Home > Modern Australian, Syd: Surry Hills, Sydney > Cotton Duck, Surry Hills

Cotton Duck, Surry Hills

A foodie friend from Melbourne, M, was in town in Sydney. He wanted to go somewhere delicious and was told by his friends that Sean’s Panaroma was the place to go. Unfortunately, in winter, they don’t open on Monday or Tuesday nights. He was a little disappointed, but was happy with my suggestion of the Cotton Duck.

Cotton Duck is the sister restaurant of the famous Dank Street Depot. After 8 years, Jared Ingersoll has embarked on a new restaurant project which is located in the heart of Surry Hills. He partners with Penny Williams, ex Savoy Hotel London, Bather’s Pavilion and the Boathouse Restaurant, on this new exciting journey.

The menu consists of 18 dishes which consist of entrees, mains and desserts. Diners can choose either 2 courses ($55) or 4 courses ($85). My friend, M, was ravenous, so he opted for 4 courses and I, the 2 courses. However, we did share, and between the two of us, we had 6 courses!

We started with sesame and poppy seed bread, which was a little hard for my liking.

Amuse bouche was hot asparagus soup which was deliciously hot and creamy. It had a strong asparagus flavour so those who do not like asparagus will not enjoy it.

We started with salmon and smoke terrine, salmon cured with spice and tobacco served with toasted bread. The salmon and smoke terrine was creamy and delicious. The onion and citrus dressing was a great compliment, leaving you with that ‘tang’ flavour. It was fresh, light and absolutely delicious, but that’s because I love salmon.

Our other entrée was veal and tuna, a play on vitello tonnato with quail egg and capers. I am not usually a fan of veal but was certainly glad that we ordered this dish. It was simply and utterly divine! The veal was tender, succulent, and medium rare. The sauce was thick, and creamy, mayonnaise like and was flavoured with tuna. The quail egg, was poached and cooked to perfection, and the capers were salty which gave it a nice touch. It was a fantastic dish, and one that I enjoyed (surprisingly!)

Now the mains, we ordered 3 mains (a lot I know but the servings weren’t THAT big, and we did share!) and the first being, Hiramasa Kingfish, poached in butter with spring vegetables. The fish had a firm texture, but yet soft and the skin was panfried, making it crispy. It was poached with butter, which made it a tad salty and the spring vegetables were green beans. It was a nice dish but nothing to rave about.

Main number 2, Muscovy duck stuffed with roasted mushroom, liver bay leaf, thyme and liver flavoured with coriander and peppercorns was to die for! The duck meat was incredibly tender and succulent, with a slither of fat underneath the skin. The stuffing fantastic, the liver was subtle. It was a deliciously rich dish, and a hearty one, perfect for a cold evening. It was scrumptiously good!

Main number 3, organic pork with sweet vinegar tomatoes, fennel seed and soubise. It was a slightly small serving of pork, but enough, for the both of us. The skin was crispy, and chewy, the pork meat was incredibly tender and succulent that it just melted in your mouth. The soubise was rich and creamy, similar to that of béchamel sauce and was utterly wonderful. I kept wanting more and more. The sweet vinegar tomatoes – amazing! My only gripe would be that there were only three tiny tomatoes!

Both M and I couldn’t decide which of the two last main courses were better. We were both torn. I am leaning more towards the pork, but only as you know, I am a sucker for pork! However, I would have happily had the duck on my own also. Both dish were sensational!

Now dessert, M, was still a tad hungry and wanted to try more than one dessert, so we got two. Yes, it kind of stuffed up the 2 or 4 courses but our waiter did say that we could order 3 courses, should we wish to do so, and we did!

We opted for the saucy tart, chocolate tart with strawberry centre. The tart was mouse like, however, not as soft as mouse. The outer chocolate layer was hard; it reminded me a little bit like chocolate magic. It was exceptionally chocolatey and sweet. The strawberry sauce was also sweet which made the whole dessert too rich for my liking.

I was hoping the chocolate tart to be similar to that of a fondant, oozing with chocolate, alas no. Perfect for those who loves chocolate and has exceptionally sweet tooth.

We also ordered the treacle pudding, steamed pudding with rye ice cream and ginger, then even more ginger. The steamed pudding was sponge cake like, drizzled with golden syrup topped with rye ice cream and freshly cut ginger and a lot of it! The sponge cake was not as sweet as the chocolate tart, the rye ice cream was wonderful, although I think they could have given us a bit more. The ginger was STRONG and a little overpowering but there was plenty of it! Not for those who can’t tolerate ginger.

I was a little disappointed with the dessert. Not sure if we picked the wrong ones, but the other two choices didn’t really appeal to me either, it was a choice of pumpkin tart or sorbet. I would have happily ordered another entrée instead of dessert.

Many thanks M, for dinner! My shout next time I am in Melbourne. Also countless of thank yous for the chat, the advice and for listening to all my cumbersome problems! It was great to dine with you and learn a little bit about the restaurant business! M runs the Lau’s Family Kitchen in Melbourne, I have yet to try but will shortly!

The service was good, although at times, the waiters were a little oblivious. Regardless, it was still an enjoyable meal, and of course GREAT company. I am sure it won’t take long for this restaurant to become popular.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Cotton Duck

50 Holt Street

Surry Hills, 2010

Ph: +61 2 8399 0250

Cotton Duck on Urbanspoon

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