Walking in, it reminded me a lot of the good times and great food that I had enjoyed at Billingsgate in Randwick. It had a great buzzy atmosphere which in the end turned out to be a bit too loud for this old bat.
Service was a bit variable. The people closest to the serving corridor got their water glasses refilled, but I felt quite neglected up back near the wall. My water glass got filled up once, just before dessert.
Main dishes sampled: roast quail stuffed with fennel sausage with marsala and grapes; duck pappardelle with chestnuts and unfindable funghi, and roman-style slow cooked roast lamb.
The lamb had had the following comment in the review: " Roman-style roast suckling lamb is an early leader for favourite dish of 2008. On-the-bone chunks of baby lamb, initially marinated and cooked in a white wine, tomato and herb braise, are re-roasted then coated in a rosemary-pungent reduction of the cooking juices. Thus the angelically tender lamb is wetter than Romans would expect, but no less for it."
The waiter had recommended the lamb as well, saying that it was dish of the month. My lamb was tender, but over the top too salty. The sampled duck pappardelle tasted sweet and mild in comparison. I needed to intersperse the bites with the sharp vinegarette of the rocket, radicchio and parmesan salad. The rosemary had been deepfried or roasted, and was providing crunchy bits of rosemary flavoured entertaintment. But really? It was almost a relief to finish it.
I seemed intent on filling my stomach with rich-flavoured food. I dithered between the chocolate, hazelnut and frangelico semifreddo; and the vanilla panacotta. I went the semifreddo - great dish to share, almost impossible to finish on ones own! It again was very rich and intense. I thought that it would be a layered type of dessert, but it was a mix, with some intensely spiced cherries as an aside.
I also had the chance to sample the olive oil and rosemary cake with marscapone gelato and stewed figs. That was interesting: the cake was dry yet moist at the same time, and had a faint rosemary herb taste. The figs were tasty: and reminded me of the fig glut I had had whilst in Croatia. The gelato was also an interesting taste: it made the whole dessert more of a savoury affair.
I'm glad I had walked up to the restaurant, because I definitely waddled on home afterwards.