The Devonshire, Surry Hills
I was catching up with a dear friend, M, she suggested The Devonshire, which was opened in mid-January 2011. It is a joint venture by Restaurant Balzac’s Matt Kemp and Jeremy Bentley as owner / head chef. Jeremy previously worked in London’s 2 Michellin stared restaurant, The Square. Apparently one of the sous chef had worked at Tetsuya’s and Bilson’s so a great deal of experience working at the Devonshire.
The Devonshire can be found on Devonshire Street in Surry Hills, next door to Mohr Fish, another restaurant that I like.
We arrived at 6pm and were seated immediately. Our waiter and maitre’d, James was extremely friendly and helpful. He looked familiar, at first I thought he was the maitre’d from Restaurant Balzac, but when I finally asked, he used to work at Sergeants Mess, Chowder Bay. We worked closely with him when we had our conference there and he was brilliant! Helpful, friendly and that evening, he was just that. He is definitely a great asset to the team.
We were presented with the menu, the menu is quite limited, 5 entrees, 5 mains and 4 desserts to choose from. James informed us that the menu changes every season, the new menu will change in about three to four weeks and I certainly can’t wait.
Whilst perusing the menu, we were presented with some grissini and warm salted cod brandade. The grissini was crispy and the warm salted cod brandade were amazingly good. It was creamy and deliciously rich, and complemented the grissini.
We were then presented with some warm bread and butter.
Two different types of butter, the sweet Beurre Noisette (curl butter) and the salty Echire Butter (flat butter). I wasn’t a huge fan of the sweet Beurre Noisette butter, it was seriously sweet and too rich for the bread. It would be absolutely perfect for pancakes though. The salty Echire Butter was incredibly salty but was definitely my favourite out of the two.
M and I both knew what we wanted for mains! However, thought we would share an entrée, Veal sweetbread, tongue, brussel sprout coleslaw, almonds and madeira ($24). WOW! This was AMAZING! It was a relatively large and long tongue, not your average tongue that you get from other restaurants. The tongue was tender and glistened as it was caramelised, and was served on a bed of creamy coleslaw which was made from shredded tender brussel sprouts and mixed with chopped almonds and gave it that crusty exterior.
This was SO GOOD! Even better if it was in a sandwich – M and I both recommended this to James – veal tongue coleswal on a baguette for lunch! The sweet bread was divine, sweet and creamy it just melted in my mouth!
We both ordered the Bangalow pork loin, belly and shoulder, pumpkin, prunes and apple ($34). WOW! WOW! And WOW! Three different cuts of pork in three different ways. The pork loin, seared on top of a bed of spinach. It was incredible – tender and succulent, that it just cut right through. The crackle, chewy, gooey and absolutely yummy! The shoulder was tender, wrapped and then fried. Eaten with the cubed pumpkin and puree and apple jelly it was outstanding. Last but not least, the pork belly, OH MY GOODNESS! Moist, and succulent – I was in heaven! I couldn’t help but save the best for last – the pork belly and the crackle! It was a generous serving and absolutely divine.
Now dessert – M opted for the devonshire tea crème brulee, scone ice cream, cherry jam and whipped cream ($15). The earl grey tea was served in a fine china tea cup (which we both LOVED and wanted to take home!), I heard M cracked the brulee – it was perfect.
Earl grey tea creme brulee which was sweet, creamy and rich! The scone ice cream tasted a little like vanilla ice cream, but I loved the combination of the crumbs underneath the ice cream, the cherry jam and whipped cream. Eaten together with the brulee, it was wonderful – ‘scones with jam and cream!
I opted for the pineapple caramelised, pudding, ice-cream and soup ($14). Apparently the Gourmet Traveller reviewer absolutely loved this dessert and I can see why. It was a huge serving but the pudding was thin, moist and melted in my mouth. The ‘soup’ was sour giving it that tangy, zesty flavour and the caramelised pineapple was incredibly sweet but complemented the soup. It was a perfect way to end the meal. I think M was a little appalled that I finished it – secretly, so did I!
I really do love the china tea cups – I love how our bill was presented – adorable!
It’s quite a cozy restaurant, relatively small, as it only sits 35 people max. I love the open kitchen at the end, the mirrors on the wall, the service and especially the food. Could this be my new favourite and local?
Many thanks again to James, it’s so good to see you again. Hopefully we will see you again soon.
GA’s ratings: 8.5 / 10
204 Devonshire Street
Surry Hills, 2010
Ph: +61 2 9698 927