Where: 18 Argyle Street The Rocks 2000
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri 12 - 3pm Sun - Wed 6pm - 12am Thu - Sat 6pm - 3am
Phone: (02) 9259 5668
Ananas is The Rocks' jazzy new brasserie. Pocketed away next to weekend powerhouse, the Argyle, and just a few strides away from the famed Sake, this place has landed some prime real estate. An interesting mix of old school French cuisine and new world glamour, this sultry newbie will wow even the most apprehensive amongst us. Contrary to the area's out-of-date pubs populated by tourists, Ananas is a cocktail, champagne and oyster bar extravaganza with an art deco-inspired restaurant and late-night supper club. It's time to join us in indulging what's on offer here, because it's all just brilliantly joie de vivre at Ananas.
You'll start with a heavy dose of charm — which may or may not have something to do with the floor's suave head honcho Jean-Paul Buhaggiar — by setting up shop in the bar. The Ruinart de Ruinart Brut ($24 glass) is a classic French favourite and the Absolutely Ananas ($15), a spicy blend of vodka and pineapple. And for serious connoisseurs? Perhaps a Domaine Delaporte Sancerre ($16 glass), a vibrantly acidic drop dominated by citrus fruit with floral and mineral notes, or the Perrin Cotes Du Rhone Reserve ($12 glass) for those after a grenache syrah blend heavy on plum with supple tannins.
Equally as considered as Ananas' wine list, is the brasserie's a la carte menu. Set within British Indian-style surrounds inhabited by leather-clad banquettes, antique pineapple-based lamps, mirrored walls and hanging bronze birds, executive chef Jerome Lagarde, offers an extensive selection of hors d'oeuvres (starters) and plat (mains) that are traditional in taste, but contemporary in aesthetic. Then there's the sterling service. Keep an eye out for restaurant manager, Francois Laran.
To begin, the cured trout gravlax with blinis and herb cream ($18) can't be overlooked if in search of French tradition. The meaty portion and fleshy texture of the trout makes the dish poignantly salty, so it's best shared. And the king crab with avocat ($28) is a creamy bud awakening option for seafood fanatics. For something more substantial try the 36 hour braised lamb shoulder with potato marmalade and lemon confit ($30) or the chateaubriand fillet with confit onion and pommes maxims ($36); both are impressive justifications of Lagarde's favour of hearty meat offerings. And, if momentarily overtaken by glutton, go for the truffle mash ($10). Two words: almost unchallengeable.
Now to the sweets. Opt for the eclair salt caramel ($12) for a stupidly luxurious, creamy-centred flavour bomb encased in soft pastry or the tarte aux pommes (apple tart) with bourbon vanilla ice cream ($12) for the traditional of all traditional. And the concluding tipple? We recommend the Chateau Prost Sauternes ($13 glass).
Ananas is a welcome addition to The Rocks' pub-centric traps and is an accomplished union of mature wine, fine food and polished design. Highly recommended.
By Lisa Omagari
36 hour braised lamb shoulder with potato marmalade and lemon confit
Good For Groups: