Do do do do do do, love is in the airrrrr…..ah I still can’t get it out of my head. I ventured to see Baz Lurhmann’s Strictly Ballroom last weekend and freakin’ loved it. I must admit, I didn’t really know what to expect and it blew those unknown expectations out of the water. Oh Baz, those costumes, that set, those songs, bravo. What a production.
So, you probably didn’t come here to hear my review of that now, did you? Of course after such strenuous activities as theatre visits, one must be parched and hungry and in need of a good feed. That’s where we find the Sofitel’s No.35 comes into the picture.
Situated on level 35 of the Sofitel (wow. The name does not give that away), this beautifully appointed restaurant has always been a favourite of mine. Spectacular views of my beloved city, delicious food and a fantastic array of wines and champagnes. What more could you want? Service. Yes. And they have that in spades. I never really understood that expression. So I’m going to say they have that in diamonds as I like diamonds better. (diaaaamonds are a girl’s best friend. Oh dear JP, please stop singing.)
I ventured to floor no.35 with my new mother-in-law, and two sisters-in-law, one of whom I now share the same name with. Yep. First and last name. Oh yes, we know there are many jokes to be had. And yes we will make it very difficult for everyone involved. Fun times ahead.
We were still dancing around the lift when we arrived at the Sofitel after our musical extravaganza and stopped at the lovely Atrium bar for a pre dinner champagne and charcuterie plate. This serve was fantastic and exactly what we needed. Several different salumi and pepperoni accompanied by cornichons and pickled onions. Mhm. I could have eaten the whole thing by myself, but thought I should probably share it with my new 2nd family.
We soon moved into No.35, greeted by delightful staff, and these lovely individuals were incredibly accommodating throughout the evening. Kudos to you, Sofitel.
Everyone was keen for a main/dessert combo after our charcuterie plate but after seeing the entrees, I knew I needed to go the full monty…of food, people…of food. For entree, after umming and ahhing I went with the char-grilled octopus with kimchi pineapple , miso mayonnaise, dried chorizo and lemon pudding. Yes, it sounded weird so I thought, why not!
I shall call him squishy and he shall be mine, and he shall be my squishy. (jellyfish/octopus – same thing)
I am definitely a hater of pineapple on a pizza and usually warm pineapple in general (gives me shivers urgh) but this was an exception to the rule. Just like the girls have exceptions in ‘he’s just not that into you’…you know you’ve seen it, don’t lie. The kimchi pineapple added a great sweetness to the octopus and the different textures mixed so well. I know that sounded wanky but it’s true. It was a damn good dish. I heart seafood and this was some meaty, delicious octopus.
The conversation was flowing just as the wine was and we were having a fantastic night. I had convinced JT to try something different for main and so I took my own advice and went with pork, which I wouldn’t usually order.
JT’s seared duck came with Beetroot quinoa, confit duck, mandarin, pickled baby turnips and a plum wine glaze. The duck was cooked so well and just looked so gooood. JT did mention the rest of the flavours were overpowered a little by the very beety beetroot risotto but she still enjoyed it.
This got snapp’d up. (haha brilliant, JP, brilliant)
The foodblogger’s nightmare…when two people order the same dish so you can’t take two different photos. Devastating. But this dish was worth it. The snapper looked incredible and I had major food envy. Snapper is definitely one of my favourites and the combination of the fish with fregola, chimichurri, lime, eggplant caviar, roasted onion pearls and herb mayonnaise was ridiculously good. There were two very clean plates at the end of the meal.
Due to my inability to hold myself back from food, I unfortunately don’t have a photo of my delicious choice. But I can assure you it was sen-freakin-sational. This was definitely a dish I wouldn’t usually go for, especially when snapper, duck and dry aged ribeye are the other options. My main was confit pork scotch fillet with baby spinach, master stock broth, Diamond Bay clams, chilli and ginger. I could have had litres of the master stock broth. The depth of flavour in it was delicious and I just sat there wondering just how do they do it?!
Pee with a view.
Side note. Make sure you drink enough water to need to go the bathroom whilst at the no.35. The female bathrooms provide the greatest view out over the city towards gods country, aka the ‘G. On this particular evening, my might Swannies were taking on the Hawks and I think I went to the bathroom about 15 times to try and see what was going on! (Yes my boys won. Because we are awesome. Yep. Awesome.)
Everyone was very happy and very content but we were four females having dinner, so dessert was obviously a necessity. Did I want cheese, or chocolate, or sour or schweet. I could have had one of each of the desserts, ok I could have had 2 or 3 of each of the desserts. You’ll understand when you see the menu.
All fluffy like a cloud. An apple cloud.
The apple cloud sounding sooo tempting. Green apple sorbet, blueberries, basil tuile, shortbread crumble. Made into about 4534987 different textures. A party for your mouth. JT thought it was great but wasn’t a big fan of what we ended up calling the yoghurt foam. Not too sure what it was to be honest. It was refreshing and cleansed the palette but there was probably too much of it compared to the rest of the textures on the dish.
All the citrus goodness.
Now this was definitely my second choice. And probably what I should have ordered. Look at the prettiness. Ain’t it lovely. Lemon fizzy meringue, lime curd, blood orange gel, orange sherbet and lemon parfait. These are a few of my favourite things (do do do do do do). This looked and tasted scrumptious and the fresh raspberries were fantastic. Tarty, sour, creamy. Horrible description JP. But there are no words. Definitely the pick of the desserts.
Wibble wobble wibble wobble.
ET (phone home) was umming and ahhing, just like a true female, and decided on the creme caramel with vanilla soaked raisins and orange cream. She was a tad hesitant as she wasn’t sure if the orange cream would be too overpowering, but I think she liked the cream better than the creme caramel in the end! Great texture in the creme caramel and she demolished it. Yes for those who know ET, she is now EI and has been for a while, but ET let me do the ET joke. And let’s face it, I’m running out of good material here.
I do apologise for the poor quality photos. These were a combination of iPhone photography and very low light. That romantic, intimate ambience is lovely, but not so great for ze photo.
Chocolate, on chocolate, on pumpkin on avo.
I am an awful decision maker. Especially with menus. Husband knows that I need a solid hour to peruse a menu before deciding on a dish. Hence why I need to study a menu hours before entering a restaurant. I made the fatal error of not looking at the menu of no.35 prior to our visit and so had to make a quick decision. The idea of pumpkin icecream, avocado and multiple textures of chocolate made me uber curious so I had to go with that. After thought – probably too rich for what I felt like, but I still finished it off. Of course.
Chocolate, pumpkin ice cream, Sweet avocado, chocolate cake and torn raspberry. Bizarre combination but it worked so well. The only thing I wasn’t too keen on was the chocolate cake. I think the chefs had gone for the ‘dehydrated’ cake or something to that effect which still just tastes like stale cake to moi. Just make a good chocolate cake. That’s what the people want!
The chocolate ribbon down the middle of the dish was an incredibly rich fudge that was just so good and that pumpkin icecream. Oh lordy, gimme gimme gimme. Definitely a new favourite.
Overall a fantastic night and, as I mentioned, such attentive service without being overbearing. Although a couple of the dishes weren’t completely to our liking, it was brilliant produce with impressive techniques and we will definitely be back. That buffet breakfast is calling my name.
no.35. 8.5/10. Peace out. Jpizzle.