Garden Brasserie, Neutral Bay
I can’t remember the last time I went to Neutral Bay. So long that I didn’t recognise any of the restaurants on Grosvenor Street, including this one Garden Brasserie. We were meeting the traveler, M, for dinner as it was her last week here in Sydney before she ventured around the world again (jealous!). The broker, A, suggested this place and since the traveler lives nearby we thought we would give it ago.
Garden Brasserie has been opened for a year or so now. The restaurant inside has been decorated like a ‘garden’ – plants on one side, white garden tables and chairs and birdcages hanging from the ceiling. It really worked, I really did feel like I was sitting in a garden or a friends backyard. It was definitely quite lovely.
The food is tapas like, to be shared and everything on the menu sounded wonderful. There were five of us that evening, and we all picked a dish that we wanted to try.
We started with the dusted calamari with chili and lime aioli ($15) – hmhmh lime aioli. The calamari was lightly battered, and crunchy. The chili really gave it that extra flavouring and dipped in lime aioli it was just delicious.
The char-grilled chorizo with romesco sauce and caramelised vinegar ($15) was excellent. The chorizo was spicy, the romesco sauce which was made from almonds, pine nuts, garlic, tomatoes and beans were sweet and complemented the chorizo. This was a favourite amongst the diners.
I didn’t have any of the char-grilled lamb cutlets with sobrasada, salsa verde and balsamic ($19), however, A, claimed that I was missing out as it was magnificent. It was cooked medium rare, and the salsa verde was full of flavour and the balsamic gave it that extra sweetness. I had a taste of the sauce and it was good.
I love buffalo mozzarella, especially served with ripened tomato, basil and balsamic ($13). Big chunks of buffalo mozzarella – I love the not so consistent ratio of tomato vs mozzarella – YUM!
The kinkawooka mussels tomato provencal with chili, bacon and shallots served with wood fired bread ($24) was wonderfully cooked. I love the sauce, albeit a little salty for my liking but the chili really gave it that extra kick. It was a generous serving of mussels and they were deliciously juicy and plump.
I couldn’t go pass the grilled baby back pork ribs with garlic, chili and pedro ximenez ($16) – of course! The baby pork ribs were good but not the best I have had. I thought the pork meat could be more tender but I did love the sauce, it was sweet from the grapes, and the chili was really subtle, I think more of it would give it more flavour.
I love good polenta chips with gorgonzola cream ($9). The chips were crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. The gorgonzola cream was creamy and subtle. However, I did prefer my polenta chips with lime aioli!
I loved the pork belly skewers with sweet cherry and quince aioli ($15). Soft, tender pork belly, the sauce was sweet and creamy and absolutely wonderful. This was probably the dish for me!
We were stuffed, however, S couldn’t go pass the churros with dulce de leche ($12). LOVE dulce de leche and churros. The churros were sprinkled with icing sugar, it was ridiculously excellent! It was so crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. S claimed it was the best churros she has had in Sydney – better than San Churros. The sauce was THICK and sweet caramel like, not your typical milk or dark chocolate sauce. I do prefer my churros with dulce de leche! It was the perfect way to end the wonderful meal.
The service at Garden Brasserie was warm and friendly. I thought the restaurant was a little too dark for my liking, but it certainly did give that ‘garden’ vibe. They also had a wide range of cocktails and an extensive range of wine. On the dessert menu, they had espresso martini – belvedere vodka, coffee liqueur and espresso ($14), which the traveler had and loved!
To my dear friend, M, hope you have a wonderful and safe trip! I do look forward to seeing you again, it has been awesome hanging out with you! Stay safe!
GA’s rating: 7.5 / 10
Neutral Bay, 2089
Ph: +61 2 8969 6900