In the last part of Sandra's Master of Arts in Gastronomy she did a long paper on the move towards savoury in desserts, the place of umani in modern Western cooking and the process by which chefs develop new dishes. As well as reviewing masses of literature this involved interviewing dozens of chefs. All gave generously of their time. Several of stood out in their deep knowledge and thoughtfulness or because of their approach to the questions. Philippa Sibley
was one of them.
We have, unashamedly taken some of the photographs and information about Syracuse from their site.
Syracue's dining room evokes a wholly other time and place.
Originally an hotel and then a bank the ornate archways, soaring ceilings and curving chandeliers of a 19th century hotel lobby create a stunning impression of grandeur, though soft lighting and an assortment of antique tables and chairs keep the mood romantic and welcoming. Wine bottles displayed in various nooks and crannies hint at Syracuse’s vast and varied wine selection,
which the food menu is designed to match. Philippa Sibley is one of Australia’s leading chefs. Best known as a pastry and dessert specialist, Philippa’s solid old-school training and respect for timeless, classic cooking techniques has steered her reputation as “Savoury Queen” status equal to the sweet. Her focus is on seasonal, sustainable ingredients from local producers and “marriages of flavours: tomato and basil; mushroom and game; peach, raspberry and vanilla. Strawberries and cream. I’m a sucker when it comes to the old school, I just like to put a new spin on it.
We had the pleasure of eating at est est est and Ondine many years ago but did not get to Luxe or Prix Fixe while Phillipa was there but we were very keen to try Syracuse. It certainly is a lovely looking venue with well spaced white clothed tables.
We were going to start with a French champagne but the sommellieur talked us out of it for another french bubbly. Strangely, whilst we were all happy with it, he returned to suggest it was not quite as it should have been and would we like him to change it! We kept it and happily finished the bottle.
Asparagus soup with spanner crab was a delicious creamy start to the meal.
Liver pate was surprisingly delicate.
If you like pate you would enormously enjoy this one with it's light flavour and creamy consistency.
Mine and theirs again!
with a basil flavoured panacotta was outstanding and there were no complaints about this rhubarb tart.