Gastro Park!

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It’s a cold rainy night but Gastro Park is fully booked. The first time I heard the name, I wondered if I had heard it correctly. It is rather unusual.

Gastro Park is simple, no table cloths no chandeliers. The colours in the space are muted, browns and blacks, and the waiters station is at a lovely centre table of wood . The room feels a little like boarding a cruise ship.  I am looking forward to the ride.

The menu is broken into snacks, entrees, mains , desserts and cheese. The choices are not numerous but I like this. Snacks are the largest group and due to their reasonable price it is possible to try quite a few different things with out going broke. We skip the entree section and opt for  three snacks… Onion and  caramelised veal sweetbread arrives in a glass with a rosemary skewered sweetbread. The dark soup has a deep sweet onion flavour and creamy capaccino like top . The sweetbread is tender and golden brown.($9) soy and mustard glazed swordfish belly, pickled cucumber ($12) was butter soft melt in the mouth with the surprise crunch of sesame seeds,  Scallop ceviche with tuna bone marrow, lemon and soft herbs was a surprise. Scallops are just as delicious raw as they are cooked!. The bone marrow has a clean sea taste but really, I wouldn’t say it was memorable, a good talking point though.

 Maincourses are brought promptly, but getting another glass of wine from the swiftly departing waiter  is a little tricky. My main course is a picture of colour and texture on a lovely white plate.   Crispy scaled snapper, smoked potato puree, calamari crackling, ink sauce ($38). The Snapper complete with crunchy fish scales, is moist and fall apart. The most delightful elements are the black potato cylinders. They seem to have been cooked in stock , then rolled in ink and panfried. I bite into them, not sure what they are and am amazed by the flavour and texture. The crunch of shaved radishes tossed in lemon are a revelation and strangely something I will remember vivdly.

Confit Blue Eye, Cavalo Nero, Octopus, Chorizo, preserved lemons and artichoke stems is frankly a little messy looking on it’s pretty Speigalau plate. The fish, however is soft and meaty falling apart at the touch of a fork, the Octopus is tender as a first date, and the chorizo a surprise sliced finely like salami. A lovely dish and an interesting use of butter, which is sandy ( is this the whey  at the bottom of the pot that is usually discarded?)  and delicious on the side of the plate. Sadly the plate is a little cold, always a trial in the winter.

A plate of Girolle mushrooms arrives on the same piece of slate that plays host to the entrees. They are sauteed in butter, most of which is dripping onto the table. At $30.00 they are not value for money, and although fresh and lovely they do not remain warm for longer than a few  fleeting seconds.

Dessert , and I am torn , between smashed Fig tart and the ” Nitro Pavlova ” that everyone else has blogged about. The waiter suggests the Pav and the Chocolate dessert. I note that his suggestions are repeated through out the dining room…. mm. The White chocolate Sphere looks like the Sun with little planets of pink miniature Macrons orbiting it on a stunning black and white speckled plate. A cute little eclaire filled with fresh cream is refreshing, after the cloying sweetness of the ganache , this flows like lava from the Sphere when it is cracked open with a spoon ( fun) . Caramel boats float around the sides past squares of gingerbread. $20.00

The pavlova is most defineatly not your usual. There is no meringue, well not cooked crunchy meringue anyway. The exterior of coconut bubbles is creamy with little sugar while the interior contains a bracing guava sorbet. Caramelised pineapple pieces dotted through the foam are drizzled with basil seeds. These have little taste and texture and I find I want both crunch and a little more sugar.  I have not read another negative comment about this pavlova so I conclude that I am just fussy. ( 18.00).

The food has been well paced and the serving sizes perfect. It was a thrill  meeting Grant King, who came to the table to say hello.  There is a long way to go yet for this brand new team.   I love new inovative, cutting edge food and this is an exciting example of food now.

Gastro Park

5-9 Roslyn St
Potts Point NSW 2011
Phone (02) 8068 1017

Hours

Lunch
Fri to Sat Noon – 2:30pm
Dinner
Tue to Sat 6pm – 10pm

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