Image credit: Anita Wilhelm
When you’re in a line of work such as ours, you know there are plenty of new Sydney restaurants popping up on the scene on a weekly basis. But when Pei Modern opened its doors late last year, it had us all in a tizz; how quickly can we get in there? What food would be awaiting us? And will we have room for dessert? We knew we needed to dabble in fifty shades of Pei, and fast.
Headed up by Mark Best of Marque fame, Pei Modern sits in the lavish Four Seasons hotel, and is much more relaxed (but just as incredible) as its cousin Marque. You’ll find an open kitchen, comfy, wooden chairs and cosy lighting; it’s the perfect inner-city restaurant to get your food coma on. Plus, any place that boasts a duck liver parfait doughnut as a pre-dinner snack is just fine by us. Other musts include the culatello ‘king of prosciutto’, the perfect way to rev your engine for the meal ahead.
When it’s time for mains, don’t be afraid to tackle the Holmbrae chicken. This guy has an impressive resume and is perfectly juicy when it lands on the table in a delicious, buttery sauce, squash and butter beans. He’s served with the beak and feet attached, but it’s all part of his charm.
Fear not, our herbivore friends, Pei Modern is one of the greatest vegetarian-friendly restaurants Sydney has to offer. One bite of the soft, pillowy ricotta dumplings in their rich ‘lazy man’s pesto’ almost had us forgetting why we don’t make this meat-free thing a habit. Pair with the deliciously green broccolini with salted chilli and almond for a guaranteed good time.
But if you simply can’t part with your carnivore ways, there is a column of meaty goodies on the menu to enjoy, namely the Milly Hill lamb shoulder cooked in chamomile and served to share.
For something sweet, the chocolate puff with banana, espresso sorbet and vanilla ice cream will cap off your meal in a sweet, dream-like haze. But if you’re a fan of the classics, the wood-oven honey madeleines with earl grey curd are lighter than air and nothing short of a joy to eat.
For the boozehounds, there’s wine time every Friday from 5pm, where head sommelier Annette Lacey and the team will lead you in sampling some of the wines they’re loving that month. And it’s even better if you pop by Grain Bar on the way in and sample a few of their delicious cocktails. Have a chat to the bartender and let him open your mind to something new.
So whether it’s chicken, ricotta dumplings, or that duck liver parfait, be sure to go experience all fifty shades of Pei.
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