On the final night of CAFE PACI’S ‘COOKING BY COLOURS’, CK and I headed over to MECCA in Alexandria for their green menu.
If that sentence doesn’t make sense to you, here’s some explanation! A couple of years ago, a wonderful restaurant called CAFE PACI popped up in Darlinghurst for just over a year. I was lucky enough to visit and was at once surprised, a bit shocked and blown away by the food served there. At the time I was fairly naive and new to fine dining, so I really didn’t know what to expect. CAFE PACI’s cooking was innovative, combining flavours I had never thought could be combined.
Needless to say, I (amongst many others) was sad when they decided to call it quits. Chef Pasi Petänen always has new ideas up his sleeve though and doesn’t tend to stay away from the Sydney dining scene for long. His latest gig was COOKING BY COLOURS. That’s literally what you think it is: they had a red menu where all the food was red, they had a yellow menu, a white menu and finally the green menu.
I was sure that going for the green menu wasn’t simply going to be a whole lot of vegetables. No, CAFE PACI is way too creative for that! Below is what we ate and some commentary on each dish:
Broccolini, lime, dill
Great little snack to start! Fresh, crunchy broccolini heads in a finger-licking good sauce (literally, because we ate it with our fingers)
Avocado, oyster, parsley
Probably my least favourite dish of the night. Also probably to do with the fact that I don’t like oysters, and parsley is one of my least favourite herbs. If you scroll down you’ll see that the dish was covered in parsley. The avocado didn’t add much except for a contrasting texture to the crunchy parsley.
Artichoke, mint, green garlic, curd
LOVED this dish! The artichoke was finely shredded into matchsticks, making it super crunchy. The curd created the perfect ‘sauce’ for the dish as well. Really nice!
Zucchini, wasabi, asparagus, anchovy
Very interesting dish – our waiter told us the zucchini had been dehydrated and then rehydrated. The combination of zucchini and asparagus is misleading because it all looks the same on the dish, but they have such different flavours! I was worried the wasabi would be too overpowering but luckily it was fine. Not sure where the anchovy came in? Perhaps as part of the nuts and seeds sprinkled on top.
Rangers Valley Beef, Rocket, Green Peppercorn, Rye
This was our ‘main’ I suppose and the only meat on the menu. A beautiful slice of quite rare beef topped with some rye grains, the biggest piece of rocket I’ve ever seen and a green peppercorn sauce. A nice play on the usual ‘steak with pepper sauce’
Parsley, sorrel, mint, macha
Finally, our dessert. Those ingredients made me very skeptical of this dish. I’ve had sorrel on my desserts before and didn’t really enjoy it. The dessert also doesn’t look…particularly appealing. However, this was kind of like the olive oil parfait experience I had at FRANKLIN in Hobart. You don’t think it’s going to work, but it actually does! The first mouthful was a bit of a shock, but then it really grew on me.
$85 per person, plus $65 for matching wines
I’m so glad we made it to the pop-up. I’m really keen to see what is next for CAFE PACI – so until next time!
CAFE PACI ‘COOKING BY COLOURS’
26 BOURKE ROAD, ALEXANDRIA
NB: This pop-up has now ended.