By Greedy Financier
As I’ve said several times before, I absolutely love peanut butter. I’m always on the hunt for peanut butter flavoured desserts, and so when I heard that Hartsyard served up peanut butter sundaes, I immediately made a booking. What’s more, this dessert was ranked as one of Terry Durack’s top 10 Sydney desserts, which meant it had to be good. I could not wait.
I had made a 5.30pm booking, which is quite early, so I was expecting the restaurant to be pretty empty when we rocked up. However, when we walked through the doors, we found the front bar area already half full, and the dining area tables 80% occupied. Given the limited size of Hartsyard, I would definitely recommend bookings to avoid disappointment.
Country-style Pork Terrine – Vegetable Pickles, Sourdough, Seeded Mustard
Although I had come to Hartsyard with the sole purpose of trying the peanut butter sundae, their other menu offerings sounded just as enticing. The menu is made up of smaller “Seed” dishes and larger “Feed” dishes, all designed to be shared. We were advised to order a maximum of three dishes between the two of us to ensure we had room for dessert – advice that is definitely worth listening to! We decided to start with the pork terrine, served with a lovely side of in house grown veggies and sourdough. The pork reminded me of fancy and much better tasting spam, and was beautifully complemented by the tangy pickled vegetables and the seeded mustard. The sourdough was the perfect carb accompaniment; however, it was a little over scorched, and ended up tasting a bit like burnt toast.
Duck Breast and Confit – Witlof, Pistachio and Cherries
Our first “Feed” dish was duck breast and confit. Seared crispy skin duck breast sat atop blanched witlof, which lay on a rectangular block mixture of confit duck and six times washed orange rind (which lent a lovely subtle orange flavour), which rested on top of a pistachio puree, and was accompanied with a cherry and pistachio oil sauce. It was an intricate combination of textures and flavours - crunchy, smooth, bitter, sweet and earthy – that surprisingly worked really well together.
Smoked Beef Short-rib – Sunga’s Kimchi, Bone Marrow
Our final “Feed” for the night was beef short ribs with bone marrow and kimchi. We were told that the beef short ribs had been cooked for six hours, which was clearly evident when the tender meat fell straight off the bone. The beef was packed full of flavour, most notably a lovely smokiness, which contrasted well with the hot kimchi. Bone marrow is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love marrow, and this marrow had a crispy salty crust which was just delicious.
Peanut Butter and Banana Sundae – Pretzel Ice Cream, Banana Doughnut, Salted Fudge
And finally what I came to Hartsyard for – the peanut butter and banana sundae! I had also attempted to order a deep fried cheesecake (I adore cheesecake!), but was persuaded (quite rightly) by the bf and the waitress that it would be too much food. But the peanut butter sundae was more than enough dessert for the two of us, and it was even better than I imagined! The combination of peanut butter, salty yet sweet pretzel ice cream, banana doughnut (that actually tasted like banana), crunchy crushed biscuits, whipped cream and lashings of thick gooey chocolate fudge sauce was simply divine and absolutely amazing. I’m still salivating.
Rustic yet elegant, simple yet sophisticated –Hartsyard truly astounded me. I came simply for the dessert, but was blown away by the other dishes I tried. The food was well presented, showed technique and most importantly tasted good. At the same time the service was warm and welcoming. It’s one of those restaurants that locals and ‘foreigners’ keep returning to, and I know for sure, I’ll be returning to time and time again.
Wednesday to Sunday 5.30pm – Late
Ph: +61 2 8068 1473
33 Enmore Road