Crown Street Assembly, Surry Hills

  3 September 2012

There was a time when a dessert called BTS (Better Than Sex) at a certain Thai restaurant was all the rage. I think I was one of the very few people who didn’t go completely nuts over it and yet I couldn’t help but get excited when word on the street came about that there was a BTS Wagyu Slider ($8 each) at the newly opened Crown Street Assembly (527 Crown Street, Surry Hills).

The boy and I are seated next to none other than the fabulous Le Bon Vivant and we couldn’t help but stare in anticipation when the sliders arrived and smelled so insanely good. Are sliders overrated? Who cares when these babies were nothing short of amazing. Golden buns are toasted and hold a juicy patty covered in oozy cheese and sitting upon a single lettuce leaf and a pickle slice making this a taste explosion. Totes coming back and chilling at the bar with a plate of these and a beer or two.

Parfait is my weakness, whenever I see it on a menu I just absolutely HAVE to have it and Crown St Assembly’s Chicken Liver Parfait ($12) did not disappoint. The parfait was smooth and rich, if a little on the runny side tho of course that just meant I went for the not-so-classy option of sneakily dunking buttery sticks of brioche into the ramekin..

The Warm Lobster Roll ($8) is tiny. It comes out looking all lonely on a ridiculously small plate but oh boy was it tasty! The lobster pieces are incredibly soft and smothered in a delicious garlic-y aioli and totally does not need the lettuce leaf 😛

The Beef and Bone Marrow Dumplings ($11) were slippery little suckas with a light wrapper containing juicy beef nubbins and a dash of black vinegar but sadly none of the envisioned gobs of bone marrow. They were delicious but weren’t quite as awesome compared to the other starters we’d had.

On another visit I’m with Helen and start off with an entree size of the House-made Pan Fried Potato Gnocchi ($18). You know how I always describe soft things like pillows? Well the gnocchi was fluffier and lighter THAN ANY PILLOW KNOWN TO MAN. It was seriously hands down the best gnocchi I’ve ever had (woahhh)! The deep fried croutons provided a glorious crunch but oh the blue cheese sauce? Brilliant and amazeballs does not even begin to describe how much I loved this dish.

The Burnt Butter Späetzle with roast pumpkin, capers, honey, seeds ($16) was mainly ordered because of the mention of the burnt butter because hey who doesn’t love burnt butter? Sadly I could barely taste it but the twisted noodles were oddly satisfying with the cubes of sweet pumpkin.

The Roast Suckling Pig ($36) has me in raptures, 3 fat pieces of creamy porky flesh hide under a golden skin that is crisp and shatters with a stab of my fork. Celeriac puree and wedges of caramelised apple balance out the richness of the tête de cochon aka the crumbed and deep fried wheel of pig’s head meat and ahem more fat. There is a cube of black pudding that I nibble on but soon pass over to Helen who appreciates it more than I.

The Roasted Milly Hill Lamb Shoulder ($32) is also pretty damn amazing with tender meat and ribbons of glorious fat. The goat’s cheese and the olives aren’t too strong which is good for me as I have issues with both.

Noods has chosen the 200g Wagyu Rump ($36) for his main and while he cleans the plate in his usual fashion he can’t help but stare sadly at our neighbouring tables who were told of the steak tartare special- one of the rare things that’s on his extremely short MUST EAT list. Ah next time Noods.

Dessert time! The Almost Pavlova ($13) is not what we were expecting, I think we had automatically assumed it would be like an Eton Mess and were sad when there was no cream to be found. Because we do love our cream. The meringue domes are pretty and sugary sweet and matched well with the slightly tart lemon curd but I wasn’t too fond of the dense cubes of lemon cake.

The Pain Perdu ($15) has caught my eye mainly because of the candied popcorn ice cream and while it didn’t taste super popcorn-y I loved the caramelised banana and caramel coated popcorn bits scattered around the spiced pan fried brioche.

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