Howie told us of a dinner he had in Fairfield one day. “It looks so fancy that you’d think it’s a restaurant somewhere in Darlinghurst if you didn’t know you were in Fairfield,” he joked.
Intrigued, I filed La Tratt away for whenever the opportunity arose (which, naturally, took some time).
We didn’t have a booking, but came early enough to snag a table (they get busy around 7.30 / 8pm). Our hostess asked if we wanted to be seated in the lounge area a bit before moving to our table. Puzzled and slightly bemused, we responded that being seated at our table would be fine.
Olives and bread arrived shortly after we were seated, which we tried not to finish too quickly (famished as we were) as we planned our dinner.
I normally don’t order lasagne at restaurants – I tend find that whenever I do there’s never enough filling and too many pasta layers to be completely satisfying. But the spinach, ricotta and wild mushroom lasagne sounded too good to pass up, especially when made with sage nut brown butter and chestnuts.
To be honest, my first thought when I first set eyes on the lasagne, was “ooh, the filling oozed out”, but that was quickly followed with “that’s a damn good filling to pasta ratio”. The flavours itself was so earthy and lightly cheesy; I was rather disappointed that I had finished my portion so quickly.
F and I loved the subtle flavours of the Tagima Wagyu (score 6) beef carpaccio with julienne apples, lamb lettuce and truffled pecorino – everything was just so fresh!
The carpaccio was also topped by capers, organic egg yolk and anchovy mayonnaise. Yum.
D and L expected something more akin to beef tataki with its bolder flavours and so felt this dish was a little bland.
These wonderfully juicy pan seared Atlantic scallops were on a bed of sweet corn puree and accompanied by crumbed sweetbreads, crispy pancetta and lemon-infused olive oil.
The last time I had sweetbreads, the texture didn’t sit quite right with me, so I’ve been a bit wary of sweetbreads ever since. Perhaps it was eating a smaller portion of sweetbread or the fact that the crumbed, crunchy texture balanced well with the squishiness of the sweetbread – whatever it was – I was really surprised how much I actually liked them!
This dish was an absolute, hands-down hit with the table with its bold flavours fortifying a quite striking presentation.
L chose the Cape Grim black Angus beef fillet, which was served with a crunchy potato croquette, confit garlic cream, cep mushrooms and muscat veal jus.
She quite enjoyed the dish and when I looked again, she had pretty much cleaned the dish. Hehe an always telling sight, I think.
D opted for the Cone Bay barramundi with heirloom tomatoes, green olives, capers, braised fennel puree and goats curd.
He thought the flavours were quite good, but felt that the fish was just a touch overcooked.
F and I couldn’t help ourselves and chose the biggest main on the menu: the oven roasted suckling pork with Marchetti cotechino sausage and sides of roast potatoes, salsa verde, poached spiced pears and mustard fruits.
I quickly discovered that the cotechino sausage was a bit too heavy on the meaty taste side for me (weird, I know) and that the perfectly seasoned suckling pork really needed no accompaniments (flavoursome as they were); I found that I quite enjoyed eating the suckling pork as is… and oh boy, were there a lot to get through. Perhaps there could be too much of a good thing after all! Haha. I was glad for the scrumptious roasted potatoes and steamed (?) vegetables to break up all the porkiness.
The Porcellino al Forno is such a large dish that is only available on Friday and Saturday evenings and subject to availability.
Our coffees and teas were accompanied with dark chocolate truffles, which were wonderfully decadent.
The classic vanilla bean pannacotta caught D and L’s interest; it was served with raspberries, rosewater jelly, spiced meringue and blood orange. The bright and bold flavours made for such a delightful combination! I quite like the acidity from the blood orange, which I thought helped to cut through the sweetness of the pannacotta rather delicately and did not overwhelm the subtle flavour of the rosewater jelly.
This, however, was F’s and my favourite.
The Italian cinnamon and sugar doughnuts with vanilla bean ice cream, hazelnuts and dulce de leche was just fantastic. The doughnuts were fluffy, yet crispy, and came out quite warm – a scrumptious contrast to the coldness of the smooth-flavoured vanilla bean ice cream. F adored the fact that he could decide how much dulce de leche he could pour on (yes, F used it all up); it was worth the messiness that ensued when trying to eat a ball covered in sugar and dripping sauce.
It absolutely hit the sweet spot.
La Tratt is located in Fairfield RSL. It’s been years since I’ve been there and I was really surprised and impressed at just how fancy everything now looks. I mean, when I went to the bathroom, I discovered why our hostess had asked us if we wanted to hang at the lounge area first – it was freaking gorgeous! I felt a pang of missed opportunity haha – definitely next time! And there will be a next time – with such great service, amazing food (at a quite affordable price) and pretty setting who could resist from coming back?
14 Anzac Avenue
Fairfield, NSW, 2165
Ph: (02) 9727 5000