Cara&Co is where beautiful garments go hand in hand with beautiful food. The concept store was first introduced in Moscow, where the style mantra behind the boutique was 'no logos fashion only' - forgoing big-brand Euro labels for international designers who create one-off pieces that exude a discrete luxury. Everything in the store is for sale, including the furniture, decor and art installations. In the belly of the space you will find the restaurant, unique as the boutique with a menu formed on Flemish principles by Belgian chef Dave de Belder. Joseph first brought me into the store to ogle a shirt he had fallen in love with, and we lingered amongst the sale rack mourning over the price tags. Fortunately, owner Rosa Alpert invited me to dine at the restaurant a couple months later to sample their new winter menu.
We were informed by our waiter that we'd be enjoying a five course degustation and was promptly brought bread and butter. There are no photos of this because I was too busy smearing the warm bread with the creamy French butter and black salt flakes. The first course was a soup of Jerusalem artichoke, fresh hazelnuts, Granny Smith apple, hazelnut foam and lime zest. Subtle flavours of the artichoke blended beautifully with a light nuttiness and were accented by the freshness of the apple and lime
Yellowfin Tuna $44
Second course was my favourite, a visually inspiring dish of seared Yellowfin tuna, white bean puree, pickled watermelon and heirloom tomatoes. Lovely cuts of tuna were lightly seared for a smokey exterior while retaining delicate pink centres. The sweet tartness of the watermelon and tomato complimented the fish perfectly.
Rock Flathead $38
Albiet suspiciously radioactive and somewhat dangerous looking, the rock flathead with cauliflower, peanuts, gherkin and quinoa was pleasantly understated. A spear-like fillet of fish held a lightly charred skin, and separated into soft segments upon dissection. The luridly green gherkin juice tasted much better than it looks and sounds while the cauliflower puree and silver-coated peanuts were an brilliant combination. Toasted quinoa added moreishly crisp textures and the peanut foam felt like an ephemeral touch on the tongue.
Kangaroo Tenderloin $39
Moving onto our only meat dish of the night, we were presented with what I thought was a rather unusual choice of game. I haven't really had much experience with eating the national fauna but the kangaroo tenderloin with artichoke, black caviar lentils, parmesan and cabernet sauvignon jus begged me to reconsider my preconceptions. I was very happy to a see a small sube of tartare on the plate, never having tried kangaroo raw. The velvety texture of the lean meat was a certainly unexpected and went smashingly with the parmesan. The succulent sous vide pieces of striploin were grilled medium-rare and astonishingly tender. The red wine jus such a perfect perfect match for this red meat, I almost forgot about the accompaniments.
Dark Chocolate Cake $23
Dessert was a dark chocolate cake with textures of rasberries, coconut, ginger and lime. The rich yet airy flour-less cake yielded an almost mousse-like consistency, punctuated with ginger and topped with cool coconut sorbet and nitrogenised raspberry drupelets. An airy coconut marshmallow and sweet, juicy textures of raspberry decorate the rim of the plate - gel, jelly, puree, coulis and fresh fruits.
We finished with a selection of petit fours - tonka bean madeleines, caramel almond fudge topped with lemon curd, and a I think what were hazelnut chocolate drops. A sweet ending to a divine meal, hidden away amongst yet away from the bustle of a shopping mall.
Level 4, Westfield Sydney, 188 Pitt St
(02) 9226 9988
Figs & Brie dined as a guest of Cara&Co.