go past the Upside down apple and spelt cake, butterscotch  and cinnamon icecream. It is true comfort food and even though it seems like it will be a heavy end to the meal, it really isn't.

We really enjoy our evening at Agape. Firstly because it was a spontaneous visit - and they are always good, but secondly because it manages to make us forget that it is organic and we just enjoy good (guilt free?) food.

Agape Organic Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Simon Leong said...

i've been wanting to try this restaurant since spotting their stand at MasterChef Live a couple of years ago. the Grilled haloumi, vine leaves, beetroot and olive salad sounds really good. thanks for the review. it's a pity some of your photos are really dark so very hard to see what the dish is. i think a bit of photoshop work would help them immensely. i've just done a quick retouch of 3 of the dark ones and uploaded to the facebook group 'Sydney Food Bloggers'. check them out and use if you want :-)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

We enjoyed our meal here a couple of years ago and good to see that they're still around (their location always worried me being so far from other places). Their pizzas were especially good :)

Buggles and Squeak said...

Thanks Simon. I guess we have always been more about the eating than the photography,hence the tragic photos. Your photoshopped versions are very much improved....so yes i think we will use them.

joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

Another place I couldn't remember the name of. :-) The desserts look smashingly good.