With ex-Nomad chef Nathan Sasi is the chef behind Sydney CBD newcomer, Mercado, you know it's bound to be great. It's the ideal location for a foodie birthday celebration catch up. Housed in a grand heritage building.
Upon arrive, the restaurant is fairly busy. As we have the early time-slot (6pm), we have a strict time limit and this is felt by the rush we felt from staff to place our order quickly. Granted, we were initially busy having a good old chat, so the push to order was probably justified so we would be able to finish the meal on time.
Fish n' chips
The fish n'chips is an interesting take on traditional fish and chips in starter form, with crunchy potato crisps served with a house made taramasalata (fish roe dip).
The truffle mortedella is a highlight; served with a side of guindillas peppers and some sourdough, the meat itself is so flavoursome and tender.
Foie gras parfait
Note: I'm not the biggest fan of foie gras so I'm not the best judge of this dish; I do enjoy the mini pickles.
Wood fired prawns
The wood fired prawns with bottarga and shellfish butter are a simple yet delicious dish. The prawns are fresh and juicy, perfect with a squeeze of lemon.
The dishes are all made to share, and keep coming one by one. Next up, the pumpkin ravioli with a yoghurt and burnt butter sauce, which was delightful. The yoghurt makes it less heavy than a typical cream sauce pasta dish.
Smoked wagyu tongue brioche
If there's a dish you must order at Mercado, it's these babies. Don't be deceived by their small size, the smoked wagyu tongue brioches are super rich (but oh so good).
The roasted octopus was so tender and had a nice charred flavour.
The dripping potatoes were delicious; crispy on the outside and fluffy inside.
Wagyu beef short rib
Lucky last for the mains, and I was bursting at the seams at this point. The wagyu short rib was spit roasted and served with a decadent bone marrow salsa.
Fat from heaven
Brown butter magdelenas
We ordered two desserts for the table as we were pretty stuffed by this point. The first dish was the aptly named 'fat from heaven', which is a creamy and rich custard flan. The second dessert was brown butter magdelenas, served warm. Both desserts were nice, but nothing stood out.
Next time, I'd skip the sweets and opt for the house made cheese instead.