Let me start off by saying I didn’t really think I was going to enjoy this restaurant, to be honest the sample menu kind of intimidated me and I didn’t want to go and have something served that I wouldn’t like, well was I very wrong on that point. Attica is more than a meal, it should be described as an experience.
From the minute you enter staff are friendly and accommodating, they show you to your seat, offer you a drink and then explain how the night will progress. We are also asked if we have any time constraints and if there are any dietary requirements. I will point out that this is the time to tell your waiter if there is any foods that you do not wish to try, in my case I am very boring and don’t do offal. The waitress did not seem to mind and suggested other meats that they do and asked if I would be okay with them.
The evening starts with a number of small appetisers, these include curd and local honeycomb, baby corn in the husk, pickled ripponlea carrots and blue mussels and summer flowers. All of these dishes are excellent, they are really just a little taste of what is to come throughout the evening. One thing that you will definitely notice is that everything that goes on to the plates at Attica has a reason for being there, nothing is just for decoration.
At this point, the waitress informs us that that is the end of the appetisers and we will shortly start with the first of the courses of the evening, but first they bring out some house baked sour dough bread, with some whipped house butter and a macadamia nut puree. The bread is delicious, and so is the puree, as usual I have an internal battle of trying to restrain myself with the bread and butter, which I usually cannot resist. I mean seriously is there anything better then freshly baked bread and butter? But I am on my best behaviour this evening and my self restraint wins, which is usually very uncommon for me.
The waiters soon come out with our first course which is spanner crab and begonia. One person at our table was having the vegetarian option and she was served some delicious looking yellow tomatoes, which had been stuffed with burnt walnuts and begonia. Everyone was impressed with their dishes.
Next up was probably my favourite dish of the evening, which was carrots, ground berries and bunya bunya, at the bottom of this dish was some delicious diced eggplants. The dish worked very well together and all the flavours were perfect with nothing being overpowering.
The next two dishes are similarly impressive as the previous ones, they are minted potato, medium rare (who even knew you can cook potatoes medium rare) and 142 days on earth. The potato is fantastic and is covered in a lovely cream and the mint is not too strong. The dish 142 days on earth, is titled so because the main component of the dish is a red cabbage, that has been harvested for 142 days before it is brought to your plate, so in actuality you are bringing to an end the poor cabbage’s time on earth, in all honesty it didn’t stand a chance, it was fantastic, the dish is usually complimented with some emu meat, however I was given some green beans as I had indicated earlier that I did not wish to try the emu meat and they were perfect. One thing that is really impressive at Attica, is how every plate looks identical and that the finishing touches are done at the table so any sauces in the dish are only poured once the plate is placed in front of you.
The final two dishes in the savoury section are a King George whiting in paperbark and Lara organic chicken wing which is deboned and pressed with watermelon. The fish is perfectly cooked and is a favourite by all at the table. The chicken was another standout dish of the evening, as the wing is one of my favourite parts of the chicken, the fact that they had deboned it was as if I had died and gone to heaven. And surprisingly the watermelon pieces worked really well with the chicken, I’m not sure if they had blanched them or not but they were a really deep red colour and tasted great.
After all the savoury dishes are served, the head waiter arrives at our table and invited us to come and visit the restaurants herb garden. In the herb garden we are given a small bowl which we fill with crushed ice and then covered with a strawberry puree. There are a few chefs in the garden who recommend that we put some of the herbs on to the strawberry and ice mixture, very nice indeed.
When we return to our tables there are some huge wooden spoons and it is time for dessert. The first dessert is pears and maidenii, the dish is beautiful and with a tart sorbet however I do have to confess that most of us at the table were feeling quite full by this stage, so most did not finish their plates but not for lack of flavour in the dish. The second dish was the industrious beet which is sugar beet, sugar cane, and mandarin sorbet with an orange sauce. I did prefer this dessert to the first one however again was so full by this stage I couldn’t finish it.
Just when you think that you could not possibly put another thing in your mouth, we are advised that there is one more surprise for the evening. We are then presented with a nest which has some eggs in it, but on closer inspection the eggs are actually white chocolate and on the inside is some delicious caramel.
Overall, I am really glad that we went, and will definitely go back. The waiter informed us that the menu is not changed at once, however items are changed one by one and on each Tuesday they serve their experimental dishes. If you are ever presented the opportunity to go to Attica, I highly recommend that you go, just keep in mind that bookings are essential and there is a bit of a wait until you can get a table.