My mother (who is Indonesian) loves eating fish heads – it’s actually her favorite part of the fish. I can’t say I feel the same way about fish, or any other edible item on the dinner table for that matter. When we order half a Holmbrae chicken at Mark Best’s newest venture Pei Modern, I’m slightly creeped out by the chicken head and foot splayed out and spilling over the pan it’s served in. No matter, this is seriously juicy chicken right here (which has been brined and smoked, we’re told) and the smoky flavor is right on. The crispy fried saltbush on top adds texture.
Another highlight is the burrata with kohlrabi, broadbeans and egg yolk jam, which is fresh and summery. I could probably go without the steak tartare with (small amounts of) sea urchin on toast, but I’m smitten with the casarecce with chicken dumplings. The reggiano sauce is all rich and awesome, reminding me of a light gravy. Note that the chicken dumplings contain offal, and there’s also offal strewn into the pasta dish (which you can opt out of if you want to). The simple side of a butter lettuce salad cuts through the richness of our mains perfectly, so I’m glad it was recommended to us. Otherwise, we ordered way too many dishes and couldn’t finish the food by any means.
Even though we were bursting at the seams, we decide to share a dessert anyway because DESSERT. I pick the sorrel sorbet with honeycomb for its uniqueness. The vividly green sorbet is tangy and reminds me of a citrusy froyo for some reason, while the honeycomb adds chewiness and a delightfully sweet honey flavor.
Ignore the heinous puns on the menu (‘Bigger Bites, Share or go Cray-Cray’ and ‘Fromage to ewe’ – eek) because the food is much, much better than that.
Four Seasons Hotel, 199 George St, Sydney, NSW
Mon – Fri 12pm – 3pm, Mon – Sat 5.30pm – 10.30pm