Friday, 7 December 2012

Universal @ Darlinghurst


My friend chose the dinner location, and I wanted it to be surprise, so while walking to dinner from the train station, to my delightful surprise their choice was Universal. Universal is the infamous Sydney based restaurant owned by renowned chef Christine Manfield. Christine Manfield has made several appearances on MasterChef Australia, and in the 2012 series her famous Gaytime Goes Nuts dessert was in the finale. Another great part was that Christine Manfield can be seen walking around the restaurant.

The menu provides flavours and spices from around the world including India, Africa, South East Asia and the Mediterranean. The warm red, orange and yellow d├ęcor allows for a comfortable dining experience (but strange colours when taking photos of food). A great thing about Universal is that they provide a vegetarian and non vegetarian menu, catering to everyone.

Opening the menu and seeing the same quote that is on my blog. It was destiny to eat at Universal!

Green asparagus tempura, with lotus roots, edamame and wasabi avocado

A subtle balance  of flavours from Japan. There wasn't too much of the tempura batter, which was good as it resulted in a crisp texture. The lotus roots were addictive, but when aren't lotus roots addictive? The wasabi avocado sauce was placed between the layers and complemented the dish perfectly.

Air dried quail and pork sausage, with brown rice, avocado and mango salad

This dish reminded me of a Laos or Thai pork sausage. The salad was refreshing and combined with a warm salad dressing. It was a great starter, with well executed Asian flavours.

Toasted walnut crumble with haloumi cheese, coriander yoghurt relish, and salad

The haloumi cheese with the crumble was creamy with a slight crunch. However, this was a bit strange for me. There was an overpowering taste of dill, which was hard to overcome.

Soy braised organic pork, squid, garlic mushrooms, black pepper broth, gremolata 

The pork was succulent and soft, and reminded me of some of my favourite Vietnamese pork dishes. The broth was light, and with the mushrooms and squid, was unbelievably tasty. All of the components greatly accompanied each other.

Deconstructed Apple Pie: Apple crumble with apple, vanilla sorbet, filo crisp and sliced apple

A lovely apple taste, with the taste of cinnamon. The vanilla sorbet was combined with a layer of an apple sorbet. It was my favourite part. The freshly sliced apple changed the concept of having an apple pie that was all composed of cooked apple.

Gaytime goes nuts: Honeycomb ice cream, caramel parfait, chocolate crunch, salted hazelnut caramel

The infamous Gaytime goes nuts. This was absolutely beautiful, in both looks and taste. Everything had a wonderful taste, where in each spoonful a new taste was detected. There were crunchy bits encased in one of the layers of ice cream. The caramelised peanuts that rested underneath the chocolate mousse was delicious. This dish was finished with ease, and a great way to end such a delicious meal.

Overall, Universal is a great dining experience. The staff is lovely and outgoing, and are willing to do anything to cater for your needs. Example, we needed a taxi to pick us up at 730, and they arranged it all for us. I would definitely dine at Universal again. The entire experience was roughly $70 each, which didn't include drinks.

Good food, good times!


Tina @ bitemeshowme 10 December 2012 at 09:51

I really want to try that gaytime goes nuts dessert. I know the recipe is on MC but I dont want to have to go through it.. i just want to eat it haha

thanhalang 13 December 2012 at 00:30

I agree, just go for it and eat it! And then, once you have tried it you can attempt to make it! =D

Post a Comment