Ormeggio: A trip through Italy at the Spit

Ormeggio at the Spit is a two hatted restaurant located at the Spit in Mosman and serves up high quality Italian food with modern twists. They are most famous for their ‘trip through Italy’ degustation which takes diners on a flavour journey across Italy, sampling dishes influenced by different regions in Italy, and it was this degustation menu that we enjoyed one lunchtime to celebrate our anniversary.

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To start with, we ordered some drinks. Annie ordered the Apple and Elderflower martini. This was a nice sweet cocktail that contained Hendrick’s gin, Massenez Pomme Verte, elderflower syrup and apple juice. The cocktail incorporated the sweetness of apple with the intoxicating aroma of elderflower that combined to provide a delightful drink. For myself, I ordered a glass of the 2012 Dezzani ‘ReMajor’ dolcetto-barbera-cabernet from Monferrato Rosso DOC, Piemonte. This was a delightfully light wine and went well with the lighter dishes that we started the night with.

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To get us started we were served up with a trio of amuse bouches. We were advised to start with the Parmesan biscuit with sweet corn parfait from Emilia Romagna. This was a cold starter and the two parmesan crisps were sandwiched between with a sweet corn parfait. This was a nice way to start off, the sharpness of the parmesan crisps were counteracted perfectly by the mild sweetness from the creamy parfait. The flavours in the snack were perfectly balanced, giving a hint of what was to come in the rest of the meal.

The second snack that we were provided with was the Wheat beer battered porcini fritters from Umbria. The rich mushroom filling was enveloped with a thick, pillowy batter that provided both a nice crunch as well as a mild filling to emphasise the rich mushroom filling.

To end the snack course, we ended with the Ocean Trout ‘alla catalana’ from Sardegna. The ocean trout was deliciously fresh and the pickles and onion that it was mixed with cut through the creaminess of the fish and mayo perfectly.

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We then moved onto our bread course which was an organic sourdough Bread. The bread was delicious, nice and dense. Instead of a butter, the bread was served with a whipped homemade ricotta. That was garnished with pepper and chives. This was a nice departure from the more traditional and richer butter. The ricotta was delicious and light, and the chives provided some interest to the otherwise mild creaminess.

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Our first course was the  porcini e nocciole from Piemonte. This was one of the highlights of the degustation. It came in three elements, firstly a mushroom cracker, secondly, a broth, and thirdly, a more intricate dish that incorporated a goat’s cream cheese. The cracker was delicately crispy and presented beautifully, atop a bed of ferns. The broth was rich and aromatic, even taking a sniff of the bowl seemed decadent. The flavour was simple and plane, but incredibly and intense – it had been reduced to leave only a small amount of concentrated flavour. The main dish of this course consisted of sauteed mushroom variations that sat atop a fine hazelnut blend and goats cream cheese base. The little mushrooms were flavoured beautifully – cooked in the provided broth I suspect – and the richness was complemented by the sharpness of the strong goats cream cheese.

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Our second course was the spaghetti con le cozze from Liguria. This dish consisted of a spaghetti mancini in a blended mussel sauce, topped with diced raw msc king prawns and topped with borgatta and a seaweed sprinkle. This dish had a strong, fresh seafood flavour that was incredibly rich and clung to the noodles well and the seaweed added a nice saltiness that cut through.

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Our third course was the baccala con peperoni cruschi from Campania. This consisted of a fillet of baked murray Cod with a crispy skin and served on a puree of wild rice, Roasted capsicum and marjoram. This was probably the least standout dish, not to say that it was bad, just that it was a fairly plain dish without any standout flavours. The fish was cooked well and was tender with the skin adding a nice crispiness for textural variation.

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Our fourth course was the risotto all’onda from Lombardia. This dish consisted carnaroli risotto topped with slices of  fremantle octopus. This dish had an amazingly rich flavour. The octopus was perfectly tender and the Salsa Verde and Tomato puree on top added the perfect kick of flavour.

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We then moved onto the meat segment of the meal with our fifth course, the agnello e carciofi from Sardegna. This dish consisted of slow cooked Lamb, finished on a charcoal grill. You could really taste the rich smokiness and the carefully sliced meat was topped with a taggiasca olive crumb that added some crunch to the dish. Alongside the meat was a globe artichoke done three ways, chips, puree, braised. The artichoke was perfect to cut through the richness of the heavy lamb.

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Our last savoury course was the 6th course of the brasato from Piemonte. This consisted of beef cheek that literally left me speechless for several minutes as I slumped in my chair in sheet pleasure. The tenderness of the beef cheek was better than anything I’ve ever had the beef flavour from the fat was intense, the beef was covered in a rich sauce that was so good and the Pomegranate and persimmon puree provided some flavour contrast from the heaviness of the meat and sauce. The beef was also topped with some slices of Turnip and cucumber which provided some texture to go alongside the tender meat and provide the dish with a more mild taste.

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We then moved onto the sweet section of the meal, starting with the mandarin from Sicilia which was a perfect palate cleanser. This consisted of three components, a mandarin Gel, mandarin skin cooked in a sugar syrup, and a sorbet. As you can imagine, this was a very citrusy dish and it was nice to contrast the rich meat dishes that has just preceded.

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To end the meal we closed with the Tiramisù in textures from veneto. This was one of the most intricate desserts that I’ve had. It consisted of Coffee syrup covered in a Coffee mousse, sprinkled with a Coffee crumb, topped with a scoop of Mascarpone sorbet, dusted with chocolate and garnished with Mascarpone chips. This was incredible, unlike any Tiramisù that i’ve had before. It was so good, while nice and sweet, the coffee flavour came out strongly with the perfect hit of bitterness to counteract the sweetness of all the other elements.

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Alongside the Tiramisù in textures, the restaurant were lovely enough to provide us with a flat stone with some plate writing to wish us a happy anniversary. It was written with a Limoncello gel and sprinkled with coconut – I enjoyed taking a swab of the mixture with a finger!

Overall, this was an amazing dining experience. The flavours of the dishes were so varied and it really was quite a journey. If you are ever looking to celebrate a special occasion in an intimate environment with some stunning views of the water, look no further!

Ormeggio at the Spit Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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