Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Mrs Top restaurant, Military Rd, Neutral Bay

Mrs Top restaurant, Military Rd, Neutral Bay
Wednesday 1 February, 2006

This restaurant had a loyal following in Marrickville for over 20 years before moving to Neutral Bay in 2004. Why move? There's speculation over the lease arrangement and the owners need to move on etc.

Marrickville's loss is Neutral Bay's gain as far as I'm concerned. The name intrigued me - who is Mrs Top? As I discovered, Mrs Top was derived from the nickname of the mother of the original owners who briefly ran the restaurant in the late 1970s.

I also learnt that loyal followers from the Marrickville days are dropping off citing the loss of former owners, Vanessa & Anatol Slabaspyckyj, who were the life & soul of Mrs Top. There are some great stories of Vanessa's front of house skills and the wonderful way she took bookings - many 12 months in advance. To compliment this, there were stories of Anatol's french cooking with an eastern european twist.

Tonight was my first visit to Mrs Top. I had never heard of it until a few weeks ago. Located on a busy strip along Military Road, it is surrounded by restaurants and take away places. There are plenty of options here.

Upon entry you realise how small the place is. No more than 12 tables occupy this small space. We were greeted and provided with a complimentary glass of sherry - delicious. A plate of olives and thick, crusty bread followed - who needs dinner?

We ordered a main meal each - I chose one of their signature dishes, Coq au vin (Chicken, red wine, mushrooms) and my dinner buddy selected the perch in a thick white sauce. A plate of vegetables was placed in the middle of the table to share. I really enjoyed the Coq au vin - the chicken was tender, not dry and the thick sauce of chicken stock & red wine was just right. When the waiter cleared my plate he mentioned that the reason the chicken was red was because it had been marinated in red wine, not because it hadn't been cooked through - OK.... but why tell me that after I've eaten.

We decided to indulge in dessert and this is where the 'wow' factor appeared. We ordered the chocolate pudding and an apple crepe to share. Oh my god....the chocolate pudding was so indulgent but soooo good, probably too much to eat alone unless you are a chocoholic. The apple crepe was sensational, sliced apples amongst a thin crepe sprinkled in sugar.

This is real comfort food with large servings at reasonable prices - all entrees are $15, mains are $25 and desserts are $8.

I'll be returning.

Mrs Top restaurant - 242 Military Rd, Neutral Bay - (02) 99091969


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