Friday, December 11, 2009

Ripples at Sydney Wharf, Pyrmont

From now on I want all my meals during the day. In full sunlight. By the water. Because then everything will look like this! Isn't it a sight to make you sigh with happiness? When I met up with some of my favourite girly girls around the wharfs of Sydney, we were all patting ourselves on the back for choosing such a gorgeously sunny day and perfect location for our Christmas lunch of sorts. Many places, dates and times had been tossed about as options, but Lisa recommended Ripples after enjoying a fabulous meal there earlier in the year. And we decided to go for lunch rather than dinner, which meant awesome light. Which, for food bloggers, is a big deal.
The restaurant is open air between Wharf 9 &10 in Pyrmont, with brightly colour plastic chairs (which are more comfortable than they look) spread out in front of the open kitchen area. There are the 'Chef's table' seats available at the counter of the kitchen, which I can imagine would have quite a fun thing to experience. The area is protected by some clear covers, which they thankfully pull down when the wind starts to pick up that day.
We don't have too much trouble choosing what to order. I would love to try every single dish on the menu, they all sound mouthwatering, but we all know that there's no way we can all fit a full 3 course meal in, especially not at lunch. So we opt to share a few starters, get a main each, but most importantly, share ALL the desserts. And the best thing about going out to lunch with food bloggers, we know how to coordinate our orders so that there's no overlapping, and we get to try the maximum variety of dishes as possible :)
Seared scallops with crisp pork belly, champagne apples & boudon noir ($19.00)

The starters come out fairly quickly if I remember correctly, and we all have our eyes on the beautiful plate of plump scallops. It just looks so good. The scallops are perfectly cooked, still sweet and moist on the inside with a hint of a charred surface. The caramelised onions are delicious, as is the pork belly and blood sausage, and I keep coming back and picking at the little bits even after the scallops have disappeared into our hungry mouths. Excellent dish.
Yamba prawn tart w creamed leek, feta cheese & tomato salsa ($19.00)
Karen had her eyes on this dish as soon as we read the menus and I was very glad we ordered it. Four huge, juicy prawns were stacked up on a butter tart crust and the whole thing smelt amazing. It was a little difficult to eat with all that stacking, but it was very nice indeed once you got a taste of it. The tart was lovely and the prawns were very fresh.
Duck liver parfait w cranberry jelly, onion marmalade & pickled prune ($11.00)
We saved the duck liver parfair for last, since Lisa had told us how good it was the last time she came. The duck liver parfait was hiding under a layer of cranberry jelly, in a very shallow dish. Cutting into the surface of it, we were all a bit surprised to find out it was very wet, almost goopy in texture. I spread a liberal amount of jelly and parfait on a warm piece of bread. It tasted pretty good at first, but then I kept chewing and it just got a bit weird. Like really metallic, like you had just had a big swig of blood. Ugh...And the cranberry jelly wasn't really jelly, it hadn't set at all, and seems quite flavourless. There was no sweetness or tartness to offset the intensely strong liver flavour in the parfait. And it was so sloppy, it was just a bit strange. Lisa was disappointed and said there was something a bit off about it, and that it had been so much better the last time she came.

It was unfortunate that we had to finish our starters with that odd, unpleasant taste in our mouths, but the mains didn't come too long after. I chose the rabbit with pappardelle, which came out bright green to my surprise. It looked and smelt great. The pasta was well cooked, and the sauce was rich and creamy, with lots of salty lardons. The artichoke was a nice flavour to match the dish, though the rabbit meat was a little on the dry side.
White rabbit fricassee with lardons, artichokes & pappardelle pasta ($28.00)

Pan-seared ocean trout fillet with farmers style salad, grilled pork toulouse sausage ($29.00)

