Hot List 2009

Restaurant Arras, Sydney

24 Hickson Road

Tel: 61-2-9252-6285

It's only appropriate that Restaurant Arras has a hulking wood staircase hanging off the ceiling—after all, chef Adam Humphrey is turning staid British cuisine on its head. Off-duty chefs and savvy eaters are flocking to this understated spot, where Humphrey serves modernized versions of childhood favorites: roasted scallops are paired with deviled sweetbreads, while a tower of earthy portobello mushroom pieces sits on a row of crisp asparagus. Details like slate slabs instead of plates and a refreshing pre-dessert lychee sorbet come off as fun, not fussy.
Tip: Choose your own petits fours from carts laden with dozens of tarts, cookies, and truffles (entrées, $20–$30).

Hot Table Exclusive: Try chef Adam Humphrey's recipe for "Rack on Black," his take on a classic English dish.

Rack on Black
by Chef Adam Humphrey

"Rack on Black is a native dish of Yorkshire, England, where I am from. It pairs a premium piece of lamb rack with a more peasant element, black pudding. We make everything in-house, and I've developed my own classic black pudding, which has barley, oats, and spices to complement the blood element. The sausage and lamb are roasted together and then served with buttered baby leeks and Boulangère potatoes made with sautéed leeks and lamb gravy. On the side is a date purée that delicately balances the sweet and savory elements of the dish, plus a simple lamb gravy to round it all out."

Note: You can start this recipe the day before

Serves 4

1 skinless chicken breast, diced
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons heavy cream (chilled)
Sea salt, preferably Maldon, and freshly ground pepper
1 short saddle of lamb, boned, with loins removed and trimmed of fat (retain bones and trimmings)
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound blood sausage, roughly chopped
7 ounces caul fat

Mince the diced chicken breast in a food processor with salt and pepper. Slowly add the egg white and then the chilled cream to form a smooth mousse, scraping down the sides regularly. If necessary, pass the chicken mousse through a fine sieve to remove any sinew. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.

Remove the lamb from the fridge and bring it to room temperature. Blot dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy pan over moderate heat and add one tablespoon of the butter. Sear the lamb until it is brown all over. Let cool slightly before covering it and chilling in refrigerator.

Remove the mousse from the fridge. In a food processor, mix the chopped black pudding and four tablespoons of the chicken mousse until well combined.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Lay a square of caul (enough to wrap the lamb) on a cutting board and spread a thin layer of the black pudding mix on top. Place the chilled lamb at the nearest edge of the black pudding and roll to wrap the lamb completely in the mix and caul. Then wrap the bundle tightly in plastic wrap and chill it for ten minutes.

Remove the wrapped lamb from the fridge and steam it on the stovetop. To do this, place the lamb in a shallow dish inside a large pot of boiling water. (You want the water to come about halfway up the lamb "roll.") Cover and steam for three minutes. Then unwrap the lamb and sear it about a minute on each side, or until brown all over. Transfer the lamb to a deep glass dish and discard any rendered fat.

Roast the lamb in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees. Then transfer it to a cutting board and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

Potato-Leek Boulangère

Reserved lamb bones and trimming
8 cups veal stock
3 leeks, washed thoroughly
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
5 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
Sea salt, preferably Maldon, and freshly ground pepper

For the gravy, first preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roast the lamb bones and trimmings on a baking sheet until brown, about 20 minutes. Discard any fat. Cut off the dark green parts of the leeks, and place them in a deep saucepan with veal stock and roasted bones and simmer gently for one hour, skimming regularly. Reserve in a pot for later use.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut off the root of the leeks so only the white remain. Quarter the whites lengthwise and then slice them, crosswise, thinly.

On low heat, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the chopped leeks. Cook until soft, season with a little salt and pepper, and then drain on a cloth.

Thinly slice the potatoes and arrange them in a single layer at the bottom of a buttered 8-by-11 inch (or similar sized) ovenproof dish, overlapping slightly. Season the layer of potatoes with salt and pepper, and then spread them with one third of cooked leeks. Drizzle some the lamb gravy on top of that, and then repeat this process twice, or until all the potatoes are used. Reserve the remaining gravy.

Tightly cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 1 hour or until the potato doesn't resist a knife.

Date Purée and Buttered Baby Leeks

2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
3/4 cup fresh dates or 10 ounces pitted dried dates
1 lemon, juiced
12 baby leeks or small leeks, trimmed (roots and dark green tops removed) and washed thoroughly
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and fresh-ground pepper

In a saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer and then add the dates, cooking until very soft (about 10-20 minutes for fresh dates; 30 minutes for dried dates). Once the dates are cooked, purée in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and one tablespoon of the lemon juice. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and set aside.

Slice the leeks crosswise. In a sauté pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently until soft. Season with salt and pepper.

Assembling the dish

You'll need a large platter to plate the dish. First spread the date purée on the bottom of the plate. Next, spoon the baby leeks on top of the puree. Slice the lamb and season with a little salt. Arrange the lamb slices on top of the puree and leeks. Spoon lamb gravy over the platter. Serve the potatoes on the side, with additional gravy if desired.

Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

My Concierge.com


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