Chiswick, in Woollahra, has not been empty a day since it opened over a year ago. It has become somewhat of a neighbourhood haunt for casual lunches with the Mother or nice birthday dinners with S and our parents. While I would really recommend booking, they do always keep a few tables for walk-ins, and with dinner serving from 5:30pm, it was another case of impromptu dinner with the Mother that brought us to Chiswick again.
There are so many things that are perfect about Chiswick – where do I start? The low and long building is located in the small but lovely Chiswick Gardens, with French windows lining the entire front of the building. In summer, these open up to give you a pseudo-al fresco dining experience. As you walk around the back to the bathroom you catch a glimpse of their immaculate and epic 150 square metre kitchen garden. It is according to its produce that Chiswick’s monthly menu is created – at the moment it is boasting broccolini, cavolo nero, snow peas, sage and rosemary in abundance. The meat you eat is also ‘home grown’ on the Moran Family Farm located in the Central Tablelands. The bright, open space is beautifully designed and decorated with white chairs and wooden floorboards, giving it a kind of rustic home feel (visit the website for some beautiful photos!).
The Rosemary Flatbread ($5) is always an amazing starter – I’m pretty sure I’ve had it every time I’ve been there. It is freshly baked, with some more doughy, pouffy bits as well as very crunchy thin sections of bread. Perfect for those who don’t want too much to start, and just want something to nibble on. The Mother and I chose to share all the dishes, which is recommended from the menu. We went for the Duck Ravioli, charred spring onions and pickled cucumber (approx $22) which has a bit of an Asian-fusion twist, with the ravioli wrapped in what tasted like wonton skins. The pickled cucumber was a perfect balance to the full tasting duck meat.
The Chickpea, eggplant, cumin yoghurt, coriander, oregano was another one of the ‘small plates’ we shared. I always get so excited when one of the listed ingredients comes out slightly different than expected – in this case, the eggplant was served as eggplant chips! The salad is served warm and tasted very healthy. We wanted to save our stomachs for dessert so we even took some home in a takeaway container (which also came with a very cool Chiswick canvas bag!). For the main, we decided on a pasta dish: Chorizo Orecchiette, sundried tomatoes, broccolini (approx $32). The pasta is cooked to al dente, utilising the in-season broccolini vegetable which is balanced by the tangy taste of the chorizo and sundried tomatoes. A pasta that is more on the hearty side, and the addition of the micro-herbs on top is just so cute!
We were going to pass on dessert, even though we had the Homemade waffles, banana, caramel ice cream (to share) ($19) last time and were absolutely smitten with the dish – every bite is heaven and I just wanted more and more of it. But this time we were just a bit full! However our lovely (British-sounding!) waiter convinced us to try the Black forest slice, chocolate, cherries, vanilla ice cream ($15). “But I don’t really like Black Forest Cake…” was my initial thought – but he assured me this slice was slightly different to the usual cake. And he was right! Creamier and less cake-like, the slice contains more chocolate than cherry, as the cherry is presented as a coulis on the side. There are also some fun crunchy bits underneath the vanilla ice cream, so I definitely recommend this dessert if you want to try something new!
There will no doubt be many more trips to Chiswick, but I do hope that the hype surrounding it begins to die down so that we can get down to just eating and not worrying about whether we’ll get a booking 2 weeks in advance. I would also recommend the beautiful building for functions – dinner parties, engagement parties, corporate events would all be lovely, and the building can be partitioned off according to your party size.
65 Ocean Street