Pei Modern Opens Its Doors In Sydney

 

The menu might feature a smattering of questionable puns (‘Fromage to ewe’ anyone?) but everything else about Pei Modern, the newest offering from Mark Best and talented head chef Matt Germanchis is very much on point.

The former space occupied by The Woods restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney has been opened up and pared back, creating a warmer more elegant dining environment. The pleasant whiff of wood smoke from the kitchen’s centrepiece: a stone-clad, wood fired oven is a welcoming portent of things to come.

Pei Modern

Pei Modern

Table setting at Pei Modern

Table setting at Pei Modern

The oven, a legacy from The Woods, has allowed Germanchis and Best to build on the superb menu from Pei Modern in Melbourne and fire it to exhilarating new heights. Dishes that would previously have been supporting actors are elevated to star level such as the wood fired sourdough and house churned butter that kicks off the meal.

Asparagus is paired with a Holy Goat La Luna goat’s cheese ($18), which has been cooked in the wood fired oven until it splits and then blended to create a custard. It’s a dish outstanding in its simplicity and execution. A simple salad of young dandelion, blood orange and bronze fennel ($16) hits the right bittersweet notes while freshly made buffalo milk burrata ($18) is sensationally paired with a gelatinous slow cooked egg yolk jam and green cauliflower.

Burrata, green cauliflower and egg yolk jam

Burrata, green cauliflower and egg yolk jam

Tiger prawns ($24) and surf clams ($25) both get the wood fired treatment, the former enhanced with a fine dice of 5 hour slow cooked pineapple with the latter drenched in smoked butter and scattered with kernels of fermented corn.

A selection of dishes from Pei Modern

A selection of dishes from Pei Modern

Ricotta dumplings resting on fine kale fronds with a generous scatter of toasted hazelnuts ($30) are so light as to warrant every cliché about marshmallows, pillows and air usually used to describe a dumpling of this calibre. Milly Hill lamb shoulder cooked in Chamomile ($75) rounds out the main course in all its steamy, succulent meaty glory.

Lamb shoulder cooked in chamomile

Lamb shoulder cooked in chamomile

Mark Best and the wood fired oven

Mark Best and the wood fired oven

Fresh from the kitchen of Melbourne dessert maestros Burch & Purchese, Kylie Millar has injected her trademark flair into the sweet end of the menu with spiced doughnuts ($16) moored to the plate with blood orange and whey butterscotch and a refreshing sorrel sorbet with honeycomb ($16). Some of Marque’s signature desserts such as the duck egg Sauternes custard and Crostoli ($17) have also made a welcome migration to the Pei Mordern menu.

Desserts at Pei Modern

Desserts at Pei Modern

The wine list curated by gun sommelier Annette Lacey is expansive without being overwhelming, with many excellent options by the glass. A bottle of Thomas Wines Braemore Semillon ($55) is a perfect counterpoint for the seafood dishes on the menu.

Pei Modern also operates a bar with a separate menu offering a selection of items from the full menu along side wood fired pizzas, burgers and other sharable snacks. If the exceptional quality of the restaurant offering is anything to go by, the bar may become a hotspot in its own right too.

The author dined at Pei Modern as a guest of Four Seasons Sydney

Pei Modern

Four Seasons Hotel
199 George St
Sydney, NSW 2000
Australia

+61 2 9250 3160
sydney@peimodern.com.au

http://www.peimodern.com.au/location/sydney

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Author:Jeremy Bowell

Jeremy Bowell is the founder and editor of Taste Explorer. He also writes for InsideCuisine.com, TheGrapeHunter.com, SoBadSoGood.com and has featured in the Sydney Morning Herald's Good Living section. He is an avid connoisseur of all things food and drink related.