Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Devonshire, Surry Hills

The Devonshire - Summer Menu

First I heard about this place was on the Twitterverse. Some of the people that I followed were tweeting on how good this new joint was :)
The Devonshire is a new addition to the eateries lined Devonshire Street in Surry Hills, right next door to  Mohr Fish (the aroma of fish & chips wafting in the air while I was waiting for my friend was intoxicating...hmmm..deep fried...) and only a stone throw away from Shakespeare's Hotel. 
The only down side to the location is the street parking, there are plenty but most of them are 1 Hour Parking only ! Raaahhh !! 
Had to park somewhere further down the road where it's more than 1 hour parking.

Wall on the other side ; Round group table

We walked into the restaurant at about 6.00pm and was warmly greeted by James, our waiter for the night that made us felt so welcomed and looked after - thank you ^_^

The Devonshire was opened in mid January 2011 and is a a joint venture by Restaurant Balzac's Matt Kemp and Jeremy Bentley as owner / head chef. Prior to working with Matt Kemp at Restaurant Balzac, Jeremy has been working in London's 2 Michelin starred restaurant, The Square. James also mentioned that the Sous Chef had worked at Tetsuya's and Bilson's , so we are pretty assured that we were in very good hands tonight :)

Salted Cod Brandade w/ House Baked Grissinis

Something to nibble on while we peruse the menu - crisp and fragrant grissini that were baked that morning and the warm salted cod brandade that was oh so delicious !
The brandade was made from salted cod, mixed with potato puree, parsley, extra virgin olive oil and lemon. The result was a creamy and rich dip for the breadsticks, just perfect.

Wall adorned with mirrors ; View into the bar and a glimpse into the kitchen

The decor and furniture is simple and clean, and I love the odd shaped mirrors lining up one side of the wall. It is not a very big place, only sits 35 people max. The menu is short but solid, 5 entrees, 5 mains and 4 desserts to choose from. 
Like any good restaurants, the menu will change with the season. 
In fact, the chef is already working on the new Autumn menu and it will change in about 3 weeks time - can't wait to see them !

Yeast & Sourdough Bread Rolls

Once our orders were taken, a plate of warm bread and butter were brought over promptly to the table.
They don't serve your ordinary bread and butter here, oh no no no.
Let's start with the bread, it was made using a mixture of yeast and sourdough, making it soft and fluffy but still have the distinct sourdough aroma.

Beurre Noisette  & Échiré with Sea Salt

The duo of butter had contrasting flavours , the sweet Beurre Noisette and the salty Échiré butter.
The sea salt sprinkled Échiré butter is probably one of the well known butter throughout the world, imported from France, it has a delicate yet rich buttery flavour that just melts in your mouth. 
Beurre Noisette, loosely translated as brown butter, was made from reducing butter to get the brown butter, then mixed with honey then whipped. I can just eat this butter on its own...seriously....give me a tub and I can polish it off - it was AMAZING !!!
Eating it with the warm bread roll just reminded me of my childhood - white bread spread with margarine and a generous sprinkling of sugar ( I still make it once a while at work with funny looks from my colleagues, they think I'm weird - LOL). 
Dear The Devonshire , ever think of selling the beurre noisette ? Please do, I would buy it in a heart beat.

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who what is the fairest yummiest of them all"

Veal Sweetbread, Tongue, Brussel Sprout Coleslaw, Almonds & Madeira   $24.00

How can I not order this entree when it had tongue and sweetbread on the one line ? 
The veal tongue was tender and caramelized on the outside, served on a bed of deliciously creamy coleslaw. The coleslaw was made of finely shredded tender brussel sprouts and mixed with chopped almond for the crunch factor. 

Creamy sweetbread topped with almond shavings

The sweetbread was also nicely caramelized with the Madeira, the inside was very creamy and just melts  ...

Scallops, Squid, Celeriac, Pomegranate and Golden Raisins   $25.00

A simple yet stunning presentation of this seafood entree - perfectly seared scallops from Nova Scotia, Canada (I hope I got the origin right , wasn't sure if I jot it down correctly), topped with lightly crumbed squid ring. 
Underneath them are the ruby red pomegranate and diced golden raisins, their freshness lifts up the rich seafood flavours. 
The celeriac puree has been mixed with squid ink, hence the "goth" version of the otherwise creamy white celeriac :)

Golden seared scallop on ruby red pomegranate

Compared to my entree of offfals, this was lighter and more refreshing option - I still prefer mine though ^_*

Duck Breast, Confit Leg, Fig Tarte Fine, Bitter Leaves, Baby Onions and Roasting Juices   $36.00

Somehow the items I chose from the menu were brown in colour and of meat origin, a contrast from my friend's choice of brightly coloured seafood entree and main ROFL.
Didn't realize until I got home and looking at the photos hahahahaha :D

As we were about to start on our mains, James returned with glasses of a white and red wine, followed by a puzzled look from 2 girls 0__0.
Let me rewind to earlier in the evening (REW button pushed) - I did ask if it's okay to take photo earlier on to which James asked if I was a critic or journalist - none of the above LOL ! Just like to take photos of foods and sometimes blog about them ^_^
So yeah, he has brought over 2 glasses of wine to match our choice of mains since I'll be blogging about the dining experience ( the pressure is on - just kidding :P ).
Thank you for the wine and for remembering we still need to drive back home (that's why we only got a little bit to try).

