birthday dinner - degustation at assiette

Pawpaw gave me a birthday treat at Assiette - a modern French restaurant - in Surry Hills where he indulged me in a three-hour ten-course degustation menu with wine pairing (we only got the wine pairing for one set to share between us as I was on medication and could only restrict myself to one sip per glass).

I managed to take some decent shots, albeit some turned out a bit blurry, with my phone without the flash. Below are nine out of the ten courses as I somehow forgot to snap the third last dish.

Left: Seasonal oyster with Vietnamese dressing and baby coriander (wine pair: Sugii Shuzo 'Shizen Jozo' Junmai Yamahai Muroka Shizuoka, Japan)

Right: Cured Hiramasa kingfish with dashi jelly, pickled octopus and blood lime (wine pair: 2007 Bernard Moureau Bourgogne - Aligote Burgundy, France)

Left: Creamed polenta with sauteed mushrooms and Tasmanian truffle (wine pair: 2008 Pegasus Bay Chardonnay Waipara, New Zealand)

Right: Pan fried boudin noir (black pudding! I like very much!!) with marmalade prawn, pickled heirloom carrots and crackling powder (wine pair: 2009 Albert Mann Pinot Blanc Auxerrois Alsace, France)

Left: Caramelised chicken wings and veal sweetbreads with bacon, pea mousse and mushroom puree (wine pair: 2009 Hautes Cotes de Nuits, Dominique Guyon 'Dames de Vergy' Burgundy, France)

Right: Crispy-skinned mulloway with celeriac puree, curried mussels and lentil fritters - this is the only dish I didn't like at all due to the strong curry taste that totally overpowered the fish and I've also never been a fan of lentils - (wine pair: 2007 Greenstone Monastrell Heathcote, Victoria)

Miso-braised Wagyu brisket with parmesan gnocchi, cauliflower puree and pencil leeks (wine pair: 2009 Chinon, Pascal Lambert 'Tradition Graves' Cabernet Franc Loire Valley, France)

Right here after the Wagyu, we had the Brillat-Savarin cheese cake with honeyed walnuts and pear puree paired with 2009 Seresin Pinot Gris Marlborough, New Zealand. I couldn't stand the strong smelling cheese (just slightly less pungent than the blue cheese) and donated the whole of my share to Pawpaw who loved it.

Left: They call this the 'Pre Dessert' which is lychee jelly topped with some coconut flavoured cream mousse

Right: Olive oil cake with lemon curd, creme fraiche sorbet and raspberry marshmallow (wine pair: 2009 Escarpment 'Hinemoa' Riesling Martinborough, New Zealand)

Because we had a 25% discount voucher, the total bill only came up to only about $200 which was totally worth it as every dish was enjoyable except for the curry fish and the smelly cheese. Although the portions were all about bite sized, I was sufficiently full after the tenth course but Pawpaw was only about 80% full and 110% drunk (LOL). It's his first experience trying a degustation menu with wine pairing so he definitely cleaned every single glass down to the last drop. The service was impeccable and being a Wednesday night, the restaurant was only half full and so we got a really nice quiet table at one corner.

I felt thoroughly spoilt for the duration of the dinner and thought it was a nice end to the special day when I got home at just slightly before midnight.

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