LuMi Bar & Dining

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Hello Munchkins!
I'm back and I must confess it was a little harder than usual to get back into the blogging groove. This year has been fast paced, hectic and jam-packed with foodie amazing-ness that I can't wait to share. And how is it already May, pray tell?! First up is my peek at LuMi Bar & Dining, which has revived the obscure Pyrmont wharf where it can be found. P.S. get ready to feel zen at this incredible absolute waterfront that money can't buy (especially not in this town).

Veal tartare: a technicolour treat of veal, tarragon emulsion, roasted capsicums and buckwheat. Such a stunner, one of my favourite dishes of the night, brought to life with the textural buckwheat and astringent tarragon purée. You already had me at tartare...

Your first task is to locate this little restaurant, where few Sydneysiders have ventured before. It is tucked away with little signage from the main walkway along the water but the glow from dozens of light globes may be a clue (like a moth to a flame). The dining room clearly takes a leaf from the Scandinavians (devotees to minimalism), with a simple, modernist fit-out in hues of purple and green and looong open kitchen. The galaxy of bulbs that glow above you during your meal are more than perfect for the aptly named restaurant (which actually combines the names of Chef Zanellato's daughters Luna and Mia).

"You are confined only by the walls you create" - a window safety warning gets all philosophical on us. Now this is a room with a view

Chef Federico Zanellato had been honing his skills as head chef at top notch restaurant Ormeggio at the Spit before paddling out to have a crack himself. I think Italian-Japanese fusion is an interesting point of difference although Zanellato plays to his strengths with strictly Italian flavours (and I'm grateful for that). Although, the spin on chawanmushi was pushing the boundaries a little too far for me. With plenty of carbohydrates to keep myself happy, the eight course tasting menu flowed seamlessly and the service was outstanding.

Some snacks to accompany the first round of cocktails: cheese tartlet and corn, pistachio and horseradish on cos lettuce and potato and rosemary focaccia (left). Salt and vinegar rice chip (left). A few tasty morsels to get the tastebuds going - the rice crisp was by far the best

Chawanmushi: a Japanese inspired steamed custard, that brings together classic Italian flavours of tomato and basil. Mind-bending but I can't go past the original I'm afraid!

White cucumber with apple and sour cream. Someone has gone to town with a disc cutter here! A gorgeous dish that evokes Disney princesses and fairytales.  A lovely and light salad with sweet and sharp notes

Spelt ravioli with pumpkin, burnt butter, avruga (caviar, darling) and chives. Isn't this simply spectacular?! The pasta was definitely the star of the show, little translucent delicacies that explode their pumpkin filling in the mouth ¡Ay, caramba! 

Spaghetti alla Chitarra: scampi, bottarga (salted fish roe) and orange beurre blanc. A rich and creamy spaghetti that is not for the faint hearted. The scampi, scarcely cooked singing with notes from the sea (thanks to the bottarga). The pasta itself, silky and jet-black. So. Delicious.

Pork jowl with spinach, celeriac and quinoa. After those pasta dishes that took the cake, it's hard to keep up that level of excitement (for me anyway). The jowl, although cooked perfectly was a little lack lustre in terms of the completeness of the dish. It misses that imagination and creativity captured so well with other dishes. The portion size was also rather small

And then there was, DOLCE.

'Evergreen' - sorrel, lemon basil, mint shiso and parsley (left) and ginger ice cream, white chocolate, passionfruit and yoghurt crumble (right). The first dessert went a little stir-crazy with all the herbaceous inclusions. Although keeping to a theme, each element was competing on the plate and clashed. It needed another element to mellow everything out. The ginger ice cream was definitely a step up with a subtle, more muted flavour. Just a trace... 

LuMi Bar & Dining certainly sets its heights high with a bold fusion menu that intrigues. Chef Zanellato and team have ambition written all over this project and are to be commended on their efforts. The pasta dishes were easily a stand-out and show off the obvious talent in the kitchen. LuMi is an exciting addition onto the Sydney scene that is groaning with all the burger joints and barbecues cropping up everywhere. Enter a class act with plenty of finesse. Prego!

Thanks for reading gang!
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