Finally kicked myself up the butt to get back to the blog. There have been so many events taking place in the lead up to Christmas that there is basically no time to actually write about the events. Catch 22 but not a bad one – lots of dining out and delicious menus and venues to discover. The next for me to write about and a venue I loved, was THE EMPORIUM out at Parramatta. Get Fat with Nat invited a few bloggers to attend a brunch, of sorts, so off I travelled out west to meet up with Nat, Arvin and Pete.
THE EMPORIUM VENUE:
The venue is expansive and simply stunning. High ceilings, three different dining areas, a bakery, open kitchen, function space and ornate attention to detail in the decor make this an incredibly welcoming venue. THE EMPORIUM opens every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I would call it a high-end cafe, restaurant and bar. You could rock in at 7am and stay until midnight, your could be very well fed and drunk.
We dined in the below semi-outdoor alfresco area and had an assortment of meals. We tried out the breakfast and lunch menu as well as some superb cocktails. It was wintry cold and raining when we attended but we had the heater pumping and the rain on the tin roof was soothing and reminded me of country homesteads. The old wood, barrels and plenty of greenery truly added to this experience. I loved the outdoor area, an area I will always choose if I can over an indoor.
The staff were attentive and all the guests seemed happy. It is hard to judge our service as we were being hosted and the manager served us all morning – that was flawless, his knowledge of all the dishes was impeccable and he ordered everything for us.
THE EMPORIUM has seperate menus for all three dining experiences, they also offer group booking menus for groups over eight and they have a five or seven course degustation menu – YES PLEASE!!! Speaking of menus, take a lot of money with you – the wine and cocktail menus have a lot to appreciate and indulge.
The breakfast at THE EMPORIUM was my favourite part of the menu. I cannot judge the dinner menu but it makes me drool. For breakfast we were served………
Coconut porridge, mango, passion fruit and nuts for $12.
Sautéed mushrooms, hummus, kale, poached eggs and cashew dukkah for $14.50.
Crushed avocado, Persian feta, coriander, cherry tomatoes, za’atar and sourdough for $15.50.
Emporium Brekky, 2 eggs, sourdough, smashed avocado, cured salmon, bacon, mushrooms and kale for $22.
Above is the sautéed mushrooms, it was as divine as the other breakfast dishes. The breakfast is easily a perfect 5/5 for me. Their coffee was flawless and even the porridge was 5/5 for me. Below is THE EMPORIUM brekky – one of the best, healthy, protein breakfasts I have had this year. When I first started this article it had fourteen photographs in it – I had stern words with myself to cut it down – but the porridge looks pretty sexy, all the fourteen pics will be up in the Zomato review if you want to see what it looks like. Or stalk my insta – been posting them all since I ate there.
The lunch, while beautiful to look at just didn’t match the flavour brilliance of the breakfast. We were served a few lunch meals and most of them are no longer on the menu as the Spring/ Summer menu is now in effect.
For lunch we had the………
Confit shallots, Parma ham crisp, roasted chickpeas, Pomegranate, hazelnuts, pumpkin puree, feta, za’atar and mint leaves
Vegetarian option available for $18/ $16.
Fish with Brussels Sprouts and Cream Mash (price unknown).
Steak Sandwiches with French Fries (price unknown).
We did have one other dish but it was an unappealing pasta that is no longer on the menu nor can I remember the name.
Easily the best dish we had for lunch was the steak sandwich and fries, I just LOVED it. The Brussels sprouts were passable in the fish dish but, personally a little lacking in flavour, and fish is not ideal for food flatlay bloggers. After pics are taken the food cools and it has a bearing on the flavour, none of us really enjoyed this meal. This is not the venue’s fault as most of it cooled due to us taking pics but it did effect our thoughts on it.
The Parma ham salad was beautiful and vibrant however and something I would definitely order again to accompany other dishes. It is pictured below.
The drinks at THE EMPORIUM are next level, if I wasn’t driving I would have gotten totally blissed out, more known as shitfaced. The wine list is extensive and covers many world wide regions. Whoever curated the list is a master sommelier, I just salivate at all the wines to choose from. The bottles range from about $40- to $300. There is Chardonnay from France, Malbec from Argentina and Riesling from Germany. There is Verdelho from the Hunter and Pinot Noir from New Zealand. And there is even a $100- bottle of Barros 2009 LBV Port from Portugal I need in my life! Perfection – and the wines aren’t even the best drinks!
The cocktails nail it. They are so freaking good I could have done an entire article on them as opposed to the food. The above is the Plum Papa Doble: White rum with an infused rhubarb plum cinnamon & honey puree finished with our strawberry & hibiscus foam for a reasonable $16. The below was the superb Rob Roy: Hickory chips are used to smoke a silky Rob Roy presented & poured at the table for $18. This drink was stunning. We also had a delicate and addictive drink that I managed to score for myself. Ron’s Columbian Old Fashioned. A Ron Zacapa Old Fashioned stirred down with our specialty cold drip accompanied by a honey rum preserved medjool date for $18. This one came with chocolate and a twist of orange and I will drink this one again!!
THE EMPORIUM is an impressive place. Perfect venue, perfect breakfast and sublime drinks. One day I will return to try the dinner and drink their bar dry. The place is not overpriced at all and while the lunch disappointed I think it was more our selection being inferior to the marvel that was the breakfast. If I lived in the Parramatta area I would be a regular at this venue.
The Emporium Deets:
PH: (02) 9687 1955
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Yes
Mon – Fri: 7am – late
Sat – Sun: 830am – Midnight
All day Brunch until 3pm daily
Kitchen re-opens at 6pm for Dinner
Alcohol Serving 12pm – 10pm Daily
*** 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.