It’s always interesting to watch one of your favourite restaurant’s in Sydney quickly adapt to an event for a one-off menu. In this case it was the excellent Ananas Bar & Brasserie shaping itself for the home release launch of 2015 film Burnt, the slice of culinary cinema about Bradley Cooper’s Adam Jones and his gradual descent from top chef in Paris via drugs and alcohol followed by a shot at redemption.
The six-course menu created by the team at Ananas featured a consistent theme of slightly burnt, smokey, or charred ingredients used with the undeniable French flair that regularly places Ananas as one of the top Parisian restaurants in Sydney.
Quail and Foie Gras with king oyster mushrooms, smoked artichoke puree, and watercress salad was our introduction to the dining experience, subtle quail meat plated opposite the rich, creamy foie gras with smokiness coming from the mushrooms and the rich pure. The watercress salad was very modest here, just enough to cut through with a bit of freshness.
The Coal Atlantic Lobster with charcoal oil, cauliflower mousseline, and vadouvan was the highlight of the whole menu for me. It’s hard to juggle freshness when importing these things from America but the kitchen capture the natural flavour well, sweet and tender flesh – and lots of it – dominate the plate with a little help from the vadouvan spices which give it a slightly edgier take but aren’t heaped on as to mask that natural taste.
Our next dish came as Sea Scallops Ceviche (headline image) with persian caviar, cucumber, and radishes, with sea lettuce swimming in burnt butter. Though the butter was thick and soupy, the cucumber and scallops presented a really pleasing, clean taste that was as refreshing as it was attractive.
Getting onto the meatier dishes we had the Charred Bacon Wrapped Yellowfin Tuna with green lentils, pearl onions gratin, veal sweatbreads, and charred onion powder. Everything was quite spread out across the plate, the other ingredients only options when it came to the generous, juicy tuna which was packaged up in a wrap of charred bacon.
Burning Hay Roasted Venison Loin with roasted porcini caramelised salsify, black truffle, and quince sauce was our final savoury dish, thick and rich, benefiting from the modest black truffle and quince sauce the most for a very pleasant umami taste.
Dessert wasn’t as over-rich as it sounded, rather a nice and relaxed way to end the Burnt feast. Smoked Dark Chocolate Fondant was placed on a board with caramelised hazelnut, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and coffee sabayon, all vibrant splashes of flavour alongside the large, warm, and crispy fondant.
The world doesn’t get many feature films based on the theatre and drama that happens in the kitchen’s of fine restaurants such as Ananas, so celebrating the home release of Burnt in this unique way was a delight, bringing the film to life with a consistently excellent menu inspired by the ups and downs of the fictional Adam Jones.
Burnt is available now on DVD, Blu-Ray, and HD. You can find it on JB Hi Fi HERE.