Scarlett Restaurant, The Rocks

Drink, Eat, Restaurants, Sydney / 2 November 2016

Modern European and Asian fusion food are behind the historic sandstone walls at Scarlett Restaurant.

Within the history rich alleyways of Nurses Walk in The Rocks, hides the intimate, 35-seat, Scarlett Restaurant. Built on the grounds of Sydney’s first hospital it nows resides within the heritage-listed Harbour Rocks Hotel. Inside the old sandstone walls is a contrastingly modern menu, initiated by new Executive Chef, Joey Dela Victoria.
His new spring menu is inspired by our modern Australian culture. “Modern Australian food culture is more than Bunning’s sausages”, jokes Dela Victoria. His vision for the menu is to infuse modern Australian cuisine with the best of European and modern Asian flavours, with a contemporary twist.
Starting off with a deliciously crisp baguette and Pepe Saya butter the European necessity of carb intake with all meals is introduced in the culture of Scarlett Restaurant. A Champagne-infused cocktail, spilling with dramatic dry ice, is served upon arrival bringing some excitement amongst the peaceful, intimate space.
Each meal is paired with a perfectly complemented wine, selected by their expert house sommeliers. A deliciously crisp white wine is poured, whilst the table is lit up with starters.
Cured trout, with coriander pesto, vanilla croutons and juicy caviar is our first selection ($22). Raw sashimi bursts with cooling flavour, whilst the perfect refreshment of coriander pesto, taming vanilla croutons and exploding caviar work well together.
The prawn and lobster ‘raviolo’, in kombu broth ($24) is another Asian infusion with a modern twist. The lobster and prawn are merged into a light ball, made to dissect and absorb into the seafood-based broth.

A smoother, red wine introduces the main meals, to accompany the meat-based dishes. The Trois Morceaux De Porc ($34) infuses French and Asian cuisine, with a crispy pork belly, chicharron siapo, and loads of oriental vegetables. There is quite a lot going on here with the merging of flavours. The pork belly is cooked to perfection though with a crispy upper layer and soft, melt-in-your-mouth middle.
The charcoal beef, with kimchi risotto and maple jus ($34), is presented exquisitely. The charcoaling of the beef does make it a bit tough, though the trickle of the maple jus infuses a sweeter flavour into the darker beef. The kimchi risotto is a lighter infusion of vegetables with a heavier focus on flavour.
A very sweet, fruity and thicker red wine announced the arrival of dessert.
The chocolate assiette ($16) adds some youthful fun to the dining experience. Served with a mallet, the coffee-infused chocolate dome, covered with milk and white chocolate shavings, has to be cracked open with force to reveal the core of the dessert. Once broken a light cake, of an almost soufflé texture, is revealed. The next step of this babushka doll of desserts is breaking into the cake layer to reveal a cool, chocolatey ganache that brings the whole dessert together. This dessert is an absolute must try on your Sydney foodie bucket list!
Dela Victoria is very proud of the next concoction. It took him a total of seven years to perfect. The fruit ‘macedoine’ ($15) is one of the most interpretive and creative fruit salads you’ll have in your time. With caramelised bananas, pineapple crest, and basically any ingredient of a fruit salad that you could imagine, this fruit jelly based dish is a refreshing and tasty explosion. Oozed with condensed milk for a dessert finish and decorated with fresh watermelon, apricot and blackcurrant jelly, there’s no wonder this dish is listed as a must try during Good Food Month!
Working with the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Peter Gilmore, Matthew Kemp and Brett Graham in big name restaurants like Quay and Maze, Dela Victoria  is no stranger to the company of Chef Hats and Michelin Stars, and is determined to have Scarlett Restaurant join this line. Having worked with an array of celebrity chef bosses in some of the best restaurants in Australia and around the globe, Dela Victoria has brought an innovative wave of class, sophistication and modern fun to the traditional Scarlett Restaurant.
Scarlett Restaurant
Harbour Rocks Hotel, Ground Level, 34-52 Harrington St, The Rocks NSW
(02) 8220 9999
Open Breakfast, Monday-Friday, 6:30am-10am, Saturday-Sunday, 7am-10.30am, Open Dinner, 7 days, 5.30pm-9pm