It’s a sweltering day in Sydney, just brutal, the kind of day camels are nervous to go outside. Regardless it’s the day that we booked Glass Brasserie for lunch so we swallow the $140 taxi ride through murderous Sydney traffic and land at the Hilton for a meal I’ve been salivating over for months.
For a start it’s nice to bask in the air conditioning as the lunchtime crowd slowly trundle in, mostly lawyers and accountants I imagine. Duck, Bun and I park in a far corner table to survey the buzz of the joint. We get a complimentary salmon melon; balsamic vinegar and basil amuse to cleanse the taste buds, nice.
A few years back we tried the 7-course degustation which was phenomenal and part of that was a German Riesling that I was happy to find out was still on the menu. A Schloss Lieser Kabinett from Mosel, this thing is like drinking liquid gold, smooooooth.
We decided to order a cluster of starters/entrees/mains; Duck demolished a half dozen Sydney Rock Oysters with the shells delicately placed on top, a nice touch.
The prawn toast with smoked corn and chipotle aioli was simple yet had a great smokey flavor.
Next it’s the steamed bun of tempura soft shell crab with kimchi, citrus mayo and coriander, its nice but would have loved more mayo, like more as in dripping all over the place.
Chef Restaurateur Luke Mangan is doing laps around the restaurant chatting with a few diners, he passes our table and I raise my Riesling as he gives me the nod.
The Morten Bay bug has arrived, with ramen noddle, tomato, asparagus and broad beans in a spicy broth, I’m not much of a noddle guy but Bun loves this.
She also had the organic egg crab omelet with enoki mushroom and herbs in a miso mustard broth, I think the words were ‘amazing and the broth sent it over the top’.
Now we arrive at something truly magical. It’s the grilled octopus with buffalo mozzarella, tomato, anchovy olives and basil. This is the best dish I’ve had this year, hands down. The octopus is cooked to perfection and the taste of it feels like you’re eating it on the dock off the Italian coastline as fishermen have just brought in the days catch. The mixture of this with the tomato, olives, anchovy and basil gives it a Smokey taste, almost bacon like, it’s stunning.
This will be hard to follow and one of my favorites from this restaurant tries its best, the pan fried gnocchi with broccolini, zucchini, corn, broad bean, tomato, cavolo nero pesto and parmesan. It’s lives up to my wonderful memory of it but doesn’t quite reach the level of the octopus.
Of course as per our previous visit, Bun orders the truffle mash, which you could smell from Penrith, the truffle flavor is so good and the mash is creamy.
We finish it off with petit fours, which are presented at the table, and we get to pick 5, a great way to end the lunch.
Summary: Luke Mangan definitely hasn’t spread himself too thin with multiple business interests and restaurants; Glass Brasserie is one of Sydney’s best, if you haven’t tried it you must, the Octopus alone is worth a visit.
Hallymustang rating: 5/5 ?????