It is with great thanks to the fine folks from Avviso PR and Luna Park Marketing that I got to attend a fantastic feast with cocktails at Luna Park’s own superb restaurant, THE DECK. THE DECK is located on the water near the entrance of Luna Park and literally has the best view in Sydney, overlooking the Harbour Bridge and The Opera House. It just doesn’t get any better. Dinner started at 5pm for cocktails on the patio cheersing as the sun set. Even if the food, the venue and the people sucked I was already sold.
THE DECK VENUE:
THE DECK has recently undergone a renovation and is modern in design and quite colourful. It is multifaceted in that you can sit on the Luna Park side of the venue for pub food and eat with the kids. Or you can sit inside for cocktails and a high-end dining experience. The bar rocks with abundant cocktails from the alchemists and the food is top notch.
The winner of course is the view – it cannot be compared to. There are plenty of amazing venues on the other side of the harbour that look towards Luna Park but none that do it from the other side. The downside I can imagine is that it is on the other side of the bridge and people will have to travel to get there. It really is simple, they have an underground parking (if memory serves me correct it is very cheap) if dining at the venue. From the city if you want to get your drink on then jump a train from Wynyard or Town Hall. EASY PEASY.
They host weddings, corporate solutions, the works basically. They also have a Little Princess High Tea for all the little girl princesses in the family. And starting in a few weeks is their famed Ferris Wheel Dinners. Dinners for two served in the Luna Park Ferris Wheel as it travels over Luna Park offering even better harbour views. Book these now as they popular.
Our dining experience was delightful. I would call it Modern Australian Fusion. Plenty of seafoods, plenty of meats and sufficient veggie meals. Some pastas, salads and even a paella. The cooking is nuanced, the meals respected in the delivery and to be honest they all tasted fracking mind blowing.
I did not indulge in all the food from the below pics but I did try as many as I could. I am a pig after all :).
A head waiter dined with us to explain a lot of the dishes and she ordered the (below) Beef Carpaccio – this speaks volumes. Beef carpaccio (GF): Capers, rocket, parmesan cheese and armagnac dressing $22-. I did have a taste of this one and I wanted MORE.
Best Table in the House:
The below pic was taken at the best seat in the house, the corner, table, the couple’s table, the table the engagement proposals happen at. Your table looks directly at the Harbour Bridge and I had to leave my group table to sit here and enjoy a wine by myself so I could dream.
Sorry to ruin it for you but the menu has recently been updated to the newer Spring Menu. The majority of the dishes pictured have remained but due to seasonality my entree is no longer on the menu. To rub it in, it was bloody divine!! Delicate and perfectly balanced, I generally always order an asparagus dish if on the menu because I love it so much and the combination of blood orange and the parmesan made me weak at the knees.
Pickled Asparagus with Blood Orange and Lime Salad, tarragon dressing, toasted almonds and parmesan cheese. (GF, V) $20-.
Beef Short Rib:
The below Beef Short Rib is also now off the menu however you instead can order a Char-Grilled Grain-Fed Scotch Fillet. I did not eat this but neighbour, friend and Spooning guest for the evening Arvin (@arvinisstarvin) ordered, loved and destroyed it.
Beef Short Rib: Kohlrabi gratin, beetroot marmalade and broccolini. (GF) $34-. I would happily order this but when there is pork belly I get distracted with blinders on.
Prawn and Fennel Fricassée:
Oh you might get angry with me but the Prawn and Fennel Fricasée is also now off the menu however the replacement has me excited – Seafood Pie – the end!!!
Prawn and Fennel Fricassée with fresh herb pilaf, tomato kasundi and crisp onions. (GF) $36-.
I did not indulge but the guest next to me moaned a couple of times, that was good enough for me, another winning dish.
Pan Fried Barramundi:
I was actually torn between this dish and the pork belly. It sounded sublime and when it was delivered it looked even better. The salmon is sitting quite high off the plate underneath the accompaniments. Don’t fear, there is a lot on the plate even though this pic doesn’t show it.
Pan fried barramundi: Quinoa, cucumber, fennel, preserved lemon, fresh herbs and tahini yoghurt dressing. $34-.
This dish is still available.
I am pretty straight forward in menu choices when it comes to pork belly. Basically, if on the menu I order it. This time though I was held back by the main accompaniment being cauliflower, detest the stuff and have always considered it horrible bleached broccoli. I should note broccoli is one of my favourite greens. However the head waiter persuaded me this time by saying that a known Sydney Chef had eaten at THE DECK and called it “the best pork belly he had ever eaten.” I was IN.
Pork Belly: Spiced fried cauliflower, green chilli, spring onion and pomegranate dressing (GF) $34-.
Is it the best ever?
It was sublime, I eye rolled and toe curled and had a foodgasm but sadly not the best I have had. Impressive indeed but I was expecting to pass out from multiple foodgasms and it didn’t happen. There are two BEST I have had and judge all others by. The very first pork belly experience when it was first becoming popular about ten years ago is the first. This was eaten in Coolum Surf Club. I returned a few years later and it wasn’t on the menu so the experience is flavour memory locked. The second was an Asian Red Pork Belly I cooked myself – no playing my own trumpet but I nearly died – it was cooked for close on 24hrs and worth every second. Enough of me – back to the dish at hand.
I enjoyed and finished the cauliflower. The spices and that dressing tied it all together and made it near-perfect. The pork was cooked to brilliance, the crackling had perfect crisp, the belly fat ratio was epic and it melted in the mouth. I also had the privilege of visiting the kitchen and I saw pork bellies the size of my back being cooked. I felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.
The Deck Snickers:
At the start of our dining I was told there was a Snickers dessert. And that was the end, didn’t even want to see the dessert menu. I would order and destroy this.
The Deck snickers: Caramel parfait, milk chocolate mousse, salted macadamia caramel and fresh raspberries (GF) $15-.
Just chocolate and caramel perfection accompanies with raspberries and that chocolate mousse – there are no words – 5/5.
Pistachio Creme Brûlée:
Arvin was all over this one and we basically shared both desserts. The pistachio is no longer on the menu but they are now serving a Classic Brûlée – but it is anything but classic. The Classic Brûlée has the following with it: macerated strawberries, pistachio cinnamon biscotti, raspberry purée and baby mint.
The Pistachio Creme Brûlée came with raspberry meringue, orange glee and pistachio praline. (GF) $15-.
SUBLIME – it was a toss up between the two desserts we shared as to which was the best. The Snickers was a chocolate caramel marvel however this was like a sweet fruit salad that punched off the plate and seduced the palate. And that presentation was impressive. Another 5/5 dish.
THE DECK is a marvel – definite 2016 top ten venue for Spooning Australia. Even after the seduction of the location, the food, the people, and the liquid delights were enough to win me over.
Head over to their new website for more, gratz to them on the new website, it’s very user friendly and sells the place really well.
The Deck Deets:
Phone:(02) 9033 7670
Wednesday – Saturday: 12pm – late
Sunday: 12pm – 8pm
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment. However, as always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such.