This is a sad story.
Artistry Garden opened in early 2020 to critical acclaim for its Japanese-French fusion cuisine.
They came onto my radar several months ago, but I had put off dining at Artistry Garden until now as they open only for breakfast and lunch, and only during weekdays – any visitor from outside the CBD would therefore need to contend with driving and more importantly parking in the Sydney CBD.
My partner and I finally scrounged up the courage to venture into the CBD during our annual leave, on 11/11 of all days. We were able to find a 2 hour park 1.3km away in Woolloomooloo (near Contact Bar & Kitchen), and made the journey through the park to the restaurant.
Once we arrived it became apparent that the Japanese-French menu I had been salivating over for the past months had been recently replaced by something much less exciting and much more just plain French. It turns out Artistry Garden’s original Michelin starred chef Masahiko Yomoda had recently (in the past week) returned to Japan to be with his family during the coronavirus pandemic, and a new chef had started and brought his own, decidedly more average menu.
The Jasper Grilled King Prawns (4 for $23) were served butterflied, shell on. They had a strong prawn flavour, which my partner did not like but I did not mind. I found that the butterflied presentation of the prawns with their shell on did make them a bit more difficult to eat than they could have been. The light sauce of miso butter was quite nice, however the majority of it remained on the plate, as opposed to drizzled on the prawns. Not good, not bad.
I have mixed feelings about the Petuna ocean trout with spinach, brown butter, hazelnuts, and mandarin ($36). The trout had a nice and cripsy scored skin, and the meat of the fish was cooked well, not overcooked. The mandarin pieces were an absolute treat – warm on the inside with a burst of warm juice when bitten into. Apart from these two positive elements, however, there was a bit to complain about. We didn’t like that the meal was served in basically a puddle of brown butter sauce. It made every bite, especially of the spinach and nuts which were fully submerged in the sauce very oily.
The Feather and bone rump steak in red wine sauce, parsley, garlic butter ($40) was the most expensive item on the menu, and replaces the wagyu from the previous menu. We had it cooked medium-rare, and thought that doneness aside the meat was quite lukewarm when we received it, and rapidly lost its warmth in the wind tunnel that is One Farrer Place. The fries were fresh and delicious with the red wine sauce. The steak was fine but nothing to write home about. The garlic butter and red wine sauce were good but again not a revelation. This dish lacked the X factor in that nothing was particularly special about it.
We had a glass of sangria ($9), a soy latte, and a cappuccino to go.
The sangria was nice and fresh, large, juicy.
The coffees were good! Though the small coffee really was small.
Ultimately I was quite disappointed by Artistry Garden. I had hyped up the place so much in my mind, and it was all shattered when they lost their original chef and the menu changed.
Give me a call when he’s back from Japan. Until then, I woudn’t come back
$120 for 2 including drinks
3 feathers/5 bones
One Farrer Pl, Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9241 7101