Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Restaurant Arras, Walsh Bay

Restaurant Arras is located in the quiet streets of Walsh Bay area, across the Sydney Dance Company.
The owner & chef, Adam Humprey has worked in some of Michelin starred restaurants in England and hence the menu is influence by British cuisine & flavours.

When I saw where we are being seated, all my fears prior to arriving here has come true T__T
Our table is at the corner where there is very minimal lighting available. So please excuse the upcoming out of focus pictures.
Crisps to nibble on

Once we are seated, the waitress brought over this pretty bowl of crisps. I'm not exactly sure what flavours were there, but I remembered tasting a sugary crisp and a sesame crisp.
They are great to nibble on while we peruse the menu.

Restaurant Arras menu page

We decided to go for the degustation menu, as it is the best way to have a taste on what the chef has to offer.

Cold butter on a rock slab & fresh sourdough rolls.

The waitress returns with a basket of a huge variety of their freshly baked sourdough rolls. There were at least 8 different types and it was hard to choose !
My cousin got the Happy Goblin ( we probably got it wrong since it sounds real dodgy!) and I chose the Quinoa roll.
Amouse Bouche - Red Mullet Tagine 

The fish is cooked just right and the sauce is to die for. It's fragrant, spicy and tangy at the same time.
We polished off the plate clean, it was that good !

The Raw & The Cooked 

As the waitress described it, it's an elegant salad of a selection of vegetables. Indeed it is an elegant salad.
This has to be the pretties plate of vegetables I've ever seen.
I love this dish, it is plain but the way it is cooked or uncooked brings out the best of their flavour, crisp and fresh.

One more shot of the pretty plate, from top

Smoked, Roasted & Dressed

This dish consist of Smoked Sardines, Roasted Scallop and I don't remember what was the dressing :P
The green balls are rounds of cucumber, of which then a question was raised...what do they do with the rest of the cucumber ? LOL
The roasted scallop was cooked perfectly, however I found that the sardines is way too fishy for me. I suppose can't do much about it, since it is a very oily fish.
Quinoa Kedgeree

Kedgeree is usually consumed as a breakfast dish in the UK during Victorian era. Traditionally it is made of rice, fish, egg, Indian spices and butter or cream.
Restaurant Arras has transformed this simple dish into something more.
Our version tonight consist of smoked eel, quail egg and quinoa instead of rice. The Indian spices are subtle and does not over power the smokey flavour from the eel.
I like this dish although it is a tad salty.

Birds of A Feather

I think this was the least favourite dish of the night for me. Birds of A Feather is a 3 layered chicken terrine, with sweet pumpkin puree and mead soaked raisin.
I can taste some cinnamon in the puree which reminds me of pumpkin pie, the combination of this plate is just not for me unfortunately :)
St.Clements Duck 

Served with foie gras souffle and carrot mash. Don't quite remember what was the duck resting on nor the white cubes on the far left side :P
The duck was tender and medium rare, delicious !

Slow Cooked Lamb, Lavender & Honey Sweetbreads

I actually asked for this course to be swapped with something else, because I usually don't eat lamb as I found the smell is too strong for me.
The maître d' asked the chef whether I could swap it with something else, she came back and offered squab in place of the lamb. 
However, she mentioned that the chef is a bit hesitant as it could alter the full experience of the degustation. I trust the chef, so I just pray that the lamb is not "lamby".

Thankfully the lamb has no smell at all *phew*
It was perfectly cooked and the lavender & honey sweetbreads are delicious !
I love sweetbreads, although it is best not to know what it is for the squeamish people out there :P

Pre-Dessert - Raspberry Cheesecake

The 2 cubes of cheesecake are served with some granny smith apples cubes and raspberry sorbet, and there are a couple chunks of cheesecake base crumbs. 
It's refreshing after the rich dishes we've had earlier.

An Adolescent Breakfast

Our eyes lights up when it was placed in front of us. We are still kids after all  \^o^/
It's supposed to bring you back to your childhood breakfast memories, so let's begin !
The chocolate bar has 3 layers, caramel top, a chocolate aero bar in the middle and a brownie base (lucky you who has ever had chocolate bar as brekkie !). Next in the cup is your Milk & Cereal - fresh milk sorbet and cereal crumbles, loved this one..mmm...
Last but not least...is Creme Chantilly in the toothpaste tube resting on a bed of peanut butter cereal crunch. Nothing beats peanut butter & cream , yummo !!

Since we are left with no instruction on how to apply the tube of cream, it's time to be creative.
We tried drizzling it on top of the caramel, lifting the caramel top and squiggle the cream on top of the aero bar, straight onto the peanut butter cereal or even straight into the mouth  LOL

Creative time with creme chantilly tube.

Then it's the moment I've been waiting for....*drum roll....*
The Arras Petit Four Slab !!! 

Restaurant Arras Petit Four Slab 

So many to choose from, and by the time the waitress finish explaining, I already forgot what they were.
We can choose as much as we want from the slab, very dangerous....

Peppermint Tea & Petit Four Selection

Let's see what we have selected here , from the top - Unknown Truffle, Gingerbread Truffle, Raspberry Marshmallow, Honeycomb, Raspberry & Creme Truffle, Grapefruit Pate de Fruit and Ginger Truffle.

Overall, the dishes throughout the night does show the flavours of England, a well mix of Indian and classic English flavours. 

The service on the night was sort of a mix, we have the friendly maître d' and a waiter, and on the other hand we have a waitress that just doesn't smile and doesn't really explain much when she put down dishes in front of us. 
Thankfully some of the dishes were served by the friendly waiter so we know what we are eating, sometimes...

Restaurant Arras on Urbanspoon


  1. ah... the red mullet Amouse Bouche.. how i still dream of thee....

  2. oh gawd the petit four slab is amazing

  3. Wow, your photos look amazing, any lighting difficulties are unnoticeable!

  4. You are too kind Retrodaze LOL, thank you :)
    Next time I shall remember to bring my mini torch !

  5. bener2 cantik yah saladnya... seriously, that's definitely for sight-sense indulgence i believe. MAKAN APAAN SEUPRIT BEGONOOHHH hahahahaha.... indah banget sih emang.