2009 Bourgogne, Lucien Muzard et Fils, Burgundy, France  $14 / 63

The duck breast was tender and still slightly pink, just the way it should be. The skin was nicely salted and caramelized, it was delicious !
Accompanying the breast was the very thin buttery tart topped with neatly arranged thin slices of fig (can't see in the picture), tender flavourful shredded duck leg meat, charred bitter leaves and sweet baby onions. To finish, a drizzle of the sweet roasting jus. 

The duck was matched with a pinot from Burgundy, France - I'm not a wine expert so please excuse the layman interpretation of the flavours - the wine has a light flavour that complements the rich duck dish. 

Snapper, Katchumba Salad, Pakoras, Curry Sauce and Rice Foam   $35.00

This is probably the only dish in the menu that is not Modern European influenced, everything on this plate says India :)
The snapper was pan fried to perfection, the skin was crisp and the fish itself was moist and sweet. Katchumba salad is a Northern Indian salad, a mixture of spanish onion, cucumber, tomato, lightly spiced and dressed. 
It does helps cool down the heat from the Tandoori sauce that was surprisingly packed with more heat than expected.

The pakoras, deep fried spiced fritter of onion and potato, had really nice flavour as well. I didn't try the rice foam because I thought it was yoghurt sauce *doh* - so regretting it now...

2009 Unique, Sauvignon Blanc, Loire Valley, France  $10 / 37

My friend commented that the white that was paired with the fish complements it well too. 
Not too heavy and was light and refreshing. 

Devonshire Tea Crème Brûlée, Scone Ice Cream, Cherry Jam and Crème Chantilly  $15.00

After much carbs and meats, there is always room for something sweet to finish off the evening ^_^
This dessert was such a fun twist to the traditional afternoon tea treats - Earl Grey tea , scones with cream and jam. 

Earl Grey Crème Brûlée ; Scone Ice Cream & Crumb   

The Earl Grey tea still comes served in a fine china tea cup but in a form of crème brûlée, nicely set custard infused with earl grey and did it pass the "crack" test ? Yes it does ! The toffee was of the right thickness and cracked nicely when tapped - perfect !!

The traditional scone has been transformed into something totally different but still tasted like scone. 
The waiters here really do know their stuffs and are passionate about them - Matt, who brought over our desserts, happily explained the process of making the scone ice cream. 
First, bake scone as per traditional method, crumb them and dry them. Next, soak with milk so the scone flavour infuses into the liquid, then churn into ice cream - genius !
Served on a bed of scone crumb and don't forget the cherry jam and vanilla créme chantilly - no scone is complete without jam and cream ^_^

I think I don't have to say what I think about it...

Gonna say it anyway - loved it very very much !! Love every single thing on the plate, but if I have to pick a favourite, probably the scone ice cream - milky, refreshing and hey...it tasted like scones too !

Bittersweet Chocolate Pave, Chocolate Sorbet and Chocolate Ice Cream   $14.00

It was definitely a very generous serving of this chocolate overload dessert plate - two slabs of bittersweet chocolate pave, rich and creamy bittersweet chocolate mousse resting on a layer of tender cocoa sponge. 
The chocolate ice cream and sorbet, served with chocolate cookie crumb, had rich chocolate flavours, definitely a dessert for a chocoholic. 

Tea with your bill ?

How cute is that presentation of bill ?? Too cute !!

The Devonshire night street view

The Devonshire definitely has lived up to they hype that has been tweeted in Twitterverse.
The foods were delicious and the presentation of each dish was simplistic and clean, allowing the flavours of the ingredients to be the star. 
The desserts were superb as well, I think you can tell from how clean my plate was :P
Service was not pretentious, quite laid back and oddly enough, felt like you are dining with friends, which is a good thing as it was fun ! 
The place was quite empty when we arrived and while we dined, there was our table and then just 3 other tables that were filled. 
But, after 8.00pm there was a sudden influx of diners - the restaurant was quite busy as we left.
Perhaps not many people know that there is new restaurant in town that is definitely worth a visit.

The Devonshire on Urbanspoon


  1. lucky you to have such a chef he/she is very creative and I am fan of hte last chocolate dessert !!Pierre

  2. the beurre noisette sounds mouth watering! (the echire butter was in yakitate japan! hahaha apparently it's good because it has one of the lowest water content) i want to taste that scone ice cream X-O!

  3. Hi! I'm visiting your blog for the first time and I really love the pics you take! All so bright and beautiful, you make me wanna eat everything on the page!

    Thank you for the tips on where to find good food here in Sydney!

  4. wow the devonshire creme brulee is really a twist on devonshire tea! this place sounds like it has an amazing resume, will check it out soon :D

    btw are you interested in going to march into merivale events? let me know if you need any dining companion :P

  5. pierre : we are lucky indeed to have such talented chefs in Sydney :)

    cella : it was soo good ,the beurre noisette - you'll love it.

    little chef : thanks for stopping by, little chef :) I'm glad you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it ! There are a lot of places in sydney that I'm yet to discover :D

    fluffy : do check it out and must order the tea dessert for sure. I haven't planned much for the March Into Merivale yet, are you going to any of it ??

  6. Gorgeous food, if not a bit small portioned...
    I think I'll go for the butter

  7. loving all the different mirrors. very cool :-)

  8. tina : it is a tad on the smaller side, but it was nonetheless filling :)