Most of my friends (even those in a relationship) regard 14th February as a day of dread.
Premium chocolate bouquets, restaurants ripping you off with their set menus, florists jacking up their prices like there's no tomorrow and then there's the spread of Hallmark domination at newsagencies. I on the other hand, am an absolutely sucker for this kind of thing. After all, what's not to love abut roses, chocolates and extra romance?
Situated within The Star, BLACK by ezard was our restaurant of choice this year for the special occasion :)
The Valentine's Day Degustation for that night was priced at $130 per person and entailed a 6 course meal (3 entrees, 2 mains, 1 dessert) with coffee and petit fours to finish. If you wanted matching wines, it would've been another $70 each. In my opinion the menu had most of the signature dishes from Black's menu and it was a value-worthy feast.
We start off with some complimentary brioche and I must say, BLACK served to impress. It came in a cute loaf-like structure with soft, warm, fluffy insides resembling that of a croissant. Along with the creamy butter, it was a tasty treat to begin with. And no, I rejected the second helping as I knew there was alot to come ahead. Yes you should be proud.
Instead of the matching wines, we just ordered a glass of 2011 Phillip Shaw 'Pink Billy' Rose ($15) each - you definitely need some sort of bubbly on a celebratory occasion! Rose is the romantic option to go if you want something sparkling and sweet.
The Amuse Bouche was essentially one of the entrees from Black's menu - Sashimi of hiramasa kingfish, sesame custard, edamame puree, chardonnay and shallot dressing. Although super fresh and zingy, both M and I thought it was soso as we weren't big fans of the flavours from the seasoning.
Next up was the Prawns chilled spencer gulf, roasted chilli dressing, avocado, salad of young coconut, mango, pomelo, thai basil and crispy shallots. It was texturally playful with crunchy bites from the shallots mixed in with the silky soft cubes of mango and pomelo. The prawn was also a meaty and succulent delight that proved to go well with the roasted chilli dressing. On the whole, a well-seasoned dish with a balance of sweet and savoury scents - M loved it!
When we first read the description of our next dish, Organic farm egg potato cream, iberico jamon, herb salad - our hearts beated with anticipation. Surely this dish would be freaking awesome. And freaking awesome it was.
Perfectly soft boiled on the inside with a mighty fine crunch on the outside, the yolk from the egg oozed gloriously as we broke into the crisp pastry shell. The broth beneath was just as creamy and luscious - the perfect match with the salty prosciutto. Each bite compelled us to ooh and ahh in absolute amazement. It was definitely one of the most unique and delicious entrees we've ever had.
The Mulloway pan fried with sesame salt, brown butter, capers, gremolata oil, soft herbs and lemon was a safe option to have on the menu. The fish was well-cooked, seasoning was fragrant and the skin was crispy. Fresh, simple, and classic. You can't go wrong with it!
Prior to coming here, a friend of mine had highly recommended the steaks at BLACK. So both M and I were super excited to try it out on the night! We made sure it was on the set menu before booking :P
After taking one bite, we both concluded that the Rumpcap grain fed wagyu MBS9+ was a dish sent from heaven. Cooked with buttered desiree puree, marrow and shallot sauce, the steak slid off our knives with ease upon each cut and the meat was as juicy and tender as you could've ever asked for. Definitely 10 thumbs up!
By then I was already quite full believe it or not. But I came to BLACK for another reason - the dessert! After seeing so many Instagram shots of the famous Chocolate warm couverture ganache with dulce de leche ice cream and peanut butter mousse - I simply had to have it! Like most of the dishes served that night, it sure did not disappoint.
The dessert comes in a sphere-like chocolate ball and after a few seconds of seeing it in that form, the staff proceeds to pouring the warm ganache over it, causing the ball to dissolve gradually, before the eventual explosion, to reveal the luscious fillings encased inside.
The rich mixture of the dulce de leche ice cream, the peanut butter mousse and the melted chocolate - god was it beautiful and oh so decadent! Quite similar to the 8 texture chocolate cake at Quay - not only did it taste tremendous, it was also a fabulous show :) LOVED IT!
You would think that a dessert like that would be the end of a sugar over-load? Well you're wrong. Black decides to challenge your sweet tolerance with their ultra delectable petit fours. Both the macarons and chocolate balls were amazing, and despite us feeling quite full, we still obliged in demolishing it. Unfortunately as we were in a rush that night, we didn't stay for tea and coffee.
Overall, both M and I loved our experience at BLACK! Every dish was unique in its technique, taste and visual appeal. It was one of the most value-worthy degustation menus we had ever seen and the end result sought to impress, one course after the other. Highlights include the organic egg, the steak and the chocolate couverture dessert - classic dishes with a fun modern twist!
As Black is situated inside The Star, the restaurant boasts stunning views of both the harbour and the city. Interiors are contemporary and luxe, with a colour palette embodying all the classic shades of brown, white and beige. Service was also very professional and attentive. Would definitely recommend this place to everyone! :D
Oh and BLACK has one hat in the SMH Good Food Guide too :)
P.S. Thank you M for such a wonderful Valentine's Day! Looking forward to the next one :)
BLACK by ezard
Level G, The Star
80 Pyrmont Street
(02) 9657 9109