As we entered through the large doors of Syracuse via a small hidden Melbourne laneway, we could hear the gentle strumming of a guitar. Inside, the interior is a beautiful rendition of a 19th century fine dining room, with ornate archways and chandeliers hanging from their high soaring ceilings. Despite visiting on a Saturday evening, only a handful of tables were occupied by 8pm. We were opting for a lighter meal (to be fair on both my waistline and hip pocket) so we decided upon a few intriguing sharing plates and a couple of wines to converse over.
The first plate we ordered was the Hervey Bay scallop sashimi with yuzu, urchin cream, chicken skin. These delicious little morsels tantalised the tongue with creamy notes and crispy bundles of chicken skin. Unfortunately they were devoured before a decent photo could be snapped.
Next arrived the Wallaby sausage, ordered mainly because wallaby is rarely offered in restaurants. Surrounding the morsels of wallaby was watermelon pickled beetroot and lardo. The beetroots sweetness complemented the dense, peppery sausage quite well.
As you may have noticed, we hardly ever can go past the offering of duck – and our visit to Syracuse was no exception. The smokey rolled pieces of duck breast were served expertly with strawberries, fennel and vanilla, foie gras. The strawberries and vanilla evolved the dish into something quite uniquely border-lining between savoury and sweet – in perfect balance and harmony. The breast was not fatty at all, which is one major qualm I have with most duck dishes, and smoked to near perfection. It would be worth revisiting for just this dish alone.
Syracuse only had one waiter on when we visited which was fine seeing as the restaurant hadn’t filled out. The service was attentive but perhaps a little less hand-holding may have been nice. Syracuse’s’ atmosphere is romantic and we were lucky enough to have our ears entertained by the guitarist incessantly strumming for the duration of our meal. The ‘share’ plates could have been slightly larger (what happened to the rest of the wallaby sausage?). Whilst we probably won’t be rushing back any time soon, we did have a nice experience at Syracuse overall and their wine list is extensive and impressive.