Last week I had the pleasure of being the guest of The Union Hotel’s fab restaurant, Uncorked. About 5 years, okay exactly 59 months, 11 days and 2 hours ago, I used to work in North Sydney – not that I’m counting. The thing is, there was absolutely nothing to do: Zip. Zilch. Nadda. Nothin’. So you’ll understand why, I was oh, so happy, to escape to the other side of The Bridge where I could frolick and feast on life. (Who me, dramatic?)
So when I was invited to dine at Uncorked, I was thrilled and excited to try their French inspired fare. After all, Uncorked won ‘Best Restaurant in a Pub’ for 2010. Hay-lo. And disappointed I was not. Upstairs at The Union Hotel, Uncorked sits above Le Bistro, which was jam-packed for Friday lunch. Given the turn out, I might just have to come back. Clearly North Sydney has changed – The Union seems to be where it’s at. Yo.
To start, I ordered the Tea Smoked Kingfish, Heirloom Tomatoes, Capers, Parsley Pesto & Black Olive Vinaigrette. Firstly, I felt a bit guilty eating the piece of art that was my entree (rest assured it was more Monet than Banksy). It was delicate, balanced and not at all what you’d expect to find for a restaurant nestled in a pub. No siree.
rest assured it was more Monet than Banksy
Next up, I thought I’d give the Roasted Lamb Loin, Carpaccio of Roasted Beetroot, Feta, Orange & Baby Herbs a whirl. Dontcha just love baby herbs? I’d love for someone to call them ginormous herbs. Would you like a side of humongous herbs with that? Anyway, I digress and this is the bit you don’t want to miss. It was fan-freakin’-tastic. Yup. It was cooked to perfection and dare I say it, the best lamb loin that I’ve ever eaten. The roasted beetroot, feta and orange partnered the lamb perfectly, formed a choir and sang and danced in my mouth. Oh, the joy! Finally, someone that can cook lamb! Hurrah!
We may, or may not have ordered some Pommes frites on the side. Let’s face it, that’s just a fancy name for fries. And who am I kidding, it’s always less embarrassing ordering ‘Pommes frites’ than…fries. To balance it out, we couldn’t go past the Heirloom Tomato & Cucumber Salad which was fresh and cleansing.
To finish, we ordered the Chocolate & Jaffa Fondant with Orange and Coffee Jelly as well as the Mandarin Soufflé with White Chocolate Sauce. Usually dessert is the highlight for me, but after the roasted lamb loin, topping that was going to be a hard task. For me, the soufflé lacked enough citrus to cut through the white chocolate sauce and was a lil’ too eggy. And the Fondant? Ahhh, the fondant. It’s the dessert of all desserts. There’s nothing a good fondant can’t cure. I can see you nodding your head from here.
The best part about my new little find, in what used to be known as Culinary No Man’s Land, (yes, that was the official name) is I now have an excuse to venture over the bridge to my ol’ stomping ground: The Union. This time, I won’t wait 5 years, more like 5 days. Who’s free for lunch next week? MC