(to lunch)

The Burlington, Crows Nest

I really wanted to like The Burlington. It’s been on my restaurant hit list for years and a friend who is deeply into French food gave it his highest recommendation. So when another friend arranged her birthday there I thought the planets had finally aligned in my favour. However, a busy Saturday night didn’t do the restaurant many favours.

Due to the large number of guests in our party, we had a set three course menu with several choices for each course that was very reasonably priced at $49 per person thanks to a deal website. The stand out dish was easily the pan fried salmon fillet with colcannon, beurre blanc and crispy skin. The fish (above) was perfectly seasoned, moist and succulent and when combined with the crispy skin and smooth colcannon (basically a sexed-up mashed potatoes) produced a wonderful mix of textures that ensured not a skerrick was left on anyone’s plate.

The beef Bourguignon pie, on the other hand, was a little too watery with not enough meat. It tasted okay but was not memorable like the salmon. Similarly, the roasted chicken breast and confit leg on fragrant cous cous and tagine sauce looked good on paper yet it was almost universally disliked by other guests. I only tasted a morsel of the chicken, which was quite nice so I think it may have been the cous cous that let the dish down.

For starters, the crisp pork belly with kohlrabi remoulade was yummy and the tomato tart with black olive tapenade, merlot vinegar and herb oil beautifully presented and tasty to boot. The goat’s cheese cigar with jamon, whitlof, green beans and hazelnut dressing wasn’t on the regular menu and it showed. It lacked flavour and was a real let down. I wondered if it may have been a recent experiment because it was incomparable to some of the other dishes, like the salmon.

Rounding out the end of the meal, the alfajor with yoghurt sorbet and strawberry coulis was extraordinary and reminded me of my first encounter with delicious dulce de leche alfajors in Cordoba, Argentina. Again though, there was a lack of consistency with both the bavarois (like a panna cotta) and flourless orange & almond cake failing to inspire. The service was generally friendly and attentive although they forgot our wine order twice. Overall, the experience was favourable yet the lack of consistency with the food and service means I won’t be hurrying back. Perhaps my expectations were too high. Let’s hope so as the restaurant has much promise and it’s sad for me to write an unfavourable review for what I understand is a bit of a local institution.

The Burlington
6 Burlington Street
Crows Nest NSW 2065
(02) 9439 7888

Burlington Bar and Dining on Urbanspoon