Wednesday, February 22, 2017

LuMi Bar and Dining (Sydney, AUSTRALIA) ★★★★☆

Our first chance of serious dining finally came on our third day in Sydney after a series of family dinner. I had a number of options on the table (Sepia, Ester and Bennelong) but ended up picking LuMi Bar and Dining, a place where a lot of my friends here haven't even heard of.

Located on the waterfront of Pyrmont Bay, LuMi can be found inside this glass-walled box opposite to the Star Casino.



I got the chance to check out the views from the Wharf right before dinner started.



There's only one option offered at dinner time, their 8-course degustation menu which was reasonably priced at AUD$115.



Co-owner and head chef Federico Zanellato is one of the main reasons why LuMi has been listed as 19th in 2016's The Australian Financial Review Top Restaurants presented by Qantas. His contemporary Italian cuisine with a Japanese twist has been the talk of the town ever since the restaurant opened in 2014.



Our first nibble was a little sandwich with lamb tartare and watercress emulsion in the middle.



That was followed by another small bite, baby potato stuffed with anchovy butter.



The last of our amuse bouche featured fresh salmon roes and avocado buried under a layer of granita flavored with what I thought was salmon or sea water. Very very refreshing and easily the best of the trio.



Bread was homemade brioche bun served with seaweed butter. Pretty nice.



After a pretty interesting set of amuse bouche, here came our first starter, bonito with fermented cucumber juice, diced cucumber and feta cheese.



There's a lot of acidity in there (mostly from the fermented cucumber) cutting through the richness of the bonito nicely.



Next up was a beetroot themed dish which turned out to be my favorite dish of the night. Never imagined how well a slice of poached beetroot would work so wonderfully well with black sesame sauce and goat cheese. What a brilliant dish that was!



The first of our two pasta dishes was agnolotti with porcini and truffle oil simmered in a warm rye dashi.



This was another amazing dish. The agnolotti popped almost instantly in the mouth releasing an amazing explosion of flavors highlighted by the porcini mushroom purée. I like the wasabi leaves there for the extra kick.



The only blemish of the night came from our second pasta dish, tagliolini with scorpion fish and red capsicum. I thought the tagliolini was done to perfection but the seasoning with red capsicum and chili was a little over the top.



We had a pretty long wait for our lone main dish but our short ribs finally arrived after a little more than 30 minutes.



This was really good. Very tender and juicy with the cauliflower and shizito chili doing very good work behind the scene.



There were all together three desserts for us on this night and first up was our mango dessert.



Frozen mango ice-cream with hints of lemongrass, fingerlime and what I thought was coconut cream underneath. Very exotic.



Equally good was Douglas Fir with rhubarb, raspberry and olive oil.



This tasted like marshmallow (Douglas Fir flavored?) with a bit of olive oil in the middle and the chilled soup made with rhubarb and raspberry was very refreshing and soothing for our palates.



Lastly, we had compressed watermelon with yuzu powder to wrap things up.



This wonderful journey took approximately 3 hours so by the time we were done, the crowd has thinned out considerably.



The 8-course degustation menu was a great way to explore chef Zanellato's contemporary Italian cuisine which in a lot of ways was a melting pot from his travel and working experience in native Italy, Denmark and Japan. That was an amazing journey from start to finish (well except for the tagliolini) although a better job with pacing would have enhanced the experience even more.

Food Rating: 8/10
Price: $$$
Address: 56 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, Sydney, Australia
Tel: +61 2-9571-1999
Website: www.lumidining.com


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