Getting vermouthed at Banksii

On the vermouth trail

OK, vermouthed is not an actual word, but maybe it should be. To the best of my knowledge I’ve never drunk vermouth outside of cocktails – it was just a filler. Then just before Christmas I go to an italian wine tasting and two of the tables have vermouth to taste – straight up or on the rocks. Taste about seven of them and they are all delicious and quite different to each other. “Hmmm” I think to myself, “I like these fresh light aperitf’s, I may have to get me some more of those”.

Banksii to the rescue.

At the same time I’ve been wanting to check out the new Barangaroo restaurant Banksii Vermouth Bar and Bistro opened by Hamish Ingham. Co-incidence, I don’t think so! As soon as the silly season is over, we hightail it to Banksii for dinner. Order vermouth as our aperitif while we peruse the menu. Think I might like to start all future dinners this way!

And what a dinner. Creamed macadamia, fried sage and sweet & sour currents are a delicious topping on the buttery toast slices. How about following that with the softest thin slices of Kurabuta Berkshire prosciutto with glazed almonds and grilled peach, on the best “laid out to fit the pattern” plate ever! And then maybe ocean trout rillettes with red pepper relish and charred endive to round off the starters, yes please.

The flavours explode with the glaze roast half duck and red vermouth soaked native plums, but the duck meat seems a bit undercooked and chewy. Good thing the broad beans, young peas and aged goats cheese are so moreish, not to mention the smoked salt fries, impossible to put down.

A wildly colourful trifle looks fruity and delicious but unfortunately doesn’t live up to it’s looks, the sponge is too dry and the fruit too bland. But as an overall dinner, quite delicious.

Creamed macadamia, fried sage, sweet and sour currents, toast
Creamed macadamia, fried sage, sweet and sour currents, toast
Kurabata Berkshire prosciutto, glazed almond, grilled peach
Kurabata Berkshire prosciutto, glazed almond, grilled peach
Ocean trout rillettes, red pepper relish, charred endive
Ocean trout rillettes, red pepper relish, charred endive
Glaze roast half duck, red vermouth soaked native plums
Glaze roast half duck, red vermouth soaked native plums
Broad bean, young pea, aged goats cheese
Broad bean, young pea, aged goats cheese
smoked salt chips
smoked salt chips
Banksii trifle - vermouth sponge, burnt vanilla custard, rosella jelly
Banksii trifle – vermouth sponge, burnt vanilla custard, rosella jelly
Banksii Vermouth Bar and Bistro
Banksii Vermouth Bar and Bistro
inside Banksii Vermouth Bar and Bistro
inside Banksii Vermouth Bar and Bistro

The best bits:  the vermouth list, the entrees

The worst bits:  the chewy duck, the sad trifle

Where am I? Banksii Vermouth Bar & Bistro, 33 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo South Sydney 2000, Australia

Vicki P Written by:

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