Restaurant Arras, Walsh Bay
food that tells a story
and takes you on an epic journey..
Restaurant Arras has been on my list since last year and after making a last minute booking, boy am I glad I came. The experience we had was definitely one of my favourites and stand-outs for this year. The restaurant manager (I did not catch his name) was absolutely amazing. His knowledge within the world of food and of course his warm and friendly personality, made us feel like we were up for a night of food that will tell a story.
I know I’m no guru when it comes to fine dining and (I admit I still stare into space if i see a french menu in search for English words to figure out my ordering decisions), I do know in comparison to other fine dining restaurants i’ve tried, Arras by far ticks all right boxes that will impress anyone when dining here.
Surprised Arras is only a one hatted restaurant, it amazes me that in comparison to other one hatted restaurants, Arras produces quality of a two or three hatted restaurant. Not only is the presentation of food absolutely breath taking, and the creativity a masterpiece, the taste and flavours that combined together are phenomenal that makes you want to return to recapture the journey.
As soon as we were seated, we were given a fancy glass bowl of paper thin crisps for munching, as we decided on which bottle of wine and courses to choose off the al carte menu. If you thought this was a substitute for bread, boy are you wrong because there’s more..
Fennel, poppy and caraway seed paper thin crisps caramelise peanuts.
Made in house is a combination of delicate sweet and savoury crisps. Some crisps are plain for savoury lovers and the other half contains sprinkles of sugar crystals and thin slashes of honey (perfect to way to get the taste buds working). When the crisps are polished off, underneath the crisps lays a bed of caramelised peanuts.
hand made – bread selection
Word is, most fine dining restaurants tend to get their bread from Sonoma and Arras make their own!! The bread is served warm and the amount of bread selections they offer will spin any customer out in terms of making the decision. The bread rolls were soo good each one of them was very flavoursome (I’m in love with their onion bread). As for my dining companions, (Foo) ate a total of 5 breads throughout the night (pumpkin, onion, soy-linseed, malt, wholemeal) followed by (Nuwen) who ate 4 and (Min) and I ate 2.
Amuse bouche – game meat
A dish that is not too gamy for those who dislike game meat. I loved it to be honest. Usually I struggle with aged meat but boy this was a really nice way to start. Unfortunately I cant remember what exactly was in this but all i remember was the delicious sauce that coated the meat making it soft, juicy and tender.
Seafood ‘cassoulet’ MKII
Beautiful plate of various seafood (clams, crumbed oyster which were divine), scallops, shrimp, muscles and fish were cooked to perfection and very fresh. Portions were generous especially for a fine dining restaurant. A definite a must for seafood lovers.
When the waitress gave us a run down of each al carte dish, this is one of them which stood out. Almost looking like a squid lasagna, the very delicate squid was extremely soft and tender that we couldn’t believe how easy it was to pull apart. Embedded in the middle is textured squid which is very flavoursome and delicious when combined with the mini balls of apple which worked amazingly great! Just comes to show apple doesn’t only work well with pork!
Crab and jelly with toasted brioche
The thought of brioche makes my eyes light up at the thought of buttery rich bread combined with crab and jelly. Unfortunately I can’t remember what this dish was called or taste. I think i drank too much wine at this stage >_<.
game? gala? wellington?
Beef wellington with quail egg embedded in the center. Beef was cooked to perfection almost leaving the slight taste of gaminess to it. It was no surprise (Foo) being the bloke who could eat a kilo of red meat, went out on a meat fiesta ordering everything that contained red meat on the night. Meat lovers this is your match!
The most creative main of the night! Very tender on the inside and crispy on the outer. The foot was very crispy and wrapped around had a lovely texture of skin? potato? crisp? *mm yum* Around the plate was scattered with enoki mushrooms and a foie gras mousse pate which melted in your mouth. Amazing dish and one you will be eying it in envy.
A day at the seaside
An inspiration from Adam which takes him back to his childhood days. Its a generous portion of panfried fish with fried shrimps marinated with herbs and crispy air filled pieces of fried goodness sprinkled with a vinaigrette. A sour / bitter taste came out of my dish, wasn’t sure what it was (herbs? vinaigrette?) I still polished it off because it was still very delicious.
Tender beef slab with marrow and garlic (can’t remember the exact dish name)
The two boys ordered the beef. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try any as they polished this up by the time I finished photographing the food (musta been good if they swallowed it hehe)
While your waiting for your dessert to arrive, a pre-dessert is laid before your eyes as an appertiser that will prepare you for the wonderful world of desserts. Amazed by the beauty of meringue, lemongrass jelly, edible flours and fruits, it was a dish that will make you traumatised by the sound of your guests moaning while spooning this pleasurable dessert.
Rhubarb infused desert where creativity is mind blowing. Checkerboard of rice pudding and a arancini ball stuffed with creamy rice pudding. This dessert was by far the BEST rhubarb / rice pudding dessert I have ever tried. The rice pudding was creamy, light and fluffy, it wasnt dry like previous ones i’ve had. The Arancini ball was crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey in the middle. Definitely one of the nicest desserts especially for rice pudding lovers.
The cinematic soufflé
Fluffy popcorn soufflé presented in a mini brass pot on a slab of slate with a paper bag of popcorn and a pouring jar filled with gooey hot caramel. I was torn between this and the ‘Adolesant Breakfast’ so I asked the waitress on which one to order and she suggested the souffle. Souffle was soft, eggy and fluffy and worked brilliantly with the popcorn and the warm gooey caramel (zomg orgasmic). At the base of the vanilla ice-cream lay crunchy caramalised popcorn which gave the icecream a lovely crunch popcorn texture.
Coulant au chocolat – michel bras (25 minute preparation)
The boys again ordered the same dessert. Both being chocolate lovers they knew chocolate is always the safer option. The fondant has a nice warm crunchy casing, inside is soft moist sponge with oozing rich chocolate. It’s definitely a fondant that is worth the wait and the bucks!
Coffee & Petite Fours
Selection of petite fours that is catered to suit anybody’s taste. From chocolate to fudge, to nuts, to biscuits and even coconut slices.. it’s a great way to choose the things you like which leaves everyone feeling happy at the end of the night.
24 Hickson Road,
Walsh Bay, NSW 2000
P: (02) 9252 6285