So it’s finally Friday, and we’re off on another lunch with the boys!
This time we’re checking out the newly opened sister restaurant of Hawksworth, Nightingale!
They have these geometric half nightingales all over the walls of this restaurant. The restaurant has two floors and we were seated on the second floor. The pizza oven is on the second floor by the open kitchen. The look of the restaurant is somewhat fancy and also casual. The lunch hour was very busy and it was quite noisy throughout the restaurant. For a brand new restaurant, they certainly weren’t short of customers!
Starting off with drinks, one drink on their menu stuck out to me. See if you can guess which one!
If you guessed the Bramble $11, you’re right! Gin, lemon and blackberry, sounds like a great drink to me!
5 of us ended up getting this drink! The drink itself is pretty good. It has a unique flavour with the blackberries mixed with gin and lemon, and it actually blends quite well. They used Beefeater gin with this, but I think it should work quite well with Tang 10 if you want to try making this at home. I didn’t want to have them make this with Hendricks as I try to avoid drinking Hendricks without cucumber! The cup size is actually very small, despite what the picture may portray. For $11, it’s actually quite a small drink compared to other restaurants of this calibre. It was also packed with ice, mostly small crushed ice, but at least 3 large cubes of ice. One drink will go down quite easily.
Onto the food! Check out the menu:
We had to start off with Market fresh oysters $Market Price.
These were served with lemon, horseradish, and black pepper mignonette. Pretty fresh oysters, good flavour. I liked the smaller ones better of course!
The server recommended the Roasted spot prawns $24 so we tried some.
Each order comes with 3, so we had two orders. I was surprised to see them arrive with shells on, and if you know me, I’m far too lazy to use my hands and take off the shell to eat it, so I didn’t bother with this one =p From what my buddies said, it was pretty good.
Next we had the Beef heart tartare $13.
This was a mix of beef heart, cured egg yolk, horseradish, and kale pistou, all on top of a slice of grilled bread. I’ve never had anything like this, and it was quite an interesting dish. The flavours somewhat worked together, but it was a cold dish, which threw off the flavour a bit for me. When I look at this, I would think it should be a warm dish, as cold toast is usually not a good thing. I think this would have tasted a lot better if it was warmly toasted, but we’ll never know!
Next was the Daily market fish crudo $15.
Today’s daily fish was sea bream, served with calabrian chili, fennel, and citrus. This was my favourite dish of the meal! This was amazing! The meat was very tender and delicate, so you have to be careful when picking it up. It might not look like much on the dish, but the flavour was awesome. The chili oil complimented this fish perfectly! Highly recommend this dish!
Lastly from the raw menu, we had the Pacific halibut ceviche $17.
This ceviche was seraved with lime, avocado, radish, and quinoa. No chips were provided so you just have to eat it as is. I thought the flavour of the ceviche itself was great, but it would have been much better if I could have put these on a chip!
Next was something I had to try, Crispy fried chicken $13.
This was served with preserved lemon yoghurt, dill, and espelette. The chicken was cooked through perfectly with a crispy skin exterior. It was very tender and juicy inside, and dipping the yoghurt was actually very good! I loved this dish would definitely order this again, although it’s pretty pricy for just 5 small pieces.
Next we had the Charred lamb chops $22.
The lamb was very flavourful and very tender. It was served with red harissa, mint charmoula, and wild rice dukkah. I loved the charred flavour of it, and it was very juicy! This had a very “lamb” flavour if you know what I mean. It might not be for everyone, but those that love lamb will love this!
We also had some Grilled angus flank steak $25.
The flank was served with spiced cipollini onions on the side and chimmichurri on top. The onions themselves were actually very good on the side. The flank was very tender and juicy, full of flavour. I liked the flank, but whether it was a good or bad thing, I found it tasting very similar to the flank found in pho noodles!
We also had some Grilled pork sausage $14.
This was served with sliced asparagus, fava bean, preserved lemon and garlic. The sausage was very salty as it should be, and it had a bit of spice to it as well. The dijon mustard on top worked very well with this sausage.
On to the pizzas!
We had the San marzano, buffalo mozzarella, basil, and olive oil pizza $15.
This neopolitan margherita pizza was very good! It was very thin, with the toppings providing tons of flavour. The San marzano tomatoes were delicious and worked very well with the rest of the toppings here. They were evenly spread throughout the pizza which is very important to me! The crust was soft and slightly charred, just the way I like it. It reminded me very much of naan bread, which I love, so this was one of the better crusts I’ve had! It was very similar to the bread made by Milltown in their pulled pork sandwiches!
The other pizza we tried was the Prosciutto di parma, roasted tomato, rosemary, sea salt, and olive oil pizza $18.
It may have been because of the slice I ended up getting, but I only found this pizza to be ok. I found the tomatoes to be overpowering the prosciutto, and thus took over the flavour profile of the pizza. Each bite just consisted of overwhelming tomato flavour. I think the balance between tomatoes and prosciutto on this pizza needs to be tweaked a bit.
Now that was a lot of food! Onto dessert!
They provide the recommended alcoholic drink pairing with each dessert on their menu, which was nice but we didn’t order them. We tried 3 desserts in total. The first of which was the Salted caramel pot de creme $12.
This was easily my favourite dessert of the 3. It was a jar of salted caramel, whipped creme fraiche, butterscotch, and vanilla breton. I think Jess would have loved this dessert too as she loves salted caramel! It’s entirely creme, so you just take a spoon and get a spoonful of all the layers together. At first bite, all you taste is the creme fraiche, but then the salted caramel comes in, and then the butterscotch, and it just becomes a wonderful experience for your taste buds! Highly recommend this dessert!
Next we had the Hazelnut financier $12.
This was served with soft praline and whipped espresso creme. The cake itself was pretty good, not too sweet which was perfect, and it worked very well with the sauce and hazelnuts. Quite enjoyable!
Lastly we had the Ice cream and sorbet selection $6.
Today’s selection was raspberry on the right, espresso on the top, and blackberry lemon ribena at the bottom left. My favourite was the blackberry lemon ribena as I love ribena already, and when mixed with blackberry and lemon, it was just delightful! The other two were predictable flavours and were ok.
The service here was very friendly and prompt. Service was almost always there when we needed it, and our water was refilled constantly without fail. Food didn’t take very long to arrive either! Great service here, no complaints!
Overall this restaurant was a pretty good dining experience. I think the prices are quite high for some of the dishes, but if you just order a main for yourself and maybe share an appetizer, it shouldn’t hurt the wallet too badly, but if you go and order a bunch of share dishes like us, then it’s going to get quite expensive. We were advised by the server that their dishes are small and aimed towards sharing, so it’s what they are expecting you to do. So one complaint would be that portions are too small for the price, which includes the drinks, but the food itself was pretty good overall. Although we tried many dishes, I feel I would definitely make a second visit here to try out some more of their dishes in the foreseeable future.
Thanks for reading everyone, munch on!