There’s a reason they called it The Far North, but it’s definitely worth the trip.
Last Monday TVG was invited to The Far North Turramurra for their Astrolabe wine dinner, an intimate 5 course dinner with matching wines from the Astrolabe winery in Marlborough New Zealand. I was unfamiliar with Astrolabe prior to the evening but had ordered a mixed dozen of their wines by the end (just to give you an indication of how much I liked their wines) – 8 of those bottles being the fantastic Rose. Astrolabe has a more prominent ‘on premise’ presence than it does in bottle shops and our group was among the first to try the Rose which you’ll be able to find soon at The Sackville Hotel in Rozelle.
It was also my first time at The Far North. The wine bar is tucked away down Bobbin Head Rd in North Turramurra. After climbing the stairs from the street you are greeted by a large bar that runs almost the entire length of the restaurant. It’s a great little space with seating for around 25 and an excellent outdoor area with ample space for four groups of 4-6 people.
On arrival we were offered a glass of the Astrolabe Rose and spoke to Owner Brett about the space, it’s clientele and the collaboration with Astrolabe. I was impressed to discover that Brett offers a free pick up/drop off service for diners in the local area. As we sipped Rose we listened to some excellent live music from singer song writer Matt Boylan-Smith before Canapes were served.
We had a Miso Cod to start followed by a Pulled Confit Duck with Kimchi cream cheese paired with two Sauvignon Blanc varieties – both dishes were excellent. I was honestly sitting at the table trying to remember when the last time was I’d been so impressed with a wine firstly and then two dishes in a row. I don’t drink Sauvignon Blanc and neither does my mother but we both agreed they were some of the nicest versions we’d ever tasted.
Following the Canapes we were served individual Sashimi plates paired with two varieties of Pinot Gris. At this point I was intrigued to find out where the chef had trained because the menu was unmistakably Japanese and presented immaculately. The fresh light fish had been cut to perfection and matched perfectly with the Astrolabe Province Pinot Gris. Brett informed us that his chef was in fact Japanese and highly trained in preparing Sashimi.
After convincing myself we were going to get another Japanese inspired main I was impressed again when a not so Japanese Quinoa Crusted Lamb was placed in front of me to pair with another two Astrolabe Pinot Noir varieties. The lamb was cooked perfectly and the sweet jus and cherry garnish complemented the full bodied Pinot with ease.
By this point the crowd was getting jolly and the wine was flowing as we moved from reds onto a Late Harvest. We finished dining with a desert followed by a cheese plate and I couldn’t quite believe how much quality food and wine I’d consumed. As Matt sung his own rendition of Kiss Chasey’s The Shake Brett and the Astrolabe team produced one final bottle, their Riesling, and it too was delicious.
The whole evening at The Far North was fantastic – it was one of the best overall dining experiences I’ve had in years. Before we left I placed an order for 12 bottles of Astrolabe wine and congratulated the Chef on an impeccable job. If you’re on the North Shore and you’re yet to check out The Far North I highly recommend doing so and one of these speciliast wine events is a great excuse (and great value). Next week they’re hosting the legendary Geoff Merrill for a 5 course dinner with matching Geoff Merrill reserve wines, that one will also definitely be worth the trip North!
1/270 Bobbin Head Rd, Turramurra
Sydney, Australia 2074
Ph: (02) 9988 0016