WILD SAGE is one of those phenomenal venues you visit not expecting much and leave enraptured. An invitation from the most awesome Sweaty Betty saw us heading on down to Barangaroo to check out WILD SAGE. When we first visited it wasn’t long after the venue had opened at Barangaroo and it was yet to be instagram worshipped by the masses. I knew little, I hadn’t seen their menu or their social media, and went in with an open mouth, mind and belly.
WILD SAGE BARANGAROO VENUE:
The inside of the venue is beautifully appointed as per the pictures above and below. Earthy greens and orange splashes warm up the rustic toned, but somewhat cold cement render. Fantastic checkered floor tiles, welcoming bar stools and an open kitchen and bar give the inside a modern, homely and inviting feel. We sat outside and it was quite different. They don’t have what I would call the best location at Barangaroo – they aren’t at the front with stunning water views and tourists galore appreciating this wonderful new section of Sydney. The back of Barangaroo is surrounded by lots of buildings so it was quite void of sunshine, but we were rugged up, we were happy because the light for pics was marvellous and, well, we ended up with cocktails and some of the best food of the year.
THE DRINK GAME IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE:
The alcohol list for WILD SAGE is superb. It is nearly five pages long and boasts local and international wines, but not too many. I did love seeing Malbecs on the menu and there are nearly as many whiskeys as there are wines to choose. There are plenty of liqueurs, enough gin to make me smile and even cognac to keep my ma happy. There is a good selection of beers with two of them even on tap and if tequila and/or rum is your thing this place will surely impress.
But one thing stood out for us – the cocktails!! Any cocktail that gets delivered with an orchid for garnish is already a winner for me. Laarni, my dining guest, downed the divine……
…..O N E F O R T H E L A D Y
Rose petal infused vodka, pear brandy and pomegranate fused with fresh lime and vanilla. Served straight up in a classy martini glass with quite a few bits of garnish that make it look too pretty to drink.
The owner made one for me and I freakin’ loved it!!
E S C O B A R ‘ S H E A D A C H E
Charred nectarines, thyme, ginger and fresh limes, shaken to perfection with Cachaça and Angostura Rum. Served short over crushed ice.
THE GLORIOUS FOOD OF WILD SAGE:
They offer four starters: Cuttlefish, Pork Belly Lollypops, Tuna Tataki and a Cauliflower dish. HOLD UP – PORK BELLY LOLLYPOPS!! Hellz yes!! We chose those (for sure!!) and Tuna Tataki.
P O R K B E L L Y L O L L Y P O P S
Glazed pork belly lolly pop w. cabbage, dikon, pickled carrots, sesame seeds, shallots + chilli aiole.
These were incredible, so tender, so tasty, so photographic – I had my first foodgasm then and there. They were so much nice and easier to eat than sweet lollypops!
T U N A T A T A K I
Seared seasame crusted tuna w. cucumber ribbons, chilli, mango, coriander + wasabi mayo.
This was as nice, if not better, than the lollypops in flavour and presentation. I was basically in love with WILD SAGE from this moment forward.
SWEET BABY JEEBUS MAINS:
When they brought out the mains, my knees wobbled, my eyes rolled back, and I submitted to everything that is wonderful about this venue. First off the rank for us to drool over was the……….
O X C H E E K
12 hour braised Ox cheek in Guinness beer w. pickled carrot + dikon ribbons, squash, pomegranate, crispy shallots & horseradish mayo.
This was probably the best meat dish of the year. That cheek flaked off, perfectly cooked, like nothing else! The umami from the Guiness with the horseradish mayo and the vegetables was next level.
And then I tried………
R A V I O L I
House made crab & prawn ravioli w. lemongrass, ginger & chilli. Served w. a capsicum cream couli, spinach & Persian feta.
Even better than the Ox Cheek – this is a dish I could eat once a week for the rest of my life and never tire of. It was also so bright I needed sunglasses but I would stare into the sun for this dish.
We were both actually so stuffed we weren’t going to have dessert but the manager/ owner easily persuaded us into it.
P A R C E L R O N E S
Crispy filo baked Toblerone parcels with chocolate fudge dipping sauce & vanilla bean ice cream.
This desert is on an even keel to being the most beautifully presented dish of 2017. It was just marvellous and somehow we found room to fit it. That dipping sauce in the wooden spoon was a work of genius. This dish had it all!
But because we just couldn’t settle on one we had to order the……….
L A V A C H O C O L A T E P U D D I N G
Belgian chocolate pudding with a molten chocolate lava centre, dolloped with chantilly cream and vanilla bean ice cream.
This was also a lovely dish and if we hadn’t eaten it after the Parcelrones it would have been a highlight of the meal but sadly it was overshadowed by the greatness of its dessert colleague.
WILD SAGE is a marvel, if you need a place to eat and/ or drink in Barangaroo, then LET THIS PLACE BE IT!! Their presentation deserves awards and their chefs deserve to be bowed to. This will make my Top 20 Restaurants of 2017 and I cannot wait to return for more.
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 3/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 0/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets and 1/1 bonus
Wild Sage Deets:
PH: (02) 9299 9087
Exchange Place, 3 Sussex St, Barangaroo NSW 2000
Mon – Fri: 7am – 930pm
Sat – Sun: 830am – 3pm
TAKEAWAY: Coffee and pastries (I believe) – check with venue
LOCAL DELIVERY: I doubt it – check with venue
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Yes
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment and/or any PR agencies representing them. However, as always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such ***
Thanks to Sweaty Betty for the invitation to attend WILD SAGE.