Dane and Renae (aka #MeatandVegReviews) were sent to Pei Modern to check out the newest seasonal menu.
Pei Modern Sydney has been living at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney since October 15, 2014. Founded on the principles of bistronomie, Pei Modern demands a commitment to locally sourced, quality seasonal produce and wines that speak of their place and style.
Meat – by Dane:
I love all things sustainable so I was impressed from word “go”. The warm sourdough, that is served when you are seated, is baked in house daily. The excess whey from making the bread isn’t thrown away, it’s used to ferment vegetables in-house and create the moorish cultured butter.
One thing I really appreciate in a venue/restaurant is attention to detail. The lighting was subdued and warming, there was an array of different light fixtures illuminating separate aspects of the space. The maître d’ “Mikey” told a story of why the restaurant carries one specific knife, ‘Perceval 9.47 knife’. It is a well-crafted, sleek and efficient knife. Designed for all tasks from buttering bread to cutting through meat. I will be buying myself one this week!
The dishes to be placed on the table for myself were:
Tiger prawns, fermented corn and smoked butter
Growing up in Queensland and living off prawns. The first mouthful I ate wasn’t all that impressive. I decided to go back for a second and realised why – I’d missed out including on the smoked butter, which truly brought everything together. Such a simple dish with minimal ingredients but certainly packed a punch.
Game terrine, sourdough toast w/ cornichon pickles and native apple
The Terrine wasn’t over powering in flavour as some terrine’s can be. It broke down in my mouth with ease and was perfectly matched with native apple to cut through the heaviness of the abundance of meat.
I agree with Renae’s comments below about the pomelo salad being delicious!
My favourite dish of the night was the John Dory cooked on the bone, cauliflower puree and saltbush - to me, there’s nothing better than a crispy skinned fish! I could tell that the John Dory was treated with respect and cooked impeccably. It was served whole and the flakes effortlessly fell away from the bones. I love when restaurants use native bush tucker. Old man saltbush was fried off and had the texture of kale chips. Will definitely be replicating this dish.
I’m not a dessert person so let Renae finish off most of those and she has described those below. To me, the earl grey curd was nice, but as someone who doesn't eat cakes, the madeleines weren’t my cup of tea.
Aperitifs at the end of the evening were palate cleansing, although my curiosity of tasting Soju from South Korea was short lived. I’m happy I can say I’ve tried it but I’ll stick to Renae’s Montenegro any day.
I found some of the dishes to be a little oily for my personal preference, but overall, Pei Modern offered a great experience and I’ll be back to try other menu items as the seasonal menu changes.
Veg by Renae:
Being a vegetarian, I often get nervous when I go to venues that don't specifically mention being vegetarian friendly. Having worked in hospitality PR for a while and knowing how some chefs feel about having to adapt their menu – I get a little uncomfortable announcing,“No meat for me please”. With a sigh of relief from me, the waiter at Pei Modern explained that the chef is more than happy to adapt many of the menu items to exclude meat so that I was able to get “involved” in the sharing concepts of Pei Modern’s menu.
We started with the bread – which I inhaled, and Mikey, the manager, laughed as he brought over a bigger pile of butter and more bread… He definitely remembered me from last time – I swear I blow their portion control out of the water with my addiction to their house made bread and butter.
I started with tempura vegetables (the batter was exactly how I make mine and gave me flashbacks to Masterchef when I was virtually sacrificed to the tempura gods for not making it thicker). A combination of zucchini flowers, kale and broccolini were matched with a lemon puree which helped cut through the oily batter.
Next up I was offered two different salads. The first was beetroot, quince and dandelion salad. This salad was actually quite filling and the sweetness of the beetroot was complimented by the tartness of the quince and the bitter dandelion leaves. A very simple salad, elegantly presented. Second we had the organic fennel, pomelo and mint salad. This was hands down the best dish of the evening for me. Fantastic balance and an addictive fresh creaminess.
The ricotta dumplings (large stuffed gnocchi) was served with a topping of zucchini flowers and lazy man’s pesto. The dumplings were as soft as air and cooked to absolute perfection. The portion size is big and I definitely think they could be a great share dish – the pesto is not blitzed to oblivioun, its finely chopped and perfectly fresh.
The main meals came with broccolini, fermented chili and almond as a side – again, the chilli was a great freshening ingredient to cut through the heavy dumplings.
Dessert (WOOHOO) was a meringue with white chocolate ganache and fresh and dried raspberries. This was my favourite. The meringue has loads of crisp bits, chewy bits and pillowy soft bits – the perfect meringue.
To finish we had wood oven honey madeleines with an earl grey curd. The madeleines were not your traditional shape and instead came in bite sized pieces. The rich brown curd tasted exactly like a cup of earl grey tea.
Overall, the venue offered perfect service, incredible information and we really enjoyed our time here. It’s always inspiring to see venues working so hard at being sustainable and doing everything in-house.
If you’re in Sydney for VIVID and want to stop in for dinner without wasting an entire evening, Pei Modern have a Pei Quick menu which is only $60 and includes 2 courses and petits fours which you take away and nibble on whilst you enjoy checking out VIVID.
Amazing idea and one we recommend trying out soon!
Meat & Veg x