Penne Cole's thoughts on food, travel and more
Where has the year gone? I can’t believe it’s December already. After a whirlwind trip back to Malaysia for a family event, the Happy Gwailo and I are settling in for the final push to the end of the year, starting with a long-delayed dinner at The Little Snail. We had originally made a booking for earlier in November, but then had to cancel. We totally forgot about the second booking, but the team at The Little Snail were kind enough to allow us to book for a third time, and this time, we actually made it.
The Little Snail is a French restaurant with an enviable location in Pyrmont, right on Sydney’s Darling Harbour. While the orientation of the restaurant means it doesn’t quite have harbour views, it does have some great floor to ceiling windows and a dramatic staircase in the middle of the restaurant.
Service at the Little Snail was amazing. We were seated promptly on the upper balcony when we arrived, and had our entrees served within 15 minutes of arrival. We had Groupon vouchers that allowed us to order from their 3-course set menu. For entrees, I had the escargot (it is a French restaurant, after all!) while he had the squid.
The calamari was perfectly cooked – crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. And for the escargots, the buttery garlic herb sauce is always the winner.
For mains, we chose the kangaroo fillet on mashed potatoes and the crispy skinned salmon on crab meat risotto.
The kangaroo was served rare on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach. The meat was perfectly cooked, but the winner was the tangy Dijon mustard and honey bordelaise sauce. The sauce was exquisite and really made the dish.
The salmon had a perfectly crispy skin – something I’ve often tried to do at home, and failed miserably every time. It was served on a bed of risotto with crab meat and peas, with a vibrant orange roasted pepper coulis.
For dessert, we had classics from Australia and France – the sticky date pudding and the creme caramel. The sticky date pudding came with a beautiful frilly “hat” of sugar, and was paired with a beautiful butterscotch and French vanilla ice cream.
The creme caramel, while a classic, looked like the dowdy cousin in comparison, although it did taste really good.
Groupon vouchers can be hit and miss, but this experience was definitely a hit. The taste, texture and presentation of the meal was great, and even though it was a three-course meal, the portions were sized so that we didn’t feel overly full. We will be back.
50 Murray St
Sydney NSW 2000
Open for lunch and dinner, 7 days a week
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