Since our first trip to Hartsyard on their opening night, we’ve been looking forward to going back and trying other dishes… and trying the duck again! This time we brought four others with us so that we could order just about everything on the menu.
A bottle of bubbles arrived on the table: the 2009 Blind Corner Crement from WA ($55). It was smooth, dry and buttery, everything I could want in a sparkling. What a find!
It was hard to tear myself away to try the Hartsyard Manhattan with bacon-infused Jack Daniels, sweet vermouth, bitters and maple syrup (right). But I managed. Phwaor! I’m obviously not used to drinking whiskey!
Mr VdH ordered a Jamaican Mule (below left) with Appleton rum, fresh lime, ginger ale, bitters which was zesty and fresh, more my usual sort of thing… Though I still think the Gentleman’s Spritz (below right) will be my cocktail of choice next visit. It’s just divine.
A small note regarding the glassware… I know some people don’t like the red wine glasses (including Myffy Rigby and Terry Durack) but it makes them harder to knock over and break/spill precious drops of 2011 Trapeze Victorian pinot noir. (And after a couple of Manhattans, with a lot of food on the table, this is a real issue.)
We started the feast with duck nuts, a salty, crunchy, spicy mass of deliciousness. Make sure you have plenty of cocktails on hand, they are seriously salty!
Next was a little salad of radish with onion, smoked butter and slivers of crisp rye bread. The flavours were lovely, but I half-wished for a little something saucy as well. I made do with loads of smoked butter instead. (What a hard life!)
I’d been hankering to try the crispy pig tails since I saw them on the menu the first time. They didn’t disappoint! The little croquettes were crisp and golden, the inside soft, smooth and slightly sticky. Perfectly offside by the piquant pickles, light, buttermilk dressing and absolutely amazing homemade hot sauce (served separately – so good I forgot to photograph it!). YUM!!!
The jar-cooked salmon was ordered (despite my usual no-unsustainable seafood policy) and so I had to try it. Smooth, almost gelatinous, and delicate. So good with cornichons and creme fraiche, with some lovely tart greens, and more crisp rye bread.
A new dish, not yet on the menu, was a wagyu beef tartare served with homemade “New York bagel”, pickle chips and a fried egg. The beef itself was amazing, and well-balanced with lots of finely chopped pickles to cut the richness of the steak. My only gripe was that it was hard to share. Maybe a few slices of bagel would be more group-friendly.
I had to get the duck, of course. For the mouth-watering details see my previous post here. Still in the running to be my favourite dish in Sydney.
Last to arrive was the roasted pork with sorrel and black pepper maple-bacon and Vadouvan. Sticky sweet and incredibly good. Pigs truly are wonderful, magical animals. The sorrel was a nice accompaniment with its sharp, lemony flavour. (Apologies for the poor photos… Two of those Manhattans and half a bottle of champagne did nothing for my photography skills.)
Ok, so in the past I’ve admitted that I’m not a huge dessert girl. But one of the reasons I wanted to come back to Hartsyard was to try the amazing sounding sweet dishes: first up, rhubarb crumble with malted milk, parsnip chips, strawberry, pomegranate. Some of my very favourite flavours, all on the one plate!
Next: Peanut butter and banana sundae with pretzel ice cream, banana doughnut, salted fudge – as decadent and over-the-top as it sounds! Check it out!
Last but not least, soft chocolate cake… Not accompanied by beetroot ganache, frozen yogurt, mandarin and olive oil as stated on the menu but with ale ice-cream (!!!!), freeze-dried pear, plus slivers of fresh pear and – more pork! I love this place!
We left very happy and satisfied, for $50 each (for food) plus $10-$40 each for drinks. It was worth every cent.
I’ll be back… again