So October is almost over and I failed in exploring the Crave festival as much as I planned to in the beginning, partially because of a tight budget, partially because of tight pants. My metabolism is pretty crappy so if I eat out just once a week I’m already having trouble with keeping my body fat within my goal range.
But I still felt I was missing out on the wonderful opportunity of diving into this month full of food indulgence, so I managed to find an excuse this week to eat at one of the restaurants offering Let’s Do Lunch menus (the excuse, if you’re wondering, was a visit to the Peruvian consulate to change the address in our IDs).
I booked a table in Fix St James via Twitter and learned that Twitter bookings don’t work. When we arrived, my name was not on the list, but fortunately there was a free table for us.
I already knew I was after the Let’s Do Lunch roast of the day (whatever it was), but I still heard the description the attentive waiter gave us. It was a roasted shoulder of lamb with white bean purée and seasonal veggies, with a free glass of Brown Brothers wine. Alvaro was a bit confused about what we where there for (I suppose I shouldn’t assume he’s in the same page as me regarding food events) so I suggested him one of the pastas (primavera and sardine); he chose the latter. We were offered a side but decided to save room for dessert instead.
Two crusty bread rolls arrived while we waited for the mains. We dipped it in olive oil sprinkled with coarse salt, simple and delicious.
When I saw the size of my meal I thought that maybe ordering a side wouldn’t have been a bad idea. Luckily for me, Alvaro agreed to share both dishes (eat half of the serving and then swap). I must admit that taste-wise I was a bit disappointed. I’ve been reading all those great reviews about this place so my expectations were quite high. But the roast was just alright, and it was served warm. Besides the few pieces of meat there were peas on the dish, plus one asparagus stalk and one baby zucchini. For $35. The wine was the festival’s bonus, but I discovered that I like Brown Brothers whites better than reds.
Roasted shoulder of lamb with white bean purée and seasonal vegetables w/ a glass of Brown Brothers ($35)
The pasta was better. At least it was served hot and it was flavourful. It was cooked al dente, dressed with a classic tomato/olive oil sauce with pine nuts and parsley, and topped with the glorious oily little fish. But still, $28 for it seemed a little too much for me.
Sicilian Sardine Spaghetti ($28)
Guess what? There was room for dessert. I was tempted to order the chocolate mousse with strawberries but Alvaro doesn’t like things that are too chocolate-y so I let him choose. He selected the honey & clove set milk with rhubarb and ginger, and I added two chocolate nut truffles to satisfy my chocolate craving.
We weren’t so sure about what to expect (we weren’t familiar with the term “set milk”), and it turned out to be a panna cotta, beautifully arranged in a huge pasta plate. The dessert was amazing. One of the best I have had in Sydney. Seriously. It totally made the whole lunch worthwhile. The delicate flavour of the panna cotta with the not-too-sweet sweetness of the rhubarb, the crunchy super thin ginger slices and the crumble were just perfect together.
Honey & Clove Set Milk w/ Rhubarb & Ginger ($14)
The cocoa-dusted chocolate nut truffles were very good too but not as good as the previous dessert. I ate a bit more than one and a half because Alvaro hit his chocolate roof.
Choc Nut Truffles ($3.5)
Will I go back to Fix St James? Maybe, but I’d order something cheap and focus on trying wines from the impressive selection they’ve got, and, of course, the desserts.
Fix St James
111 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9232 2767