We finally made it to Agapé! I’ve been wanting to try this organic restaurant since August last year (I remember the month because it was one of options for Alvaro’s birthday). My sister and I were given $20 discount vouchers in the organic expo, also in August, and it wasn’t until last Wednesday that we managed to go.
We booked a table for 6 pm and arrived a bit earlier. The restaurant was closed but luckily there were two pubs right across the road. A midi each and we were ready for dinner. The restaurant is located in the corner of Botany Road and Bay Street and it looks like it was a pub in the past.
However, its rough exterior contrasts with its charming interior. Not my cup of tea, but you can tell they’ve cared about creating a nice environment for the diners.
Probably because I’ve never been to a restaurant that plays my kind of music, I’ve learned to filter out whatever sound is coming from the speakers. In this case we couldn’t help noticing that the tunes selected didn’t always match the decor of the place, or even each other.
We faced the important dilemma of deciding what to order. Not as in “which dish”, but as in “how many of what kind of dishes”. Finally we decided that a main each, one side and a dessert each would be enough. To share we ordered the rocket, pecorino and pear salad. The main I chose was the kingfish and Gladys ordered the roasted lamb. The waitress told her that they were actually serving the lamb pan-fried instead of oven-roasted (apparently they didn’t have the right cut), so Gladys opted for the slow roasted pork loin instead. We ordered a glass of wine each: a semillon/sauvignon blanc for me and a shiraz/cabernet sauvignon/merlot for her.
The food took long to arrive, which made sense having ordered one slow roasted meal. While we waited, I saw the chef sticking his head out of the kitchen from time to time, perhaps nervous because there were no other customer except us. Finally the three dishes arrived.
The salad was very nice, the peppery taste of the rocket worked well with the sweetness of the super thinly sliced pear and honey, and the sharpness/saltiness of the cheese.
Rocket, pecorino, pear, honey, mustard dressing ($10)
My fish was wonderful. Two fillet pieces, one on top of the other, were surrounded by delicious asparagus, pea and broccoli puree, yoghurt and lemon juice, and topped with quinoa.
Hiramasa kingfish, asparagus, pea & broccoli puree, royal quinoa, homemade yoghurt & lemon ($32)
I had a bite of Gladys’ pork and the flavour was great, too. That particular ingredient combo is hard to beat.
Slow roasted pork loin, potato rosti, cabbage, apple, sage & spring onions ($32)
As soon as we had our first bites Gladys realised that she needed a starchy side. The only two options were bread and chips; she chose the chips (I swear it wasn’t me!), which luckily didn’t take long to arrive. They were well cooked, thick and with a bit of outer crunch. The homemade tomato sauce was chunky and tasty, much better than bottled stuff.
Hand-cut chips, homemade tomato sauce ($10)
The food was great, but Gladys had the feeling it lacked a “wow” factor. We thought that maybe it was because of the service, which without being rude, was not very welcoming.
While we ate a few more clients arrived. Mum, dad, grandma and baby in one table, construction workers in another one. Let’s say the clientele of the eatery is as eclectic as its music selection.
Some minutes after finishing our meals our empty plates were taken away and replaced by the dessert menu. Again, we were faced with a dilemma: should we have dessert wine or not? In the end, the decision was made by the waitress, who came back so quickly that no wine was ordered.
Gladys chose the lemon tart with sloe gin and lemon sorbet. The tart was delicious, covered by a syrup (I guess that’s where the sloe gin made its appearance, although I couldn’t feel any booze in there), a few orange wedges and a refreshing scoop of lemon sorbet.
Lemon tart, sloe gin & lemon sorbet ($16)
I had the poached berries with meringue and vanilla ice cream: a good number of berries surrounded by dollops of sweet crunchy meringue and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I liked it a lot but towards the end I realised that it was a bit too sweet. Ordering dessert wine would have been a terrible mistake. Now that I think about it, it would have been cool to have half servings of both desserts for each, to balance out the sourness of one with the sweetness of the other.
Poached berries, meringue, vanilla ice cream ($16)
I have until next month for using my $20 discount voucher. It would probably a good idea to try their famous spelt pizzas then.
Agapé Organic Restaurant & Bar
1385 Botany Road
Botany NSW 2019
(02) 8668 5777