Frankly, options for fine dining in the Blue Mountains aew limited. While I love the quaint little cafes and tea houses nestled around the various suburbs in the Blue Mountains, come night time there is really almost no where to eat… And after having walked past this place a number of times upon our frequent trips to the mountains (my sister and I simply adore the walks and will often choose walks that will cripple us for a few days on end) and having seen the positive reviews for it on Urbanspoon, we decided to take a chance on it.
Surprisingly, we managed to find a space on a Friday evening sans a booking. The interior was surprisingly small, although it would be better described as ‘cosy’. At the back wall there’s a fireplace which has a big stack of Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guides each of which, of course, have a glowing review of Silk’s. The one negative I have about the decor is the butcher’s paper on the tables… considering it was the type of establishment where the waitresses draped your napkin over your lap, it sort of detracted from the experience. However when seeing a family come in with children and the children gleefully begin scrawling on the butchers paper with crayons, the fact that they’re child-friendly is heartening.
After perusing the menu, we ordered mains (I never bother with entrees unless it’s a set three course meal event, because I want to have some form of an appetite left for dessert, of course!). I ordered the Roasted Tasmanian salmon fillet, which came on a green papaya salad, served with what was called a ‘nŏc chum’ lime chilli dressing. I asked for my salmon to be cooked medium as in my honest opinion there’s truly nothing worse than a beautiful fillet of fish so overcooked that its texture resembles tinned fish.
My sister was feeling particularly carnivorous so opted for the steak option, a Tenderloin of grain-fed beef on creamy mash with English spinach, mushroom ragoût, mustard-seed butter and Madeira jus.
The mains came out surprisingly quickly and were nicely presented. My salmon:
And my sister’s beef tenderloin:
I was particularly envious of her steak – it looked and smelled amazing!! She allowed me one (small) bite and a lot of lentils. The stinker.
With the mains out of the way, it was the time-consuming task of choosing dessert (as always). For me, there wasn’t much competition – Warm bitter-sweet chocolate fondant served with apricot and orange compôte, passionfruit sorbet with a croquant wafer stood out on the menu to me like a neon light.
Dessert took slightly longer to come out… But when it did, it was worth it. Slightly crisp on the outside, but nice and gooey on the inside – exactly what a chocolate fondant should be. My sister’s clafoutis of Slow-poached pear served with a lemon posset and vanilla ice cream was also very nice, the clafoutis not overcooked despite the shallow-ness of the serving dish, and the lemon posset brought everything all together nicely and made the dessert not too overbearing.
Surprisingly, it was a very nice fine dining experience in the Mountains and I definitely will be back again. What was the highlight of the night however, was the conversation my sister had with the waitress at the till when paying. We had been sitting next to the bar, and over the course of dinner, the waitresses had noticed us discussing each course and had most certainly noticed me snapping away with my camera. When asked whether we enjoyed dessert, my sister commented that it had been lovely and that I had been trying to perfect my own chocolate fondant recipe. My sister went to pay the bill, and when she did, the conversation that took place was:
Waitress: So are you two chefs?
Sister: (stunned temporarily into silence) God, no! My sister just cooks as a hobby. And I just eat what she cooks.
Waitress: (laughing) That sounds like an excellent arrangement!
Warm service, good food… What could be a better luxury after a hard day of hiking in the gorgeous surrounds of the Blue Mountains?
128 Leura Mall Leura NSW 2780