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Monday, November 28, 2011

BLACK by ezard at The Star, Pyrmont, Sydney

marrow tart at black by teage ezard

To marrow. To marrow. I love you. Oh marrow.

If Annie had discovered the divine pleasures of bone marrow, surely she would have sung a different tune.

Marrow is the only thing on our minds when we head to BLACK by ezard, the latest venture by Melbourne chef Teage Ezard, opening at The Star casino. Ezard is the creative force behind two hat restaurant ezard and Asian street food diner Gingerboy.

dining room at black by teage ezard
BLACK dining room

BLACK signals a new direction for Ezard, delivering an Australian grill menu that focuses on beef and seafood. The venue is cool and slick, a mix of elegant booth seating and leather upholstered seats, fronted by floor-to-ceiling glass windows that look onto Pyrmont Bay.

kitchen at black by teage ezard
Waterbath, toasting brioche burger buns, booth seating and cooking a lamb rack on the grill

The open kitchen provides a complimentary floor show for patrons. We note the water bath bubbling merrily away, used to cook all steaks sous vide according to the menu.

bar at black by teage ezard
The bar at BLACK

brioche at black by teage ezard
Complimentary brioche with butter and volcanic black salt

Complimentary loaves of brioche are a decadent way to start the meal, and even though the bread is already yellow from the amount of butter used, it's hard not to slather on a little more, especially when it allows you to sprinkle on flakes of volcanic black salt too. Staff happily provide more brioche when we polish two mini loaves in a flash.

egg and white alba truffles at black by teage ezard
Organic farm egg $34
Potato cream, white Alba truffles, Iberico ham and herb salad

When faced with a dilemma over what to order, the best thing to do is share. We engineer a three-course degustation of entrees which allows us to sample everything we'd been eying lustfully on the menu. The organic farm egg is a buried within a nest of crunchy potato twigs, eventually spilling its runny yolk over a bed of potato cream.


Thin shavings of white Alba truffles are rather subdued in flavour but we relish the melting fattiness of the Iberico ham.

steak tartare at black by teage ezard
Beef tartare $25
Heirloom beets, mustard ice cream and puffed wild rice

The beef tartare is barely recognisable at first, hidden beneath a glossy red blanket of beetroot jelly. We find a pillow of tartare beneath the jelly - pre-mixed but seasoned well. I find the beetroot tends to overwhelm this dish with its earthiness but the grains of puffed wild rice give a pleasant textural contrast.

marrow flan at black by teage ezard
Marrow flan $26
golden brioche, celeriac cream and king brown mushrooms

It's the marrow flan we'd all been looking forward, an artful arrangement of miniature brioche toasts topped with sauteed king brown mushrooms and globules of glistening marrow. It's a sinfully rewarding entree, from the quivering tower of celeriac cream, to the miniature fried quail egg and the eye-rolling fattiness of marrow treasure.

rump cap steak at black by teage ezard
Rump cap grain fed wagyu MBS 9+ 250g $75
with marrow and shallot sauce $4

This isn't cheap dining. You can find a main at $29 for homemade gnocchi but the rest move upwards from $42. Steaks on the woodfire grill start at $45 for the grass fed 200g Angus fillet and top out at $140 for the dry aged grain fed one kilogram Angus T-bone (recommended to share among the table).

Lex's rump cap is one of the more unusual cuts available. Commonly available at Brazilian churrasco and known as picanha, the rump cap is one of the juiciest cuts you can get. It's soft, fatty and flavoursome, made even better with a splash of marrow and shallot sauce that is poured at the table.

scotch fillet steak at black by teage ezard
Scotch fillet grain fed Angus MBS 4+ 300g $65
with truffle butter $8

Suze has the scotch fillet with truffle butter - we find the butter tastes more of mushroom than truffle. On a side note, although the use of sous vide does mean consistently tender meat, do others find a hollow trade off with texture? Sous vide often seems to involve a loss in toothsome chewiness that is half the carnivorous pleasure in eating meat.

ribeye steak at black by teage ezard
Rib eye dry aged grass fed Angus 400g $52
with marrow and shallot sauce $4

I'd gone for the 400g dry aged grass fed Angus rib eye, a satisfying slab of meat cooked and served on the bone. It's cooked to perfection, although the fattiness of the meat combined with the extra marrow in the sauce causes some shallow breathing at one point.

potato vegetables mash at black by teage ezard
Wood grilled vegetables with Romesco sauce $9; buttered potato puree $10;
potato gratin with parmesan and dill cream $10;
and cos with chorizo, piquillo pepper and heirloom carrot $10

We share a mix of side dishes - the potato gratin is perhaps a little strongly flavoured with dill and the pieces of chorizo in the cos salad are tiny. The wood grilled vegetables include cauliflower, eggplant and zucchini smothered in Romesco sauce and toasted almonds. We unanimously love the buttered potato puree which is thick and creamy with butter, and silky smooth on the tongue.

