Uncorked at The Union Hotel
271 Pacific Highway
North Sydney

This is an extremely sophisticated place with modern chic decor that most people would not expect upstairs at a North Sydney hotel. It's an oasis of elegance that will stun you. A lot of effort has gone in to this charming restaurant and it shows. The booths with doors on them were also lovely and quite unique.

Our first entree was mine and I just loved the sound of the smoked pigs cheek. It came with cauliflower velvet, crisp pigs ear and blackberry.

The pigs cheek was beautifully cooked and just fell apart and the crisp crackling-like pigs ear added a lovely contrasting crunch. The blackberry sauce went nicely with its fruity flavour. At $18.00 for each entree you get quality food that is well presented.

Mlady chose the kingfish. It came cooked in squid ink - which she loves - with a side of panfried watermelon (yes it does actually work), pomegranate (including the seeds of course) and coconut. It came nicely presented with a wonderful grouping of flavours that went well together to create a light and refreshing starter. We also had a lovely pinotage from South Africa from the Winery of Good Hope that had great flavour and balance and went well with everything.

I couldn't go past the signature bouillabaisse - its such a great meal on its own! This amazing seafood soup/stew dish had snapper, scampi, scallops, prawns, clams and mussels and came served with warm bread and rouille.

It was full of flavour and there was certainly plenty of seafood there to devour. I loved every mouthful and at $40.00 it was great value for a great meal with great flavours.

Mlady had the joues de veau - or veal jowls. They came served with boudin noir (or blood sausage - black pudding to most of us), minted peas and celeriac with pickled beets. The veal was again delicious and just melted. The celeriac puree went perfectly and the pickled beets were wafer thin and added nice contrast. The dish looked great and tasted the same. At $28.00 it was a good sized serving.

We also had a side of pommes frites - chips - which were so hot and crisp. We ate more than we probably should have! The bread was also nice as well.

Our desserts lived up to the standards set from our previous courses. I had the orange mille feuille - which is normally a vanilla or custard slice - with fois gras and macadamia ice cream.

The mille feuille was decontructed and the combination was beautiful. The unique fois gras and macadamia ice cream went with it perfectly as well. This was a great dessert and cost $16.00.

Mlady had the chocolate terrine - which wasn't a surprise as she loves her chocolate!

It came with honeycomb, milo soil, passionfruit syrup and freeze dried mandarin. It was rich, decadent (as chocolate should be) and she described it as "absolutely yummo".

This dish was again $16.00.

Uncorked is a quality place to dine. The decor has a real wow factor and the food, wine and service is all excellent. If you're looking for somewhere to impress someone on the North Shore you should go here. You wont be disappointed.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Uncorked. Special thanks to Angela Gallagher - Group General Manager of Gallagher Hotel Management for arranging our visit and also to Uncorked Manager Gonzalo for looking after us so capably on the night.

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