Sails Lavender Bay

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The View

Today I am heading to Sails Restaurant for lunch. It is such a well positioned restaurant with stunning views of Sydney Harbour, The Bridge and the Opera House.

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I walk into the restaurant and am greeted by this stunning view….

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My table is situated with a stunning view, which simply leaves me in awe.

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I opt for the Tasting Menu today and this is how it unfolds…

First Course

Woodside goats curd, pickled baby vegetables, hazelnut, elk leaves
The goats curd is rich and creamy, while the picked baby vegetables provide a lovely refreshing tang. The smooth texture of the goats cheese is paired with the crunch of the hazelnuts for a lovely textural contrast. A very simple, clean and fresh dish to start proceedings.

Margan Verdelho (2015) Hunter Valley NSW
The dish is paired with a beautiful Verdelho from the Hunter Valley. The wine has beautiful aromas of spice and tropical fruit. On the palate a distinctive mix of tropical fruits flow on the first taste with some sharp lime citrus bite in the aftertaste. There are beautiful spice notes and a fresh tart acidity which is perfect for the creaminess of the dish.

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Second Course

Seared scallops, bacon marmalade, potato aioli, tuille
The dish as rich saline flavour courtesy of the natural flavours of the scallops and the bacon. The bacon marmalade is also quite sweet to provide a nice contrast of flavours. The tulie is has a crisp potato chip like texture while the potato aioli by contrast is fluffy and creamy. A very lovely dish which ticks the aesthetics box and show cases the natural flavours of the scallop perfectly.

Far Ago Hill, Pinot Gris, (2015), Canyonleigh NSW
The wine to pair with this dish is a Pinot Gris from Canyonleigh in NSW. The wine exudes freshness of flavour and has lovely notes of pears and sweet spice. On the palate the wine has full fruit flavours with a touch of acidity but is very easy to drink and has some lovely sweet honey flavours which lingers in the finish. It is well-built for the dish and is a perfect match for the seafood while its sweetness integrates well with the bacon marmalade.

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Third Course

Cone bay barramundi, curried cauliflower, date and lime chutney
This course is a classic light Indian dish with the beautiful fresh salty flavour of the barramundi with its crispy oily skin, meaty flesh and “fall-apart’ flaky texture being front and centre.  There is the spicy interlude of the curried cauliflower, which is balanced with a sweet chutney (which has some citrus bite) and a light refreshing mint yoghurt on the side. These showcase spice, sweet, and softer flavours in a beautiful composition. The crunch of the curry leaves are lovely and the cool crunch of the cucumber adds to the dish’s textures. A very nicely woven together plate.

Alliance Vouvray, (2012), Loire Valley, France
The Vouvray is perfect for this dish and goes so well with the curried flavours. The wine has beautiful aromas of lime and white fruits. On the palate there is beautiful notes of honey and dried fruits. The freshness, crispness and sweetness of the wine intermediates the stronger flavours of this dish very well.

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Fourth Course

Grimaud duck breast, puree, baby cos, jamon powder, grape must
The dish is all about the richness and flavour of duck. It is beautiful, tender and succulent with dominating flavours. The eggplant puree is sweet while the salt in jamon powder asserts itself very well. The grape must in the dish is a syrupy sweet tango that gives the dish that extra dimension. A wonderful integration of rich flavours with salt and sweet overtones.

Skimstone, Barbera, (2013), Mudgee NSW
I know duck and Pinot Noir is as old as apple pie and custard, but the restaurant opts to pair the dish with a Barbera. The wine is actually quite good. The aromas of dried berries and currants with a hint of spice present themselves on first pour and continue for the tasting. The wine is full-bodied, with good fruit flavours, a velvety silky texture and small but sufficient tannins to deal with the fat and oils of the duck.
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Fifth Course

Grainge eye fillet, 24 hour braised short rib, cavolo nero, beurre noisette jus
The dish is all about wonderful contrasts of textures. The charred outer part of the eye fillet and its juicy tender centre, the “soft, buttery, fall apart” texture of the short-rib, the thick sensual jus, the soft creamy corn puree and the crunch of the cavolo nero. The dish stands out on the flavours front as well; the beautiful  natural flavours of the beef and the richness of the beurre noisette jus excite every taste bud. A lovely dining experience indeed.

2010 Ruca Malen ‘Yauquen’ Malbec, Mendoza Argentina
For this type of dish a strong wine is needed and it is paired with a beautiful Malbec. The wine has an interesting nose with a plum jam and “Dr Pepper / Cough syrup” style aroma with some light hints of berries. On the palate plum and berries flavours flow with hints of smoke and some very nice tannins The wine finishes with firmness and strength of flavour which is what is needed for the dish.

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Sixth Course

Brique D’affinos, date, apple, truffle oil, carta de musica
The cheese delivers a punget aroma to cause all pause and contemplation. The crunch of the apple is a nice textural flow, while the mix of apple and date adds some nice sweetness to the dish, while the crunch of carta de musica is a good textural contrast and a lovely base to taste the cheese. The cheese has an extremely rich and creamy with a clean flavour and with only a hint of mushroom on the touch. It is a lovely tasting experience.

Stanton & Killeen 12YO Topaque, Rutherglen VIC
This little gem is a beautiful set of layered tastes, including caramel, butterscotch, butter, honey and candied apricots and almonds with a hint orange jam. The perfect way to wind-down after a long lunch. The sweetness of the wine cuts through richness of cheese in a perfect melody of partnership.

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Seventh Course

Chocolate hazelnut pavé, white chocolate and yoghurt mousse, sorbet, caramel crunch
The yoghurt mousse has a bite stemming from the natural cultures but the white chocolate is super smooth. The crumbly biscuit crumbs integrate perfectly with the chocolate sorbet which is itself a purely silky smooth cocoa experience. The cocoa richness in hazelnut pave works like a brownie with a sensuous rich sticky moist middle with the crunch of hazelnut contrasting well with the smooth moist cakey centre. A very rich and overwhelming dessert indeed.

Romate Pedro Ximenez ‘Cardinal Cisneros’, Jerez Spain
The wine has a thick syrupy texture with lovely flavours of raisins and coffee which integrate nicely with the dessert but proves to be a little too much for me as the afternoon winds down.

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COFFEE AND PETIT FOURS

To finish I have a coffee (the nice bitter crema is welcomed after such a sugar hit for the cheese and desserts) and some lovely petit fours.

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So ends a lovely afternoon and a wonderfully civilised lunch. Sails is always such a wonderful experience, you can travel the world but there is nothing more beautiful than lunch on Sydney Harbour.

Sails on Lavender Bay Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato