Delusion. Don't listen to your friends, a little bit of delusion goes a long, long way. That guy you slept with on the first date (before you threw up all over him) might call you back. You could very well win the lottery next week. And just maybe, hopefully (God willing) Shane Warne and Liz Hurley might both become celibate some time soon and go to live on separate sides of the earth, far away from each other, cameras and all of disgusted society. Yes. Delusion is what gets us up, what keeps us going and what holds us together. Like a quick nip of vodka when the day has been a little too long, delusion blankets us from the harsh westerlies of unbridled reality. Like a glue for the divided self.
I mean, if you ever stop to think about it (and the paranoid among us often do) we're all going to die one day and in the meantime we sit in our cars on traffic logged highways headed towards jobs we can't stand so we can all afford houses with people we secretly want to kill on some tiny corner of a universe that is constantly expanding into God knows what and God died in the 20th century. I mean, really. What's a girl to do? Delude herself into a happy, cosy, fuzzy little corner of her mind and go on, that's what. Everything will be okay in the end. Delusion, people. That's what i'm talkin about.
If anyone were to ever ask me I would say that I hardly ever eat bread. That I steer away from cheese. That I only have hot chips and chocolate once in a wee lithe, little while. That I only go through stages with coffee. I believe all this. Delusion was doing its deft little job and to myself (if not to others) I felt like my alimentary canal was mary magdalene sweet. Shit catches up to you in the end. And like let-'em-have-cake Antoinette this idea of myself was guillotined in one fell swoop. She lost her head for treason and I lost my head (and my foodie amnesia) at Surry Hills maison d'awesome feed: Crown Street's Tabou.
After years of wanting to try this stylish little slip of Surry Hills Francais for years, Tat's farewell from Sydney lunch became the excuse to collage a la fromage. Tabou is a classic little dining spot that hasn't changed much in its time. While Crown St twists, cavorts and gyrates to ever happening foodie trends, Tabou has remained true to its origins: classic, stylish and simply tres bien. It's not where you eat in Surry Hills if you want to be seen. It's where you eat to see: the cheese-dripped light.
After exquisitely buttered chunks of biblically baked sourdough, I get the closest I am ever going to get to skydiving in this life. I don't often do reckless, but what other word is there for the souffle aux fromages? Taste Bud Translation: the twice baked gruyere and goat's cheese souffle. Calories, who? You know it's going to hurt, but you also know it's going to be totally worth it!
This steaming, saucy little concoction is cheese meets dripping, light frothy so-so-souffle warmth. This meal is decadent, classic and unapologetically marvelous. It might also be genius, as well. The lightness of the souffle is perfect, like a prayer on wings it is winsome, gentle, fully formed and fledged from it's own mousse-esque levity. A dalliance in twice baked cheese. This is creamy, soft-burnt-dripping and utterly startling. Smooth and rich and light and heavy and all at once. A nose-in-the-air-blue-blood's answer to the humble cheese toastie.
The only feasible way to consume this entree is either while on treadmill or doing squats. Or possibly doing both, if you can muster the balance. Reckless and ruinously ravenous, try it once in your life at least. Or have it once a merry month and let your Delusion collect the tab. With an entree like that, I opted for a more frugal of calorie, but nonetheless delicious main.
The Roast Mulloway w Saffron Tomato was a delicate and brothy fish. Beautiful and light and crispy skinned. It was paired with flavours that Tatsu thought tasted quite Japanese (subtly sweet). Hai! The plate was bursting with reds and oranges and greens, generous and pretty and lovely.
Tats said au revoir to Sydney with the Darling Downs Angus Grain Fed Scotch Fillet perfectly sauced, succulent and tender and medium-rare with divine exclamation points as fries positively burgeoning from the side of the happy plate. Fries. Oh my Fry. No matter how arrogant the French are, every iota of that arrogance becomes justified when you have the perfect frites salting up your maddened molars. The mass of the serving made me love Tabou. They seem to understand that fries and moderation, like John Howard and G-strings, don't really go together.
Crispy and thin and oily and golden. Crunchy and a little soft. Perfect to paint with mustard and pepper sauce and ketchup, but most bloody beautiful in a bearnaise malaise. Humanity achieved perfection in the hot chip. I really don't understand why we are still trying.
Almond spangled broccoli is our token and tantalizing green, as is a little smart-sharp salad, alive and perky and perfectly finished with all of the oiled-vinegared spirit of a great French dressing. The greens were the reprieve. That little moment when you think the storm has passed, but the eerie calm tells you you're standing right in the eye of it...And then it strikes...
There are several ways you can choose to die. Hanging, jumping off a bridge, sleeping pills, telling your conservative relatives you're living with your boyfriend...but none of these are as deliciously death defying as tabou's truffled potato puree. This is the rolex of sides. It is heavy, creamy, gently salted potato, writhing in burnt butter and twirling around in a dizzy dance to a triumphantly be-truffled tune. This is oh-mon-dieu on a silver spoon. Each breathless bite unleashes a potato-pureed electricity upon your tongue and throughout your shattered being. So deep and rich and buttery, so gorgeously heavy. Each tiny bite weighs you down. You let the puree melt into you, you close your eyes, you sigh, you swoon, you falter, you recover. And then you go again.
That oily, ghostly orb that the truffled potato puree left on the paper-topped table says it all. This is for the brave and for the true and for no other. The perfect meal is a like a Chanel suit, you want to accessorize well. We kept it simple and chic with the following:
An immaculate Single Origin short black (Tatsu raves about the long blacks here)...
...A complimentary chocolate jewel of a chocolate coated truffle...
...a powdering of the nose and you have everything you could ever want in life: cheese, potato, cheese, bread, butter, cheese, chips, steak, chocolate, coffee. If this one doesn't get le diable to respect you, then nothing will.
Tabou happens at 527 Crown St Surry Hills, 9319 5682, website here. The wine list stands up to the menu and any experience here should be something to remember. Especially when you can't really eat again the next day. Try what I have heard is an amazing steak tartare and flicker through some sweet finishes a la creme brulee, chocolate mousse or an apple tatin bathed in iced-melting vanilla cream. Remember to forget. Food and Delude. You'll have a happy belly and a clear, clear conscience.
Tabou: It's tres francais, all the way.