Only blogging about Clooney Restaurant now due to my tight schedule and I’m hoping that I can still remember the experience and the finer details. Once again, it was a rather spontaneous dinner outing so I had forgotten my camera. I attempted to use my phone, but the quality was just horrible.
My partner and I visited Clooney on a late Wednesday night a couple of weeks ago to celebrate our anniversary. Being a weekday, the Freemans Bay was rather quiet and there were only a few patrons at the restaurant. The first thought upon entering Clooney is that the restaurant is spectacular. What used to be a derelict warehouse back in the early 2000s is now a well designed dining heaven filled with black fringe curtains, dim intimate lighting and comfortable curved leather couches. It was a great start to our night.
The seasonal menu has decent variety with a number of entrees and mains to chose from. For starters, I ordered the mushroom risotto made with ferron vialone nano rice with a black truffle butter and herb emulsion and my partner ordered the maple syrup glazed Eastherbrook farms quail with pickle apple and mustard. My risotto was cooked perfectly and not too rich – a perfect starter – but the dish itself lacked presentation and was merely served as risotto in the middle of the plate with some herb emulsion on the side. However, the quail was presented nicely with many different components. It was a feast for our eyes as well as our taste-buds. We both really enjoyed our starters and cleared our plates without difficulty.
For mains, I had the fish of the day which was a seared John Dory with caramelised dates, almonds and veal sweetbread. The fish was juicy and delicious which surprisingly worked well with the dates and almonds. It was my first time to try sweetbread (thymus gland) and it had a soft texture and taste similar to liver and it was exceptional. My partner went with the fail-safe prime angus beef tenderloin served with potatoes, truffled onions and veal sweetbread. Cooked medium rare – the beef looked and tasted succulent and tender. He clearly enjoyed the dish as he finished his dish before I was even halfway through mine.
Being unable to resist the temptations of desserts, we ordered the pear tart tartin with gorgonzola ice cream and the Valhrona chocolate sabayon tart with burnt milk gelato and hazelnut. The chocolate tart was luscious and rich and I think it’s hard to go wrong with chocolate + ice cream + hazelnut combo. However, I was extremely disappointed with the pear tart tartin. The tartin was too sticky and uncomfortably stuck to my teeth. The concept of savory cheese ice cream is just not to my liking and it was a disappointing end to a great meal.
Pricing for Clooney Restaurant is on the expensive side as it cost approximately $200 for the entire meal. But overall, it is a must try as the atmosphere and food makes an excellent dining experience with attentive and friendly staff as well as charming interior setting. Just don’t order the gorgonzola ice cream.
Date: Wednesday 1st September 2010 | Location: 33 Sale Street, Freemans Bay | Food: Contemporary Fine Dining