Home > English, European, Syd: Walsh Bay, Sydney > Wonderful meal at Restaurant Arras, Walsh Bay

Wonderful meal at Restaurant Arras, Walsh Bay

Restaurant Arras is one of the many restaurants that I love in Sydney. I have been here many times now, usually for lunch with work, which means no photos and no cameras. So when C, my eating partner in crime suggested this place for dinner one night, I couldn’t say no. But then again, I have never said no to dine out!

Restaurant Arras is located in Walsh bay, in a former bond store and has been awarded one hat in the SMH Good Food Guide in 2008, 2009 and 2010. I love the historic building – very old, very heritage looking and I love the exposed bricks.

Whilst perusing the menu, we were presented with complimentary bread sticks which was olive twists and house spiced almonds. I loved the house spiced nuts – crunchy with a nice spicy kick at the end. The olive twist was also wonderful but the nuts won me over, only cause I am a sucker for almonds.

We started with bread, which are all made on the premises, a choice of onion bread, malted sourdough, or fruit bread. I couldn’t go pass the sourdough, soft and fluffy on the inside with a crunchy crust. Smothered with butter it was oh so yummy! I love fresh warm bread.

Amuse bouche – beetroot jelly with beetroot and avocado. Two of my favourite foods on the one plate. The beetroot jelly was deliciously light and refreshing, the avocado a wonderful complement. Unfortunately, C wasn’t a huge fan of the edible flowers, but I thought this was excellent and a wonderful start to what was to come.

C and I opted for the Crab Eggy Bread, Dressed Crab, Jelly and Custard ($31) – it was beautifully presented. The French toast was deliciously soft and mushy and the ‘sausage’ of crab meat wrapped in gelatine was incredible. Beautifully cooked, however, C thought it was somewhat ruined by the herbs mixed in it.

Here is a close up of the crab eggy bread and ‘sausage’ of crab

I love the caviar like balls of jelly and a puddle of custard. It was very well seasoned and flavoursome.

J couldn’t go pass the plate for Mr. McGregor ($32), he didn’t know what it was and didn’t want to know. When the dish arrived, I thought it was one of the most colourful dishes I have seen in a while. Rabbit cooked in three different ways on a plate of dots of puree, leaves and flowers. I didn’t have any of this, as I was too engrossed in my crab eggy bread, but J seemed to have enjoyed it.

For mains, C and I opted for the same thing – pork belly, whey, head cheese and rice ($46) and OH MY GOODNESS! Where do I start?

The slab of pork was incredible, tender and succulent that it just melted in my mouth. I loved the top layer of crumbed crackle. To the right, potato and leek terrine, thinly sliced potatoes cooked to perfection. The crackle straw was ingenious and awesomely good. Underneath it was shreds of flesh taken from the head of the pig which was sandwiched between two thin discs of gelatine – mouth watering! Each mouthful was better than the next, I really didn’t want it to end. I love how the pork belly came with crackle which was prepared in three different ways: straw crackle, deep-fried as a ‘cracker’ and crumbed crackle – EPIC! Who doesn’t love crackle? I wish there were more of it though. C and I definitely enjoyed this dish.

J on the other hand, ordered the Ta, Jean ($34), tajine, vegetarian dish. Different types of vegetables which sat on a puree of avocado. It looked wonderful, however, C was glad that he didn’t order that as he would definitely not have enjoyed it.

It came with a side of custard, which wasn’t sweet but complemented the Ta, Jean well.

Pre-dessert was cherry and cashew trifle. I had expected the dessert to be served in a bowl or a shot glass like a trifle would. It was served on a plate, thinly sliced cherries which sat on a bed of crumbs and drizzled with cherry sauce and cashews. It was refreshingly light and not as sweet as I had thought. It was delicious and a great palate cleanser.

C and J couldn’t go pass revel in it ($20) – underneath that foam and chocolate sauce was balls of chocolate filled with orange creme, honeycomb, toffee, coffee, raisins or maltesers.

C absolutely enjoyed this – he couldn’t stop and popped them one by one in his mouth.

