Tasted by / June 30, 2012

One cold winter morning, I woke up in a sweat and thought to myself, “Hey, I can be James Bond!” After realising in the mirror that I still have a beer belly and no Aston Martin in the garage, it was clear the only way I can be like Bond is to play like Bond. Every Bond needs a Bond girl so I’ve written 28 letters to Eva Green all without reply. Perhaps I wasn’t too sure of her address, I just wrote ‘Somewhere in England’.  Somewhat deflated, my intelligence network of Urbanspoon and Twittersphere reported a revolution at Sydney’s casino codenamed, “The Star” promising world-class gaming and dining under one roof. Not to waste an unemployed moment, I put on my best 3-piece suit from Lowes, leather flip-flops and jumped into my silver Barina.

Like Bond, I live dangerously and put my entire wallet of $55.45 in cash on red at the roulette table and doubled my winnings. Armed with $110.90, I could not quite afford entry into the high rollers poker club but I was getting rather peckish in a manly Bond way. And what can be more Bond-like than to have steak at a casino? Enter BLACK by ezard. Who is ezard? Why is his name so fancy it starts in lowercase and has a Z in its name?

Black promises a lot on paper: Wagyu 9+ steaks cooked sous-vide and finished on a wood fire grill, fish poached in mineral water sourced from a Hawaiian volcano, international wine list loaded on an iPad, a bathroom that involves marathon runner thighs to climb – Bond is impressed. But we all know that Bond, born and bred in Doonside, is a man of substance to back up the polyester suit. Entrees are encouraging by appearance but fall a little short on wow factor, bit like Halle Berry – organic farm egg matched with jamon iberico, potato cream and shaved black truffle is tasty but not spectacular given the sum of its luxurious parts.

Naturally I asked for a shaken martini, a girly sugary one for my *ahem* Bond girl. The waiter placed the glass right in front of me commenting “Your drink sir.” I responded “It’s for my lady actually” for which the waiter retorted “Is this not a table for one?” My cover was blown; alas I am a solo diner. The wait staffs are efficient like assassins, but so were their personalities or lack thereof. I wasn’t sure if one would just turn around and stab me with a steak knife screaming DIE BOND!!!

For the full-blood Black experience, I sampled a trio of different wagyu cuts: flatiron, striploin, rump cap all exceptionally marbled and meltingly tender. But I couldn’t help and think how an exceptional cow ended up just being nice and not out-of-this-world. To sum BLACK up with a James Bond analogy, it’s like Bond driving a Ferrari instead of an Aston: you know it’s a ridiculously fine car, but it doesn’t feel right.

Back the roulette table, I put all my left over $2.50 on black and lost it all – the casino is not for me. 

Warm mini brioche loaf, butter, volcanic salt - Carby goodness

OYSTERS Yuzu and wakame jelly - Fresh but dressing could use more zing

KINGFISH SASHIMI Sesame custard, edamame, chardonnay vinaigrette - Nice textures but I prefer thicker slices of kingfish over wafer thin

ORGANIC FARM EGG Potato cream, iberico jamón, herb salad, black truffle - Eggs, ham, cream and truffle are all good friends

WAGYU TRIO MBS 9+ Rumpcap, Flat Iron and Striploin - Wagyu heaven: absurdly tender but could use more flavour

CHOCOLATE Warm couverture ganache, dulce de leche ice cream, peanut butter mousse - Bit of theatre with hot choc sauce poured over the shell and revealing the innards

Passionfruit Cream Macadamia financier, mango sorbet, dried coconut - Asian flavours dominate: pleasing but not memorable.

BLACK by ezard on Urbanspoon

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