In terms of the richness mix of flavours in one dish, Leona's won hands down. We all oohed and aahed as she broke open her perfectly poached egg and all that gooey yolk ran down the plate. The ocean trout had a lovely crisp skin and the flesh was sweet and moist. The pork sausage was a surprisingly strong flavour to combine with the fish but worked quite well.
Sandcrab & fines herb omelette w mixed cress salad, avocado & tomato dressing ($29.00)
Betty's crab omelette was HUUUGE. It came out on a dish that was more a small canoe than a plate. But the omelette itself was light as a feather, with sweet pieces of crab meat scattered throughout it. It was surprisingly easy to gobble up.
Ripples famous fish & chips, homemade tartare sauce, lemon ($24.00)
Karen took one for the team and ordered Ripples famous fish and chips. The portion was HUGE, enough to feed at least two people I think. All of us had huge servings for our mains, so we weren't very helpful as Karen feebly attempted to make some sort of dent in her portion. The batter was golden with a satisfying crunch, and the tartare sauce was really tasty. All served on a silver reflective plate, so you can enjoy your meal and fix your hair at once!
Char grilled beef tenderloins, creamed spinach w horseradish gnocchi & beef short rib ragout ($29.00)
Lisa's beef dish is my definite favourite of the mains. The beef is exploding with flavour, the meat is succulent and so moreish, I don't really remember if I tasted the rest of it, but whatever I got a taste of was quite excellent.
Passionfruit crème brulee w glass biscuit & passionfruit syrup ($12.00)
Now for dessert! I was already feeling pretty full but we had a bit of break before our desserts came out. There's something very satisfying about saying, "we'll have one of every dessert on the menu!". They still somehow managed to forget to order us one of the desserts, even though there are only 4 on the menu. First up was the passionfruit crème brulee. The simplicity of it was elegant and the taste was amazing. The passionfruit syrup was bursting with fresh passionfruit flavour, but was a perfect balance between sweet and sour. The creme brulee was delicate, and the glass biscuit had some crunch to it, though it got a little soggy in some spots.
White chocolate parfait with bitter chocolate & orange mousse, blood orange jelly ($14.00)
The white chocolate parfait was the dessert they forgot to order for us, so when they brought it out it was obviously straight out of the freezer and rock hard. The parfait just tasted like plain ice cream to be honest, though the bitter chocolate and orange mousse was wonderfully rich. I liked the blood orange jelly and I love it when they use Persian fairy floss on any dessert. It was very pretty but not spectacular.
Strawberry shortcake w champagne & white chocolate mousse, strawberry sorbet ($12.00)
The strawberry shortcake was so cute! The layer of shortcake was more a layer of buttery puff pastry, which was quite hard to break up. The white chocolate mousse was really really boozy from the champagne and I'm not an enormous fan of extra boozy desserts so it put me off a bit.
Burnt lemon tart, lemon curd bombe alaska & macadamia toffee ($13.00)
The winning dessert for everyone had to be the lemon one. A burnt lemon tart which had us all making slightly obscene gutteral groans of ecstasy (especially Karen), with a macadamia toffee which all the girls seemed to adore. The lemon curd bombe alaska was gleefully attacked by me, It was soft and gooey, with some really nice lemon curd sorbet in the middle. It was hard to share this dessert, I wanted it all for myself! Also in terms of size, it was the best value dessert on the menu.
We were so full after our meal but really glad that we picked Ripples for our lunch. My only gripe would be that they waiters were really pushing us out the door at the end. Sure we had agreed that we would be done after two hours since they had another booking, but there were heaps of tables around us with the same number of seats that were ready to go, surely they could have placed the waiting table at one of those tables first if they were in that much of a hurry? I don't know, either way, we had our desserts taken away before we had completely finished eating, but I don't really think we could have eaten much more! At $50 a head, it was a lot less than I had been expecting for a meal at a location like this, and it felt like it was really worth it. The service was decent enough and the portion sizes were so generous. Definitely good for a wide range of occasions, from casual lunch to a special celebration. Thanks ladies for the wonderful lunch!
Ripples at Sydney Wharf
56 Pirrama Rd,
Pyrmont NSW 2009

(02) 9571 1999

Breakfast: Sat to Sun 8am - 11am
Lunch: Mon to Sun Noon - 3pm
Dinner: Mon to Sun 6pm - 9pm
Ripples Sydney Wharf on Urbanspoon
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  1. Great shots - the food looks amazing - no wonder people always say they want to shoot in natural light! And, yeah, I hate it when pushy waiters ask you to leave when clearly there are enough tables for others!

  2. Your photos are amazing! Girly lunches by the water at the best. So disappointed about the parfait, last time it was one of my highlights!! I loved your rabbit dish, I'm definitely getting that next time. And that lemon tart was divine. Let's go back!

  3. I think all of our dining experiences should be at lunch by the water from now on! LOL at reflective plate comment - eating and checking yourself out at the same time! I like. Lovely to dine with you, as always. xx

  4. nice photos dude! love that shot of the gooey egg spilling out oh baby!

  5. Great photos Steph! The duck liver parfait looks quite different from when we went so perhaps something went wrong? :( And that's no good about being hurried out. I thought they were open for dinner too so it wouldn't hurt if people lingered.

  6. Oh wow - you have completely sold me. I want to go there NOW!! Thanks so much for this - will be adding it to my list of places to visit! :)

  7. Nice view, good food and great frienshisp - you have them all!

  8. Food looks amazing here (shame about the liver parfait), but everything else looked lovely. Gorgeous location, lovely food and wonderful friends....what more could you ask for : )

  9. Hee hee I am so with you about hitting up more lunches for the lighting ^^! Seems like I have to give this place a go mmm but pity about the jelly :S

  10. Poor Lisa, I hate it when you rave about something and then it disappoints!

    Love the oozy egg shot, and the prawns all standing to attention :)

  11. Awww sorry to hear the duck liver was disappointing and also the parfait was downer. The fish and chips look amazing though! I always jog past Ripples during my lunchbreak jogs and have always had food envy hahaha maybe one of these days....

  12. Trissa - Thanks. I know, I wish I could shoot in that light all the time. Damn my nighttime baking habits :( Pushy waiters are the worst!

    Lisa - heehee thanks! So were yours :) It was a real pity about the parfait but everything else was awesome!

    Betty - Hahaha I agree! Even if we eat maccas, it should be waterfront maccas! Same here :) xx

    chocolatesuze - Thank you! Hehe I know, it makes you wanna lick it up!

    Lorraine - Yes Lisa said the same thing, such a pity :(

    Joy - Yay! Make sure you go for lunch, its so pretty during the day!

    Ellie - haha i guess so! You should come next time!

    Brenda - I agree, it was really enjoyable!

    FFichiban - Yes if only I didn't spend most of my daylight hours in a cubicle!

    Conor - I know, isn't that the worst? But everything else was great so we still have faith in her :)

    Trisha - Ooh you should check it out! The fish and chips were great! And HUGE!


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