apple pound cake dessert at black by teage ezard
Apple pound cake $19
Calvados ice cream, walnut crumble and golden raisin syrup

Desserts range in price from $18 to $22. There is heated debate at our table as to whether a pound cake should be described as 'heavy' or 'light' which leads us to order the apple pound cake so we can settle the argument. Although we obliterate the syrup soaked pound cake and the boozy Calvados ice cream, it still doesn't lead to any clear resolution.

honey parfait dessert at black by teage ezard
Honeycrunch $18
Clover honey parfait, ginger biscuit, honeycomb and cinnamon

Honeycrunch is an elegant presentation of clover honey parfait coated in fine crumbs of ginger biscuits. The shard of honeycomb is delicately bubbled but it's the white powder beneath it that has us puzzled. Only clarification from the waiter confirms it as cinnamon powder much to Noods' delight, who guessed correctly.

chocolate dome dessert at black by teage ezard
Chocolate $22
Warm couverture ganache, banana ice cream and hazelnut mousse

The description of the chocolate dessert on the menu fails to adequately convey the spectacle involved with this dish. It arrives as an orb of chocolate over which the waiter pours a warm couverture ganache. In a scene somewhat similar to the eight texture chocolate cake at Quay, we watch the chocolate slowly melt and fall in upon itself.

chocolate dome dessert at black by teage ezard

The chocolate shell caves in upon itself to reveal the scoop of banana ice cream inside. It's a fun dessert that tastes like a molten Ferrero Rocher dessert, particularly with the rubble of hazelnuts at the bottom of the dish.

End scene and fade to black.



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BLACK by Ezard
Level G, Harbourside
The Star
80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02)

Opening hours:
Lunch: Friday 12pm-3pm
Dinner: Tuesday to Sunday 5.30pm-11pm.
Closed on Mondays


Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Steak - Chophouse, Sydney (1.7kg tomahawk)
Steak - Rockpool Bar and Grill, Sydney
Steak - Steersons, Sydney (1kg T-bone)

32 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/28/2011 01:49:00 am


32 Comments:

  • At 11/28/2011 2:03 am, Anonymous Lex said…

    I love you, oh marrow lol I like it. mmmmm marrow.....

     
  • At 11/28/2011 2:30 am, Anonymous Karen | Citrus and Candy said…

    The beef! The dessert! The potato puree! *DIES*

     
  • At 11/28/2011 8:08 am, Anonymous Tina @ bitemeshowme said…

    The food looks absolutely devine here! Wow...

     
  • At 11/28/2011 8:21 am, Anonymous Chopinand @ ChopinandMysaucepan said…

    Dear Helen

    I agree sous vide will never give the meat that charred and slightly crusty texture of a grill. I find some restaurants do this with a piece of round fillet which in my opinion achieves the soft tender consistency but what's the point of a steak without its decadecnt fat?

    Like you, I would have gone for the rib eye on the bone as well, but I am very interested to know which steak was the best if at all you guys tried each other's mains, considering the rump was the most expensive and Suze's rib eye was sous vide. I can never get myself to order a piece of rump because of the lack of fat content that often makes it chewy but this $75 MBS 9+ is like a modest looking woman dressed to the hilt to impress.

     
  • At 11/28/2011 9:01 am, OpenID lateraleating said…

    Ahhh bone marrow... I agree, it ain't cheap dining but ok for once in a while.

     
  • At 11/28/2011 9:32 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    i have dreams about that brioche. and the marrow sauce. and the rib eye. and the potato puree. much lols at noods' glee haha he wont let us forget im sure

     
  • At 11/28/2011 9:37 am, Anonymous MatesChoice said…

    I gotta agree with the comments above/below... food looks divine :O Yes expensive eating out but i say worth it for special occasions.
    can I post some of your pictures on our page; https://www.facebook.com/MatesChoice
    thanks

     
  • At 11/28/2011 9:48 am, Anonymous Nic@diningwithastud said…

    Totall thought of the Quay cake when I saw the sphere - I'm not complaining though :D

     
  • At 11/28/2011 10:15 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    Anywhere that serves brioche is in my good books. The marrow flan sounds amazing. I think I'd probably team heavy in the pound cake debate :D

     
  • At 11/28/2011 10:30 am, Anonymous Dumpling Girl said…

    Every time I see that mini brioche loaf, I truly lust for it.

     
  • At 11/28/2011 11:00 am, Blogger Phuoc'n Delicious said…

    I'm salivating at the molten chocolate dessert. How great is it that you start with complimentary loaves of brioche!

     
  • At 11/28/2011 11:01 am, Anonymous OohLookBel said…

    Definite wow factor with the presentation (and prices!). The meal looks amazing. By the way, my mum ate there the other day but didn't realise what a big deal it is - she forgot the name of the restaurant, was disappointed they didn't have garlic bread, and was appalled at the price of the steak.

