When I arrived in Sydney late last year and started the vital task of working out where I should be eating and drinking, one forthcoming restaurant kept being mentioned. Sixpenny was soon to open in Stanmore, with Dan Puskas and James Parry, formerly of Oscillate Wildly, to be reunited in the kitchen. I was completely taken in by the anticipation and put it to the top of my wish list.

Last Friday, sixpenny finally opened, and I realised I had clearly managed to drop enough hints when I was informed just after lunch that we had a reservation later that evening. Cue a rush to wrap up work for the weekend, and get myself over to Stanmore.

Sixpenny offers six course ($105) and eight course ($125) degustation menus, and wanting to get the full experience we took the eight course option. It was suggested that, whilst we were welcome to look at the menu, being surprised by the progression of the meal would add to the experience, so I’ll give you my overall impressions before talking about the food. There was an easy calmness to the elegant dining room, with tables surrounding a central bar area giving a sense of seclusion. Service trod the fine line between formality and amiability perfectly, with helpful advice about the all-Australian wine list and attentive refilling of the complimentary bottled water. The food was assured and uncontrived with a hint of fun, letting the local produce shine, and the light, fresh flavours built to a satisfying but far from overfacing conclusion.

We started with a small loaf of sourdough, happy to be informed that the starter, ‘Bob’, had been well looked after since their days at Oscillate Wildly. An early highlight was the Knuckle Sandwich snack with toasted brioche, sweet and juicy. Homegrown produce was stunningly showcased in a snack of garden pickles served with a radish-top dressing and the first course of sweet green garden beans with soft cheese. We agreed that the stand out savoury dish was the Mud Crab with Silky Macadamia and Camomile: creamy, sweet and with the slight crunch of macadamia nuts this almost had me licking the plate. Coorong Hanger steak was served with mustard leaves was perfectly accompanied by a smooth smokey cabbage puree. Desserts had a frozen theme. A palate cleanser of sour lemon sorbet with citrus leaves and candied lemon balanced sharp and sweet and really stood out. Honey Mead Sorbet was a great match for banana and a cocoa coulis, and the Jersey Milk Ice Cream was the smoothest and creamiest I’ve ever tasted, served with frozen white chocolate cookies and burnt butter.

And after all of this, the immortal words were muttered: now, if they offered petit fours I’d be happy. And then they arrived. Tonka chocolates, mini Lamingtons and a cookie jar complete with ginger snaps. Light, satisfying and perfectly formed. Just like sixpenny.

83 Percival Road, Stanmore
02 9572 6666

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