Robb Review: Métisse, Potts Point, Sydney
Taking a food as art approach, the new degustation is a visual feast—fortunately, the gustatory experience is more than able to hold its own.
In a time when Australian offerings of upscale culinary experiences are all too often accompanied by assurances of a certain unpretentiousness and a white tablecloth-free experience, Métisse returns the ‘fine’ to fine dining. Though don’t worry, there still aren’t any white tablecloths here — located in an art deco building on Roslyn Street in Potts Point, the restaurant takes on an intimate, opulent tone defined by high ceilings, moody lighting (by way of a sculptural Muriel Cloud Chandelier crafted from hand-blown glass), contemporary décor, and monochromatic marble tabletops.
Helmed by owner and executive chef Opel Khan (his daughter Lucinda takes charge of the kitchen as head chef), the culinary experience at Métisse is akin to edible art.
Meaning ‘mixed race’ in French, the name Métisse is an apt one; speaking to Khan’s Bangladeshi-Australian heritage as well as his avant-garde approach to French cuisine. Fusing unconventional gastronomic techniques with childhood memories of spice, and adding artful arrangement into every step of the process, each dish acts as both a visual and gustatory offering.
Delivered with white-gloved service, the recently introduced The Luxury menu (vegan and vegetarian options available), complete with optional wine pairings, puts Khan’s experimental culinary style on display.
An amuse bouche—served after a rose-infused finger bowl is presented to diners—of caviar and white truffle custard is arranged atop oyster-shaped porcelain objets d’art and expertly presented with liquid nitrogen at the table, suffusing the dish in a cool cloud of smoke. A potentially blasphemous take on the macaron sees the French favourite infused with green peas and brought to the start of the menu, while an airy savoury marshmallow hunts at the whimsy that defines the Métisse experience.
A palette cleansing herbal bone—mushroom for the vegetarians—broth later and the pièce de resistance is served. Perhaps the most notable dish on the menu, the ‘Mosaique’ embodies the food as art approach of the restaurant. Composed of bluefin tuna, ocean trout, and kingfish, it’s styled to look like stained mosaic glass, with the ‘vegetable carbon’ fusing each piece of fish together made from unused vegetable parts.
The focus on sustainability is a constant across the menu—elsewhere, fermented daikon and a salt-crusted celeriac tart are dressed in a jus made from pumpkin. And, for all the grandeur and emphasis on fine fine dining, Khan is far from unreachable. Greeting diners and circulating among the tables throughout the night, he’s always happy to provide insights into the inspiration behind each item on the menu.
The ‘Fruits de Mer’ is also a highlight; impossibly soft confit salmon is paired with sea scallops, prawns, and octopus carpaccio, each kept deliberately simple to showcase the quality of the seafood.
An avant-garde—yet decidedly satisfying—take on French cuisine, Métisse offers Sydneysiders a reason to ditch the flip flops, pull on some actual dress shoes, and experience a dining experience with a welcome side of gravitas.
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