Restaurant Atelier is located on the Parramatta Rd end of the incredibly popular Glebe Point Rd in Glebe. This street is an absolute mecca for restaurants and cafes; quite a few of which I have visited in the past. Restaurant Atelier, however, is one that I had walked passed and overlooked on numerous occasions. Perhaps because of it’s very unassuming fascia, or because I was so infatuated with the cute little Clipper Cafe next door and failed to take notice of it’s neighbours. Whatever the case, I was glad that I finally got a chance to visit Restaurant Atelier.
The occasion on that night was a ‘Fancy French Dinner Party’ for a fair few of my food loving colleagues. The turnout was so great, in fact, that we had the whole restaurant to ourselves!
Speaking of which, Restaurant Atelier is such a cute little place. A perfect setting for a quite intimate dinner with friends or loved ones. It’s not one of those extra fancy fine dining restaurants where it can be difficult to feel entirely comfortable. Restaurant Atelier is more laid back and has a sense of warmth and homely charm; which the friendly service staff certainly help maintain.
Once seated we promptly perused the menu for the night which, much to our delight, offered an eight course degustation. Everything sounded so delightful and intriguing at the same time. We couldn’t wait to dig in!
Sourdough bread with Tapenade, EVOO & balsamic and Pepe Saya butter
The sourdough bread was wonderfully fresh and once dipped into the olive oil with balsamic, was just a joy to eat. We ended up finishing every slice, even though everyone was careful not to have too much before our meals.
Potato crisps with smoked sea salt
These were not your average potato crisps. Deep fried to perfection, they were super brittle and extra salty (in a good way).
Amuse bouche of Yellow Fin tuna, coral tenax, red capsicum jelly
The presentation of this dish was brilliant. The photo probably doesn’t do it justice, because it did come our looking like a slice of coral. Having said that, it didn’t taste overly fishy.
WA Marron tempura, crisp pork belly
I was never really a big fan of pork. I remember having one bad experience with a Malaysian pork dish as a child and I was completely put off by it. What brought me back was tasting beautifully cooked crispy pork belly. Now I can’t seem to resist them, which is why I was hanging to bite into these wonderful cubes of goodness. And boy did they taste good! So yum! How I wish I could have finished off the entire platter :)
Fermented soybean miso
This dish was certainly a surprise. I didn’t know what to expect, but the end result was beautifully refreshing with a distinct fresh herby flavour.
Master Kobe wagyu tartare, crisp quail egg, pea and broadbean salad
Time for another admission. I’m not a big fan of beef :) Shocking, I know! Truth is that I hadn’t eaten beef for the better part of my life, so I’ve always found it a little off-putting whenever I try to eat it these days. I much prefer lamb.
So anyway, on the night I chose to swap this dish out with another instead (shown below). I was a little disappointed when my substitute dish turned out to be tofu (something else I’m not a big fan of). Thankfully, though, my colleague let me try a bit of his beef tartare and oh my god, it was freaking delicious! And that means a lot considering the smell of beef alone usually puts me off. Next time I visit Restaurant Atelier, I will have to order this dish.
Smoked Tofu (Special)
Although my colleagues Beef Tartare was giving my food envy, this tofu dish turned out to be quite nice. Unlike most tofu dishes I’ve tried previously, this had a lot more flavour.
Poached Fillet of John Dory, with Celeric, Potato and Wilted Mache, Sauce Bearnaise
This dish can be summed up in two words. Absolutely delicious! Wow. Just the most beautifully cooked fillet of John Dory and the most amazing potato cube to accompany it. One of the two dishes of the night for me!
Szechuan and caramel glazed breast of Thirlmere duck, crisp confit leg, sour baby turnips and radishes, Szechuan vinegar Sauce
And here is the second dish of the night, although, if I had to choose I would pick this as the winner. I looooove duck and this particular dish brought that love to me in two different styles. Brilliant! The Szechuan glaze on the duck breast was so tasty and delightfully crunchy. And the crisp confit duck leg was equally delicious. So succulent and full of flavour.
Vanilla custard, coconut crunch, Sheep’s milk yoghurt ice cream
And soon it was time for desert. Alright! Out of the two deserts on offer, this one was my favourite. The custard was oh so yum, as was the sheep’s milk yoghurt ice cream, however, what took it to a whole new level was the secret addition of pop rocks. That’s right! Those awesomely fun bits of candy that everyone loved to eat as a child. A few seconds after digging in and everyone was smiling and giggling like a little kid. At least I was anyway! :)
Caramelised pistachio and cocoa nib souffle with sweet miso milk shake and vanilla bean ice cream
While the previous desert was my favourite of the two, it’s not to say that this desert was bad in anyway. Quite the opposite actually. What made this desert really interesting and enjoyable was the method behind the consumption. What we had to do was first dig a hole in the middle of the beautifully cooked souffle and then pour the sweet miso milk shake right inside it. It was then that we could scoop up the ice cream and combine it with the souffle/milk shake mixture and taste the yummy goodness. Oh and there were wonderful bits of pistachio towards the bottom of the bowl as well!
So after eight absolutely delicious courses, I could safely say that Restaurant Atelier had become one of my favourite restaurants to dine at in Sydney. And to experience that with the company of fellow foodies made for just the most enjoyable night!