Date night Saturday, my partner has lost faith in choosing restaurants, she believes in a strange hoodoo casting a shadow on her choosing abilities. So all the pressure of picking the restaurant falls on my large, wide, masculine shoulders, haha. My favorite way to pick at the moment is browsing through the eatability catalogue, scrolling through eateries with large numbers of feedback. So far that has steered us in the right direction, hence our Saturday special of Citizen Corner, a fairly new establishment to the Surry Hills area. Facing steep competition on every corner (literally), Citizen Corner has managed to get glowing reviews thus far, so we thought we might pop in and see what all the buzz is about.
I booked for a nine o'clock seating, telling Ms Foodblogger it was for eight thirty. As always we somehow managed to arrive late, arriving at nine thirty. For once though it was my fault, I arrived late from a family engagement, I heard an earful about my late arrival and I have no doubt that I will be hearing about my tardiness for a long time to come. We called the restaurant on the way and announced our lateness, but they were very accommodating and understanding, a good start to the night.
We found parking just opposite the restaurant which was fantastic as it was freezing that night and walked into a scene that was bustling and alive. We were quickly seated and ordered a drink and begin working through the nights menu and absorbing in the ambience.
|The owner Craig behind the bar|
|Candle lights around the restaurant|
|Rotari NV Arte Italiana, Piccolo 185mL $19|
I ordered the sparkling white to begin, the waitress unfortunately didn't seem to know much about the wine list, but I've had the Rotari Piccolo once before, it has fruity undertones and slightly sparkled, an unassuming but pleasant start.
Mrs Foodblogger unbenounced to me had cheated and already done homework on the restaurant, she had her order ready before we even got our menu's and made recommendations to what I should order. I off course went in the other direction for sheer sake of annoyance, but was later rewarded for my insubordination.
|Duck breast salad with Thai Dressing $18|
|Pan-fried Scallops on cauliflower puree, king prawn salsa and balsamic reduction $18|
I chose the Thai salad, the duck breast was soft and tender, and nice chunks of fat left on the edges of the meat. The fat was perfectly balanced out by the tangy salad dressing, it felt like a knife to the fat. Having the salad felt like having a garden in your mouth, it had a thick aromatic Thai taste, with a sprinkling of oil, this dish leaves you feeling fresh and energised, I'd have healthy food everyday if someone made this for me.
After years of having seafood, we've come to realise that the only way to have scallops is to have it straight away whilst hot. The flavours are more alive in your palate at that point. Once cold, your at its mercy, Mrs Foodblogger still enjoyed her entree, she's a bigger fan of seafood then I am but the dish had all the right ingredients, cauliflower puree, salsa, balsamic reduction, the flavours were well matched but if ordering, dont take 20 photos and 20 angles like we did.
We then awaited our mains, the intermission between dishes was surprisingly short, the restaurant was full that night, but in 10 short minutes our mains had arrived.
|Rack of lamb (cowra), on celeriac mash and red wine jus $32|
|Angel hair with snapper, scallops, prawns, basil, tomato, garlic and chili $26|
The Angel hair was apparently one of the house specialities, known by Mrs Foodblogger due to her diligent research. The pasta photo doesn't do justice to the dish, it looked amazing in real life and tasted just the same. Despite the large prawns on top, this was by no means a traditional marinara, you could smell the pasta all night and not get any hint of fish, at all. The ingredients of garlic, chili, fresh snapper and scallops combine beautifully to turn this into one of the best red pasta's we've ever had. Mrs Foodblogger usually can't stand red pasta sauces, but she couldn't stop herself that night, from the few bites I managed to get from her plate, it really did taste amazing.
I strangely wasn't in the mood for red meat that day, but I was told the Snapper was all but finished and the risotto had no meat at all, not what I wanted to hear. I need some form of meat in a dish, it doesn't taste right without it, my plate feels slightly incomplete otherwise. So I opted for the lamb rack, initially I was hesitant about the celeriac mash, having seen that gone wrong before, and never having red wine jus, I wasnt to sure what to expect.
The red wine jus is a sauce commonly added to red meats, it is made reducing beef stock and red wine together, and depending on the particular recipe can also include, thyme, bay leaves, carrots, celery and a few other variations. It tastes like a sweet, meat infused, thin sauce which soaks into the pores of the meat.
The celeriac mash is made from the root of celery, it has a subtly differing taste than potato mash. Just as creamy but not salty, it has hints of sweetness.
I was so elated when I had my first bite, it was one of the best lamb dishes I've ever had, I was very pleased with myself for ordering it, the fates conspired that I try the lamb by taking away the fish and removing meat from the risotto, the food gods smiled down at me happily. The mash, the jus, and the lamb went perfectly together, the two sweet attachments to the meat complemented each other and the meat was soft and succulent, a perfect dish. I'm normally inclined to not lick my bowl and pick apart the bones for the last remaining scraps of meat but I was sorely tempted.
At that point we were the last patrons remaining, we thought about leaving without dessert, but then we came to our senses.
|The last ones in the room|
|You can see my car outside from here, closest I've parked to a restaurant in the city, ever!|
|Warm chocolate tart with clotted cream $12|
Being quite full at that point we decided to share a slice of chocolate tart. Thank god we're gluttons, the tart was the perfect finish to the meal, rich and creamy, and very delectable. It came with a side of vanilla bean ice cream, which Mrs Foodblogger thought was heaven, but I found a bit too flavoured for an ice cream and distracting from the tart.
Whilst paying the bill I struck up a conversation with the proprietor Craig, I complemented the Tart and had asked him with instruction from Mrs Foodblogger what flavour the ice cream had been. He said verbatim "it's vanilla bean ice cream, but I find the tart better by itself, but women seem to like it." Example A, Mrs Foodblogger.
Well done Citizen Corner, you've managed to tantalise our tastebuds, great food, fast efficient service, and modern elegant interior, we felt very comfortable here and we'd be happy to be back, a great way to sign off on another date night.
S & S
Phone: 02 8399 3247
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