When you think of Cromer, haute cusine isn’t the first thing to mind.
Yet nestled between a bottle shop and a newsagent is probably, dare I say it, one of the Northern Beaches’ best fine dining restaurants.
Owned by award-winning chef and cookbook author Ash Saleh and his wife Kit, this little gem offers degustation menus described as modern Australian with a Middle Eastern twist. Dishes include four cheese stuffed zucchini flowers, king prawns with sumac served on a raspberry vinaigrette, braised beef cheeks, and blue swimmer crab potato bugnes.
For Ash, food is also art. His flavour pairings are immensely clever, while the presentation is enough to rival any city based fine dining.
There are six different types of degustation on offer: a four-course tasting menu for $55pp, a carnivore or herbivore (vegans rejoice!) six course degustation for $66pp, a nine course menu for $99 pp or you can go the whole hog with a 13 course menu for $135pp.
We opted for the six-course carnivore menu. This included four cheese stuffed zucchini flowers, king prawns with sumac served on a raspberry vinaigrette, braised beef cheeks, blue swimmer crab potato bugnes, shanklish sheep’s cheese and a Turkish delight crème brulee.
Every dish was a masterpiece, from the melt-in-the-mouth blue swimmer crab to the creamy yet crisp zucchini flowers and the umami-rich braised beef cheeks, I have never in my life had such an explosion of flavours.
Having eaten at plenty of fine dining restaurants not only in Australia, but Europe, Middle East and America, I was unbelievably surprised by Ash’s clever and unique flavours, textures and presentation.
The night we dined there was one table enjoying the 13-course degustation. We are keen to give this a try next time around as we had serious food envy.
With each of six dishes undeniably moreish, we would have happily received another seven to the table.
Amazing food, great service, sublime atmosphere and really good value for money.
63/61 Carawa Rd, Cromer
Bookings: 9981 7053
Transparency check ✓ This is a non-sponsored, genuine review. It was not anonymous however and, despite offering to pay, it was graciously offered on the house.