I was still a bit out of it yesterday, but my brother had invited us for lunch at his girlfriend Linda’s new restaurant, Pyrama, and I can always be tempted out for a good meal. It was another gorgeous, jewel-like Sydney winter day and we headed down to shop 1, 56 Harris Street, Pyrmont.
Pyrama is almost at the end of Harris Street, just as the hill slopes down to the water. It’s nestled in amongst new blocks of flats and old workers’ cottages and wintry trees and a glimpse of sparkling water, perched over a dramatic cutting in the sandstone for the light rail track. It’s a really interesting spot, quiet but villagey. It seemed the perfect place to be on a bright winter’s morning.
It’s always wonderful to hang out with Nic. But it was especially great to see Linda in her restaurant, obviously so proud and excited that Nic had brought his family. She and her brother Jim (who is the chef) have been working towards the launch for a long time, and have put a lot of effort into making it a great space with a really relaxed, friendly ambience and food that perfectly suits the setting. It’s unpretentious but delicious fare, not trying to be fancy, but doing simple things well, allowing the top-notch ingredients and the expertise of its staff to shine.
We sat outside, drenched in sunlight, each of us sporting our huge sunglasses. Nic and I both need to get more sunlight (me for my depression, him for some horrid skin thing he’s gotten), so it was therapeutic too. Linda’s mum and sister were also there, so it felt very congenial to stroll into this slick new restaurant and already be ‘regulars’, knowing the other regulars. But I watched the small team of staff and although they were, of course, very friendly and chatty with us (being connected to the owner) they were pretty much the same with everyone who walked in, which is great.
And I had the most tender, light and melt-in-the-mouth calamari with harissa aioli I’ve ever had (I think I need to change my standard line from “I don’t eat seafood” to “I don’t eat prawns or oysters” because I quite like calamari and some shellfish. So there you go, this one dish has converted me).
Then my favourite part of any meal, dessert. It was hard to decide, so I promised Linda I’d start at the top of the menu and work my way down it each time I came to eat there. So the top of the list – ‘The original’ Belgian white chocolate creme brulee with passionfruit coulis.
Ohhh. Aside from the one I had in Paris recently, I can safely say this was the best creme brulee I’ve ever had (and the Parisian one had extra points because of its location of course). Silky smooth, rich but not heavy, with a perfectly formed and satisfying sugar crust.
Of course Linda is the consummate perfectionist, so she’s never going to be happy with the restaurant and is always going to be tweaking things to improve them, which is as it should be I think. But I think she and Jim should be very proud of what they’ve created so far!
So go on a sunny winter’s morning and sit in the courtyard outside (when I go there for dinner I’ll let you know how that was, but I’m pretty confident to say it’d be fantastic for dinner too). Eat well and enjoy. You won’t be sorry!