On the corner of Ocean and Wellington Streets, Woollahra, 10-12 minutes by taxi from the CBD in the eastern suburbs. PROFILED BY DEGROOTS MEDIA
The charming homestead exterior is the only thing that remains of the former restaurant, Pruniers. Once you enter Chiswick’s elegant French doors, a foodie’s paradise is revealed. In front, there is a long steel table with bowls of fresh tomatoes, Italian parsley and green chillies – plucked directly from the restaurant’s own garden out the back. To the left, an open kitchen with dozens of efficient, young ex-Aria chefs flurry around – creating a buzzing and excited atmosphere. To the right is a formal dining area, tranquilly overlooking the preened Chiswick lawn. As soon as you enter Chiswick, any sterile fine dining formality evaporates as guests are encouraged to perch on the bar-style seats or gawk at the chefs going about the business. The scene is theatrical and full of life and yet, at the same time, hearty and relaxed.
Sharing is at the heart of the Chiswick philosophy with dishes such as whole snapper and wood roasted Moran family lamb, all designed as communal selections. A collection of small plates act as the ideal appetite stimulators with dishes such as char grilled scallops, artichoke and burnt butter However, for me, it is the raw dishes that make the most profound impression. The salt cured tuna with cucumber, coriander and seaweed is not too salty, with the nuttiness of sesame oil adding another element to the dish. A simple ceramic dish with pickled purple, yellow and orange baby carrots is not only aesthetically pleasing but tastes as plentiful in flavour as a 12-hour roasted leg of lamb. Oysters with lemon, ginger and rice wine create a delightful sharpness in ones’ mouth while the crisp butter milk chicken with cabbage, harissa and mayonnaise is a well-balanced, simple dish that you could imagine enjoying at home on the couch on a Sunday evening. It’s the type of food that makes you feel at home. This new concept of family- and group- oriented dining is fresh and exciting. At the opening night of Chiswick, Matt Moran explained that this restaurant is all about passing huge platters of food around a table with loved ones. As a country girl, this is exactly how I like to eat.