July 2010

In the Asian vegetable realm there are good, firm daikon radishes to be had. Ju Rin (316 Pacific Highway, Crows Nest, Ph 9966 5811) grates and combines them with dried whitebait in a salad. Look for celeriac at Blancmange where new chef, Nigel Douglas, serves it as a remoulade alongside roast Berkshire pork loin and twice-cooked pork belly with cavolo nero and beetroot puree. This menu changes constantly to make the most of the seasons, so there’s no guarantee that’s exactly what you’ll find when you go.

Root vegetables are abundant, supplying the extra carbs we seem to want in winter. Parsnips come two ways at Blancmange, as a fondant and a puree with seared scallops, roast hazelnuts, crisp pancetta and frise. For an entrée at Essen (1133–135 Broadway, Ultimo, Ph 9211 3805) you can have a mix of root vegies braised in sherry served with Persian fetta and Swiss bread. A united nations dish to be sure, but it’s a German restaurant in case you were wondering.

Cauliflowers are lovely now with tightly packed, creamy heads. Elio (159 Norton St, Leichhardt, Ph 9560 9129) purees them for a soup and tops it with gorgonzola dumplings.

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