Now the moment we have all been waiting for. Arras’s legendary petit fours platter – WOW. It was a glorious sight and one that I have always looked forward to. Impressive rows of chocolate, jellies, toffees and honeycomb lined up. I was in awe that I didn’t really hear what the waiter said as he rattled the names of every piece.

I was trying not to be greedy, opted for five things which unfortunately I didn’t get to finish. Honeycomb, crunch chocolate with coconut, chocolate with cream inside (which I didn’t enjoy), fluffy aero mint chocolate and peanut praline. My favourite would definitely have to be honeycomb.

C’s petit fours – I couldn’t believe he demolished it all! He did say that he was totally and utterly full!

Stuffed to the max, we all walked back to the city. It was a walk that we all needed!

Restaurant Arras did not disappoint. Both Adam Humphrey and Lovaine Allen, owner and chef have done an extremely well with this establishment.  It was better than I remembered it to be. Service excellent, food EPIC! I definitely look forward to going back again when they move to their new premises which will be on Clarence Street (where Becasse used to be) in either June or July 2011.

GA’s rating: 9 / 10

C’s ratings: 9 / 10

Restaurant Arras

24 Hickson Rd Walsh Bay

Sydney 2000

Ph: +61 2 9252 6285

Restaurant Arras on Urbanspoon

  1. April 17, 2011 at 12:41 am

    Had dinner here again recently ourselves and continue to be blown away by their creative and fun spin on things, not to mention the exceptional value of the whole experience!

    • April 17, 2011 at 4:23 am

      Hello mademoiselle 🙂 I agree! i really do like this restaurant… cant believe it has taken me that long to come back! definitely keen to try the degust next time….

  2. April 17, 2011 at 1:02 am

    The food looks so beautiful, keep meaning to come but then I keep on forgetting at the same time. The petit four tray looks amazing though. May be when it settles in at Clarence Street, I’ll make the trek 🙂

    • April 17, 2011 at 4:22 am

      hey dumpling girl! ya its a bit of a trek… but well worth it! not long till they move to the Clarence Street venue…

  3. April 17, 2011 at 2:41 am

    What great food descriptions you have. Normally I’m a bit put off by food that’s a bit too fancy. I’ve had way too many dishes that seemed that plating was more important than flavour. You’ve encouraged me to try again. I’ll be visiting Sydney soon and will give Restaurant Arras a try. Thanks

    • April 17, 2011 at 4:22 am

      Hi Maureen, thanks for dropping by! i agree, some restaurants do put too much effort on the presentation / plating than the flavour. Restaurant Arras is great, i have not had a terrible meal there at all! Hope you do get a chance to go there when you are in Sydney next 🙂

  4. April 17, 2011 at 8:39 am

    man super loved the presentation at arras and how freaking awesome was the petit fours!

    • April 17, 2011 at 8:59 am

      hey suze! ya and not only that but it tastes frigging good! if i wasnt so full i would have asked for one of each but didnt want to waste!

  5. April 18, 2011 at 2:31 am

    The plating is simply stunning. I’m not too sure about eating flowers either – pretty, but yummy?

    • April 18, 2011 at 7:02 am

      hey tina.. the flowers were quite yummy! but think its more for decoration than anything else 🙂

  6. April 18, 2011 at 2:48 am

    arras!! u lucky. always wanted to eat here but my poor wallet never lets me. want that crab eggy bread 😦

  7. April 19, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Thanks for the great write up of Arras and Walsh Bay! We’re keen to let people know just how fantastic the area is for dining and spending an relaxed evening by the water! Much appreciated.

    Please feel free to follow us on facebook

    Thanks guys!

  8. April 19, 2011 at 3:57 am

    REally want to try this place out!

  9. May 26, 2011 at 3:20 am

    loved this post, ive always wanted to come here but either money or busy weekends prevent me..! great photo’s, i hope i can come here some time in the future :O)

    • May 26, 2011 at 5:48 am

      thanks again betts 🙂 i love restaurant arras! wait until they move to the new location!

  1. May 30, 2011 at 12:17 am
  2. December 15, 2011 at 10:38 pm
  3. December 30, 2011 at 7:46 am

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