NB: Sorry, I couldn't take good photos because of the low lighting.
Critic Issue 11 - Num Nums
Table Seven is probably one of the closest posh restaurants to campus. Located above the SBS building on George St, the large windows that surround the restaurant afford a nice elevated view of all the activity on the main street below, without actually having to be a part of it. With three distinct sections – the dining, the bar/sofas and the ‘entertainment’ areas – the overall ambiance is modern, sleek, chic and very appealing. The one thing that I really appreciated (and is a rare find these days) is that the tables were very well spaced so diners had their own private space and were not bumping elbows with the next table or having to squeeze between tables to get by. I also noticed that all the diners received personal attention from the manager Steven, who not only made food and wine recommendations, but also explained the background of particular dishes. It is finer details like these that make Table Seven the sort of place that I would think of going to after work for coffee and drinks and to relax and unwind with friends.
We started with the ‘Barbecued Prawns and Scallops’ which were marinated in garlic and lime oil accompanied with a roasted red pepper arancini, which is IMO quite an interesting and unusual combination. According the Steven, they tried to remove this from the menu once and were met with vehement protests from their customers. The prawns were tasty and springy, the scallops were smooth and soft (i.e. not overcooked, which is common when ordering scallops) and the arancini, which is basically an Italian style fried rice ball, had a nice crispy coating and lovely, rich flavoured rice within.
We then moved on to our mains - my friend was delighted with her ‘Veal Shanks’ which were beautifully tender, had great natural flavour and were complemented well with the very tasty horseradish mashed potatoes and smoked olive cassoulet. I too enjoyed my succulent ‘Chicken Breast’ stuffed with lovely, yummy, buttery asparagus and Parma ham. The only disappointing item of the whole evening was the risotto that was served with my ‘Chicken Breast’, which was stiff and cake-ish.
Even though at that point we were already full, we decided to try some of their desserts and luckily we did, because my dessert was the highlight of my meal. The vanilla and lemon ‘Panna Cotta’ with almond tuilles and poached fruit was luscious, creamy, subtle, smooth and the perfect exclamation point with which to end my meal. I must admit that as I observed my beautifully wobbly ‘Panna Cotta’, all I kept hearing in my head were the words of Top Chef Masters judge Jay Rayner: “Panna Cotta, when set right, wobbles like a woman’s breast”, so I kept prodding the poor thing just to amuse myself. My friend’s hazelnut and white chocolate ‘Gianduja Semifreddo’ was equally delicious – sweet, smooth and creamy – served with gorgeous hazelnut glass biscuits.
Our entire meal, plus a nice glass of wine, came up to only slightly over $100, which is reasonable (and cheaper than some places) considering the impeccable service, pleasant ambience, good food and larger portions that they serve compared to other posh restaurants. We were both completely stuffed and satisfied and I will definitely be returning for more Panna Cotta (and then some).
Upstairs, Corner of George & Hanover Sts