Full as a tick.

To parrot a rather grotesque Australian phrase, I’m full as a tick. The Snook took me out for my birthday dinner to Buon Ricordo, perennially recognized as Sydney’s best Italian restaurant. It did not disappoint. For the first course I had the signature dish: Fettucine al tartufovo. Basically, it was served as a plate of fettucine with cream sauce, with a lightly fried egg on top. The secret, the waiter told me, was that the egg (in the shell) had been sitting next to truffles for a while so it sucks up the flavor. Then they grate lots of parmesan on top and toss the whole thing right in front of you, so the egg and cream and cheese get all mixed up and melty together. I’d never had truffle before so I didn’t know what to expect. To be honest, if I didn’t know it was in there I probably wouldn’t have guessed. It was just a very, very subtle garlicky, earthy, musty sort of flavor. Very yummy. It was basically the fanciest mac-and-cheese I’ve ever eaten in my life. The Snook had some sort of seafood thing – calamari and mussels – that he enjoyed a lot. For the mains, I had the roast duck. Again, it was a first for me, and it was so good. Crispy with just the right amount of delicious fat on top, with broccoli and ginger and chili around it. Snookums had the Tournedos alla Rossini, which was a big fillet of beef wrapped in pancetta with a total Iron-Chef-style slab of foie gras on top. (Sakai-san would’ve been so proud.) We washed down our excellent dinners with a bottle of pinot – thankfully Sideways wasn’t nearly so popular here so you don’t feel like a git for ordering it – and even managed to cram in some dessert. All in all, a very satisfying evening. I’d probably rank it as tied for second with Bennelong in my Sydney dining list (Rockpool remains #1). The food was better than Bennelong, but nothing can compete with the harbour view. The service was really fantastic. I remarked at one point to the Snook: “You hear about ‘professional’ waiters, but it isn’t til you come to a place like this that actually see them.” They were attentive without being annoying and seemed genuinely eager to give us a great night out. I feel like it would be a great out-of-the-way place to take visitors…

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  1. Full as a tick?? Never heard that one! Glad you had such a lovely b’day dinner. 🙂

  2. We say “full as a tick” all the time down here–my great aunt Willie modifies it to “TIGHT as a Tick.” I don’t know if that’s higher or lower on the gross scale, but I like the alliteration.

    The dinner sounds amazing–I’m glad you had such a wonderful birthday meal.

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