     
  • At 11/28/2011 11:15 am, Blogger joey@FoodiePop said…

    The desserts in particular look fantastic, but I was told by someone that for tables of eight or more, there is a minimum spend of $2500 ....

     
  • At 11/28/2011 11:18 am, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    The scotch fillet looks a little lonely on its own. Everything is making my mouth water though... lunch time!

     
  • At 11/28/2011 11:25 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Eeeeeee! Must reframe mind so that I don't see the tartare dish as covered in maggots. *hdies behind hands*

    Sorry, Helen :P Instead, I'll swoon over the Honeycrunch, which sounds perfectly my kind of dessert! And I'd maybe try the chocolate one. I trust you... though I don't usually trust chocolate desserts. ;)

     
  • At 11/28/2011 1:55 pm, Anonymous Hotly Spiced said…

    What a beautiful looking restaurant - I just love the look of those leather chairs with the black flooring. And the food looks sensational.

     
  • At 11/28/2011 2:12 pm, Blogger Michelle Chin said…

    Hmm... i agree with your comment on the sous vide-d meat. It does ensure that it is tender but it loses some of the "elasticity" so to speak.

    great observation. if not for your comment, i would not have realized it.

     
  • At 11/28/2011 2:39 pm, Anonymous Jacq said…

    So much marrow! And that chocolate dessert looks amazing as well

     
  • At 11/28/2011 8:14 pm, Anonymous Ayden @ Himalayan Salt said…

    Love the look of the place Helen. Such a good thing when good design and good food come together.

     
  • At 11/28/2011 8:48 pm, Anonymous mrs ed said…

    wow looks good.. shouldnt gone here instead of sokyo :(

     
  • At 11/28/2011 9:19 pm, Anonymous tania@mykitchenstories.com.au said…

    God it looks good. You guys had a great time!

     
  • At 11/29/2011 12:20 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Chopin - We only tried three of the nine steaks listed on the menu. I was really happy with my rib eye but the bit of rump cap I sampled was pretty tasty too! It's also worth noting that all the steaks here are prepared sous vide according to the menu detail.

    Hi OohLookBel - lol that's too funny about the garlic bread!

    Hi Joey - That's not something that I'm aware of, but perhaps it's worth checking with the restaurant at the time of booking? There was a rather spectacular private dining alcove at the back - perhaps this is what the minimum spend referred to?

    Hi Hannah - Actually you weren't the only one to think that! It was soon forgotten with the first mouthful though :)

     
  • At 11/29/2011 12:23 am, Anonymous gastronomous anonymous said…

    i love the brioche here! and the bone marrow... yum!!!

     
  • At 11/29/2011 1:42 am, Anonymous FFichiban said…

    *drooolllls* so should not b reading this at this time.... Mmmm Im gonna have some meaty, bone marrowry dreams tonight

     
  • At 11/29/2011 7:46 am, Anonymous Adriana @mouthtomouthfood said…

    The food looks incredible, I was unsure of this place due to a few bad press reviews, but after looking at these photos, I am more than happy to eat there. hmmmmm bone marrow flan!

     
  • At 11/29/2011 9:14 am, Anonymous Jean said…

    Wow! I just can't get enough of your blog. Every time I check it, there is always something new and something delicious! Keep up the good work. You just never fail on how to make your readers/viewers drool. :)

     
  • At 11/29/2011 11:15 pm, Anonymous The Food Sage said…

    Your photos have sealed the deal - have been toying with the idea of paying this place a visit. The photo of the rib eye was not what i needed to see before bed-time though ... mouth watering and no way to satisfy a steak craving so late at night :-(

     
  • At 11/30/2011 1:06 am, Anonymous Sara - Belly Rumbles said…

    How do you choose what to eat, it all looks so good. Great idea about sharing the entrees.

     
  • At 11/30/2011 6:28 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    I suppose that's why sous-vide is more recommended for those cuts of meat which are generally less tender but more flavoursome so that, when cooked, some "chewiness" is retained.

    And that chocolate orb - it looks positively regal!

     
  • At 11/30/2011 7:32 pm, Anonymous Spencer said…

    Looks like a nice place. I especially love the chocolate ganache dessert!

     
  • At 12/02/2011 8:52 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This place is delicious, I went for a 30th & wasn't sure what to expect after some mediocre press. It was all wrong! We loved the bar, the food & the service. It's different to anything in Sydney as well. I want to go back & try the marrow flab now. I had the snapper & handcut chips & asparagus AMAZING (we had a group of 8 there was no minimum spend. Only if we wanted the private dinning room which we didn't!)

     
  • At 1/06/2012 9:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We were planning on going to the Black. We passed by and saw first a waiter and then a chef helping themselves from a plate meant for one of the seated customers... Not going there any time soon!!! If you want to have an open kitchen live up to it!!!

     

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