Etch (2), Sydney CBD

Isn't it nice to be able to go out for a nice dinner during these times of the GFC and not break the bank? Of course, I'm still living on a student budget so even nice dinners are sometimes far and few between.

However, it was special occasion that allowed us the indulgence of visiting Etch. I booked our table a few weeks beforehand, because I know it has been a popular restaurant lately and I didn't want to miss out on this Saturday night!

Etch called to confirm our attendance on the day of the dinner and when we arrived, almost every table at the restaurant was filled.

We placed our orders with the amiable waitress and were off!

Iced Tea Mocktail - Marco Polo tea syrup and fresh fruits over ice ($12)

This was simply delicious!!! I had never tasted Marco Polo tea before and it was delightful, sweet but not too overpowering.

Sparkling mineral water ($10 per bottle)

We decided to share an appetiser.

Fried goats’ cheese with vanilla and lavender scented honey ($9)

Yes, you get two balls of goats cheese so order more if you don't want to be fighting over them with your dinner companions! Luckily, I was dining with a friend and we each speared one to taste. The cheese was subtle, but tasted a bit plain by itself. However, once you ensured that there was a liberal amount of lavender honey on the ball - then the dish was taken to another level.

Not long after, our entrees arrived.

Caramelised pork belly, roasted Queensland scallops, sherry gel and sweet corn puree ($19)

One word. YUM! The pork belly was soft and tender, with a bit of crackle on the top that was also on the softer side. I made sure to coat my scallops in the sweet corn puree and cleaned my plate very well. Except for the sherry gel, I left most of that because the taste of sherry was too strong for me.

Salad of local Heirloom tomatoes, with fried zucchini flowers and herb emulsion 16

I didn't taste this entree, but the presentation was spot-on and my friend assured me that it was delicious.

After our entrees were cleared away, it took a while for our mains to arrive. And no, I'm not imagining it, because as you'll find out later, we were rewarded for our wait!

Upon serving our mains, the waitress warned us 'Careful, the plates are very hot' - and indeed they were very hot to the touch! It made me wonder - had they been sitting under the heat lamp? You know where dishes wait before they are carried out?

Flathead wrapped in Serrano ham with potato fondant, parsnip puree and jus gras ($30)

The flathead was my main and I was ambivalent. The flathead was quite tough, but I don't have much experience with flathead so perhaps that is how the texture of the fish is naturally? I couldn't really taste the Serrano ham that was wrapped around the flathead, it only tasted like a hard coating. The potatoes were nice though!

Beetroot risotto with roasted baby beetroots, asparagus and horseradish cream ($26)

The colour of the risotto was amazing. It reminded me of one of my OPI colours, 'Miami Beet' (which makes sense, since it's supposed to resemble the colour of beetroot!)

Unfortunately, according to my dining companion, the taste was not as amazing as the presentation. I had a small taste and had to agree. Some of the risotto grains were hard on the inside - not uneatable hard, but almost as though it hadn't been cooked 100%.

So I told you earlier that it wasn't just us that noticed how long the mains took to come out....

...Well the staff noticed as well, and we were offered complimentary dessert to compensate! I thought that was really lovely of Etch, since we hadn't made any comments about the mains and would have had an enjoyable dinner regardless.

As it was, we selected two desserts from the menu and both were absolutely mouth-watering.

Caramel date tart with burnt butter ice cream and Earl Grey tea syrup (Usually $15)

The Earl Grey tea syrup was divine and the tart was smooth yet rich.

Baked chocolate delice with mandarin (Usually $15)

I had actually tried this dessert previously at Etch - except that time, it was a friend's dessert and I had serious case of dessert envy. This time, it was all mine!

The chocolate delice was moist and chocolate-y. The three globules were each mandarin flavoured - a jelly, a foam and an ice-cream (I think it was ice cream? The textures were explained when it was served but I forgot! Oops). But my favourite was the tangy mandarin gel that you can see bordering the chocolate slick!

I think Etch is a wonderful place to have a celebration dinner, a romantic dinner, or an intimate dinner with close friends (and I'm just saying that because of the free dessert!)


We have been writing about food in Sydney since 2009. No place is too far or too wide for us to travel to visit. We always give an honest opinion and love to hear your comments too. Here's to an ever-growing society of foodies!


  1. I now see why you were raving on about the dessert. Lucky you got it free!

  2. she only raves about the desserts cuz it's free

  3. To Mobblees: We were originally going to have dessert elsewhere!

    To sonywalkmanblues: You're just jealous.

  4. The Earl Grey tea syrup and the tart is my type of playground yum!

  5. Hi Wendy: Earl Grey tea syrup is truly delicious! I wonder where one could buy that and keep a bottle at home...