Long time no dining review! I gladly married the opportunity to treat one of my closest homegirls with trying a restaurant I’d been eyeing since its opening, and decided to dust off my camera, too.
12-Micron’s appeal for me wasn’t celebrated Executive Chef Justin Wise, nor it’s prime location in Barangaroo, nor the trumpeted loyalty to world-class Aussie produce. That’s all great. But it’s the DEDICATED DESSERT MENU / SEATING AREA that won my heart! A fine dining restaurant that caters to the sugar-addicted, welcoming you into a 3, 5, or 7 course (or a-la-carte if you don’t enjoy life) dessert tasting menu after dinner elsewhere! Let’s be honest, not many establishments have attained a trifecta of excellence in food, dessert, and drinks, and one shouldn’t be sniffed at for wandering in without a reservation, seeking dessert only.
Hence my disappointment ..
I’d already been forewarned by friends the food was fantastic, and dessert was a hit-or-miss. I have to agree fully.
- Moreton bay bug, king prawn, shellfish emulsion (seafood is very much not my thing but my homie loved it)
- Lamb neck, potato, broad beans
- Duck, beetroot, macadamia, alpine pepper
- Green beans, lemon aspen, walnuts (a little dry and boring but glad it wasn’t doused in oil)
The lamb neck was such a beautiful cut and cooked to tender perfection. This dish was quite minimal with other seasoning and flavours and let the major ingredients shine which I appreciated. But my favourite was definitely the duck! If you know me you know I’m a sucker for duck and will almost always choose it from the menu, and this dish is probably one of the best duck dishes I’ve ever had. I can taste the rich, smoky, roast bacony-duck flavour even now .. I don’t know how but the meat was SO uniformly cooked and had such a nice mouth-feel. Each accompanying element was good but together, every bite was pure deliciousness! I’d highly recommend this one even if you’re not nearly as crazy about duck meat as me.
As you can imagine, after this wonderful meal I had sky-high expectations for dessert.
We ordered a 3 course tasting:
- Carrot Cake
- Peanut Butter Rosella
- Earl Grey
(please read element descriptions from Dessert Menu pictured above)
Sigh. The Earl Grey was what I was most looking forward to and intrigued by, and most disappointed by. Don’t wanna talk about it. Surprise Like button to the Carrot Cake! Deconstructed dessert dishes seem quite risky to me because it’s so hard to get every single element to be a star in its own right, then work as a beautiful constellation, too. But this one was okay. Mild but true flavours, only semi-sweet. The Peanut Butter Rosella one – a chick next to our table was fixedly scraping her plate with her spoon so I had to ask which dessert she got, and it was this one lol. I loved the rosella gel on this dish but everything was yummy!
A huge gripe I have is the portion size for the desserts. Even though it was a tasting menu, not the full a-la-carte size, I could’ve easily fit the whole contents of the plate/bowl on a dessert-sized spoon and had it in a mouthful. For the price that’s just disappointing. As sad as I am to say it, I’m glad we didn’t do the 7 courses.
Apart from the sweets defeat, I enjoyed the relaxed vibe saturating the gorgeous views and customer service. We were approached multiple times by waitstaff who checked if everything was okay (especially because we were so engrossed in conversation we were taking forever getting through the food) and they were attentive in their service.
I imagine in the coming months it’ll be a perfect dinner or dessert (good luck) spot with their bar and balcony overlooking the Barangaroo harbour area. Balmy air, starry sky, placid water, condensing drink in hand – ahhhh~
They also offer a vegetarian and vegan tasting menu! I’d be more than down to try that at 12-Micron considering how they delivered in the savoury dishes.
* One last note – the two chefs I met in the open kitchen area were so friendly and sweet! It’s always nice when you can watch and chat to artists at work and not have them be grouchy or uninterested. Thank you Matt for sharing your recommendations and charm!
Visit 12-Micron at Barangaroo :