Every once in a while, a restaurant just comes along and blows you away. Their execution is precise and yet they do it so effortlessly. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to Farmhouse, our favourite restaurant of 2016 thus far. I know we’re only early into 2016, but it would take a miracle to topple Farmhouse as our restaurant of the year.
When we recently went to Sydney, we made it our mission to not only revisit some of our favourite restaurants there, but to also expand our horizons in search of something fresh. When Helen told me excitedly she booked a restaurant called Farmhouse for my birthday, I was more than intrigued. She told me this mythical story about a place that brings the country to the city. Country style cooking using fresh produce and everyone sits on a large wooden communal table. That was all I needed to know, and I never looked up the menu or any photos as I wanted to be surprised by what they had to offer.
To my amazement, I found out they were located at Kings Cross! Not the sort of place I’d expect a restaurant with this theme to be located at, however once we got there, I realised that they blended in so seamlessly with their surroundings that I actually forgot where I was. A top notch restaurant should be able to take you on a journey, a place that makes you forget where you are, and their food capable of bringing back vivid past memories, this is what Farmhouse does so well.
When we arrived we were greeted with an earthy and wooden, rustic feel. Their Farmhouse name was actually etched on a wooden palate outside the entrance – how cool is that?! There were 3 seats available away from everyone else at the bar, that looks into the restaurant itself. However, our preference was always going to be the communal table! Once inside, more rustic wooden cabinets to the left and the exposed wooden beams really set the place off! Due to us being a little late for the 6:30PM session, we were a little bit behind with the first course. This wasn’t a problem at all, as they quickly brought the food out to us, and we soon caught up to the others with our lightning eating speeds!
Farmhouse hits that magical sweet spot of $60 AUD per person for their 5 course set menu. Even though Helen and I spend a lot of money eating out, it still feels a bit expensive when the food is $100 or above per person. This price is exceptional value for the quality of food you get here.
Whilst all the dishes were great, there were 3 dishes which really stood out. The spanner crab with a light corn soup, asparagus and radish, the whole baked Rainbow trout with mash, farmhouse tabbouleh, wasabi/sour cream condiment, zucchini & pine nut salad and the cold ‘apple pie’ were the cream of the crop! The texture and sweetness of the crab meat is boosted when combined with the light corn soup. The whole rainbow trout was really fresh, and I love it when fish is served whole! I think we tend to forget what fish looks like at times due to us eating so many fillets. Texture was soft and tender, the wasabi and sour cream condiment gave it a nice little kick. The colours of the whole carrots, the thin slices of zucchini and the rough scatter of dill shows that this is indeed country style cooking.
I was most skeptical with the cold ‘apple pie’, as I don’t generally like apple pies much. This turned out to be one of my favourite desserts of all time… this cold and deconstructed apple pie was very creative as it had granita on top. The combination of the crumble was crunchy and every bite sent chills up my spine! Delicious.
Our visit to Farmhouse has been an eye opening experience. By creating a set seasonal menu, the chef is working around the fresh produce. I don’t believe it should ever be the other way around as no chef could make bad produce taste good. By having a set menu it presents everyone with the same foods, therefore people don’t get to pick their own dishes. Whilst this may sound negative, I believe it opens up people to foods which they otherwise would not order. This is a form of food education and I like the fact that it takes people out of their comfort zone. For example, I would have never ordered a cold ‘apple pie’ if I saw it on the menu, but because I got it as part of this set menu, it became one of my favourite desserts of all time! Funny how sometimes having a choice can hinder your food experiences.
Chef and co-owner Mike Sung also came out to have a chat to us and even gave us free dessert wine for my birthday. Farmhouse really is the complete package and I’m so happy to have enjoyed this experience. I cannot wait to revisit next time I’m in Sydney. Until then we wish Mike and his team all the best!
Approx $60 AUD per person
Address: 4/40 Bayswater Rd, Rushcutters Bay NSW 2011
Phone: +61 448 413 791