Thursday, July 12, 2012

Syracuse: Revisited

It's been a while since I was last at Syracuse (and here), but it was more because there are so many other places that I want to try. Whilst the last two occasions were for breakfast and dessert respectively, this time it was to try their dinner menu.

I must say I love the atmosphere of this place; dimly lit, with spacious tables (and some lounges) surrounded by more bottles of wine than you can count. They also had the most beautiful tea-light holders to complete the elegant mood.

Syracuse's menu consists of entrees, share plates, mains (with sides ordered separately) and desserts. The  range of entrees and sides I found relatively limited, so I barely glanced at them, and instead, M and I ordered two share plates between us, and a main each.

Share plates were good, but I thought them too expensive for how much food was provided. I ordered the Hervey Bay Scallops with Morcilla and Bone Marrow Butter, and while the dish was cooked with great skill, the scallops themselves weren't of the highest quality. 

Hervey Bay Scallops with Morcilla and Bone Marrow Butter
The tiny bits of black that you can see are pieces of fried morcilla, otherwise known as blood sausage. These added a nice crunch and accented the softness of the scallops. The bone marrow butter added a smoothness to the dish. My overall impression was that the chefs did the best they could with less than perfect ingredients. I always thought Tuesdays were good days for seafood, but unfortunately this wasn't the case this time around. 

M fancied the special of Quail Scotch Eggs with Nashi Pear and Bacon.

Quail Scotch Eggs with Nashi Pear and Bacon
Time to make a confession: I've never tried Scotch Eggs before (or French Toast for that matter). I found the the eggs nice, but with the eggs themselves being so small, it was like eating a meatball with a hint of creaminess from the egg. I loved the crunchiness of the deep-fried bread-crumb coating, and thought the flavours were balanced. I was suitably impressed, but still wonder whether a chicken egg would have been a better (if slightly more boring) choice.

Quail Scotch Eggs
For the mains, M was ravenous and ordered a great hunk of meat: 300g Grass Fed Scotch Fillet with Chimcurri, Pickled Garlic and Roast Bone Marrow.

300g Grass Fed Scotch Fillet with Chimcurri, Pickled Garlic and Roast Bone Marrow
The steak was passable in his opinion. I know plenty of people who wouldn't have touched the marrow, but to me, this was the most interesting part of the dish. I would have preferred more sauce on a steak, but M didn't seem to mind. 

A side order of Sauteed Kipfler Potatoes with Gypsy Speck and Oregano was chosen as accompaniment to the steak. 

Sauteed Kipfler Potatoes with Gypsy Speck and Oregano
The potatoes had a good 'bite' to them and were lightly salted. The bacon pieces added some extra flavour, and indeed, I found myself picking at the bacon instead of the potatoes, but that's just me. 

A nice glass of Peel Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, which matched the steak very well with its fruitiness cutting through the richness of the steak, completed M's mains.

Peel Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
I decided to choose something lighter, and ended up with Pan Roasted John Dory with Crayfish, Black Rice and Pickled Pumpkin and Heirloom Carrots.

Pan Roasted John Dory with Crayfish, Black Rice and Pickled Pumpkin and Heirloom Carrots
Initially the fish seemed to salty for my taste, but after sampling some of the other elements of the dish, decided that it was perfectly flavoured. The fish was firm, with lightly crunchy skin. I thought the black rice was an odd choice, but I happily devoured it nonetheless. The vegetables were nothing to rave about, but the crayfish was delicate and sweet and definitely something I wanted more of. 

We were both quite full that this point, and decided to pass on dessert. I know, I know, but we'd been here exclusively for dessert on a separate occasion so didn't feel the need to sample the menu again. 

Overall, it was a good dining experience with great service and atmosphere. The food was good quality, and generally interesting, but overpriced in my opinion. If you have some time on your hands, it seemed like a good place to relax with a glass of wine, a plate of cheese, and a book. Maybe I'll come back and do exactly that when I have more time. 

23 Bank Pl, Melbourne
Mon-Fri 730am-late, Sat 6pm-late

Syracuse on Urbanspoon


  1. Syracuse used to be one of my favourite restaurants but to be honest I have not been there for years - maybe worth a revisit - great wine list as well

    1. Definitely worth another shot. The wine list is certainly impressive, although they've changed sommeliers since I was there last.

  2. That's unusual to use the quail egg in the Scotch egg, but it was nice to see the egg was runny.

    OMG, bone marrow butter?! Too bad the scallops themselves weren't that good.

    1. Exactly! I grew up hating running eggs but now I refuse to have them any other way (well, unless they're hard-boiled or scrambled, and that's only on occasion.)

      I'd curious to try this dish again, just because it'd be amazing with fresh, sweet scallops.

  3. omg woman! you need to be eating more scotch eggs and french toast stat!! well at least french toast!!

    1. Haha, you are hilarious! Is there savoury French Toast? The usual offering seems too sweet for breakfast to me...

  4. Those potatoes look fantasticamical! Mmmm crispy potatoes...