Steve and I had followed the tale of Ides from its beginnings and finally got round to writing our own tale of experience following our own visit.
We were a little early for our table but it was available and we soon settled into the calming slate grey tones of restaurant minimalism. It feels neutral and discreet but with a definite male influence - no soft tones or bright splashes of colour, it's all very muted and understated.
There's also a sense of serious industriousness as some of the dishes are plated up at the bar by Peter and one of his sous chefs. No kitchen histrionics though - it's all very zen and precise.
Some of the earlier concepts of not receiving a menu until after the event and receiving emails with video attachments pre and post meal seem to have fallen by the wayside. I agree with taking the direction away from that sort of novelty gesture and letting it be about the food.
So we are shown drinks menus and a food menu and my aversion to blue cheese which I provided with the booking is raised and acknowledged by the FOH Manager who is clearly a professional and an old hand at this hospitality game.
- Sweet Potato Soup with Spring Onion and Celery
- Crumbed Avocado - Prawn Tails with Avocado, Finger Lime and Fried Bread Covered in Brazil Nuts and Dried Currants with a Red Capsicum Syrup
- Rainbow Trout and Zucchini Rings - Roasted Rainbow Trout Stuffed with Chorizo and Seasoned with Rosemary, Raw Zucchini and a Blood Orange Sauce
- Lamb Wrapped in Parsley - Lamb Neck Cooked in Wax Flower Oil, Glazed with Mint and Wrapped in Roasted Parsley with Pumpkin, Peas and Mustard Seeds
- Blueberries Macerated in Rose with Cinnamon, Honey and Coconut
- Brown Sugar or Banana Ice Cream with Fried Basil and Matcha Sherbet
In spite of the grown up decor of the restaurant there are hidden jokes / plays on the mind that are evident and that is an unexpected delight. I love the flashback to the 70s and Christmas and the soup that is a broth and the ice cream switch. It's classic cooking, classic flavours but creativity abounds.
We ask about how often the menu changes and apparently dishes do rotate off every two weeks or so and records are kept of diners so repeat visits are not repeated adventures. There's a lot of care and consideration taken at Ides and I respect that.
We can't help but compare Ides to a recent dining experience at Automata in Sydney which has two hats to Ides one. It's a similar concept in that it's a fixed 5 - 6 course menu and Ides is more expensive by about $25 but it's so much more satisfying both emotionally and in generosity.