Sometimes you can read all these good write-ups about a place, but sometimes just learning that Passionfruit Creme Brulee with Rockmelon Sorbet and Assorted Ice Cream is on the dessert menu is enough to make you sprint there.
It’s a casual European restaurant with a touch of fancypants about it – it’s run by an ex-Otto sous chef with London Michelin star cred. But it’s the casualness that makes it nice – somewhere you can have a midweek dinner that feels a touch special yet won’t bring on bank statement dread next month.
It has a bistro feel, with the cute little banquettes and old school Art Nouveau prints on the wall. It reminded me a bit of Tabou in Surry Hills, except I like Elysium a hell of a lot more. (I’ve only been to Tabou once but found it a mite over-rated.)
We were very hungry, so I ploughed into the bread and then a Roast Pumpkin Tarte Fine with Rocket Lettuce, Fourme D’Ambert Blue Cheese, Pine nuts and Vincotto. Blue cheese is always a bit of a wild card: particularly when it strong-arms your palate into can’t-taste-anything-else submission. No wonder people run from the mere sighting of le fromage bleu. But the Fourme D’Ambert was a lovely mild one, with the right hint of sweetness and richness. With that winning ingredient, the tarte fine was exactly that.
Will had Half A Roast Duck With Blood Orange, Parsnip Puree and Green Beans and said the blood orange was a wonderfully light counterbalance to the fatty duck hit (we can’t figure out why ducks become such tubby grease-factories given they just spend all their time swimming, or maybe we have a very picturebook-centric misconception of a duck’s regimen, which is highly likely).
Sadly, there wasn’t any Passionfruit Brulee on the dessert menu that night, but the Almond Tuile with Scoops of Lemon, Cinnamon and Hazelnut Ice Cream was a good consolation prize.
I’ll still be hanging out for the brulee – it’s one of several good reasons to return.
Elysium, 133 Avoca Street, Randwick NSW (02) 9398 7766