Saturday, December 22, 2007

Fig & Feast, Clark Rd, Neutral Bay

Fig & Feast, Clark Rd, Neutral Bay
Saturday 22 December, 2007
Fig & Feast has only been open for a few months and tonight was my second visit. My first visit was during the day which allowed us to sit outside and soak up the atmosphere on the white lounges.
Tonight we arrived for an early dinner and discovered an empty restaurant. Outside there were a few locals ordering pizza and ice cream from the take away bar but the interior was completely empty. Decked out with homewares from Fig - Katherine Lee Martin's store in Roseville which was rated by Australia House & Garden as one of Australia's top 10 homeware stores - the interior showcases white washed walls and exposed sandstone. The main part of the restaurant is intimate with tables around a bay window.
We were directed to a table and had our drinks orders taken. The wait staff were a little awkward and read the specials off a notepad for us. Chef, James Richards, is only 29 years old, served his apprenticeship with James Pignolet and was sous chef to Maggie Beer. With such an esteemed training ground our expectations were high.
The menu consists of salads, pastas, risottos and several meat dishes. I couldn't go past the roast lamb on a bed of asparagus and roasted onions whilst my dinner buddy ordered the kangaroo fillet and we shared a Pear, blue cheese, walnut & watercress salad with a balsamic dressing. By this point a few more diners had arrived and there was a definite buzz across the dining space.
The roast lamb was beautifully presented with several thick cut slices with a crispy outer layer. It was cooked to order - medium rare - and the asparagus was steamed with just the right amount of firmness. I really enjoyed it. My dinner buddy also loved the kangaroo and had asked for it medium rare which was prefect.
The intrusion of the staff constantly checking back to see if our meals were OK got very tired and but as we had enjoyed our mains so much we decided to order dessert. Bad move. What sounded great on paper was really disappointing. The chocolate souffle was described as dark chocolate with rum & raisin sauce. What arrived at the table was a microwave pudding with burnt sauce. It was edible.........just. We should have stuck to our delicious mains.
Despite the dessert and staffing issues the location is perfect with ample parking - I'm sure the local area will embrace it soon.
Fig & Feast - 62 Clark Rd, Neutral Bay - (02) 9955 9711


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