Welcome to The Wine Library, a small restaurant/bar located on Oxford Street in Woollahra. This was a first for us, we never ventured out to this area previously let alone attempt to catch the bus in the city during peak hour... so it was definitely an experience. You will definitely not miss this place, their shopfront is completely glass and the luminous red lights from the bar shine straight through to the street. You might think (as we did) "It's so dark and red!".. admittedly we were more worried about how to capture pictures but luckily there is a a very romantic and intimate dining area at the back, perfect for first dates. We ordered the below tapas style dishes to share.
Sweet Potato Crisps
These potato crisps were super crunch and surprisingly light. We were expecting something to come out dripping in oil, but these were quite enjoyable to snack on while we waited for the real food!
Mushroom and Truffle Arancini with Proscuitto
We are used to the typical tomato based arancini but appreciate when a restaurant adds their very own unique spin on a much loved favourite. The Wine Library used a blend of mushroom and truffle to create an arancini ball so tasty, Matt couldn't even resist, even with his long history of neglecting mushroom. The mushroom and truffle was diced into small pieces, and the aroma of the truffle definitely took charge. There was no sauce with this, which we found odd. However there was enough flavour, including the saltiness from the parmesan and prosciutto.
Black Truffle and Stracchino Quesadilla
We have never tasted Stracchino cheese before so we were excited and it's always exciting to try out new food (especially CHEEEEEESE). This quesadilla, while it doesn't look like anything special, is apparently The Wine Library's most popular dish. The tortilla was mildly sweet and the cheese had a very mild, yet creamy texture so while it was full of cheese, it didn't take the spotlight away from the hero of the dish, the truffle.
Braised Lamb Shoulder, Tomato, Chickpeas and Fresh Herbs
The winner by unanimous decision for best dish of the evening was the braised lamb shoulder. All the elements of this dish truly made for a memorable dish as they seem to each work so well in unity. When you ask for braised lamb, you expect something like this to be presented in front of you. Meat that literally falls apart, and yet is boasting with the flavours of the sauce that it has just been slowly cooking in for the preceding hours.
You know what, I lie.. the elements would most likely not go well with this dish if it wasn't for the flavour impact f the sauce which was literally dripping off the lamb.
Pasticciata, Braised Duck, Polenta and Parmesan
When Christie saw a dish containing polenta, she quickly jumped at the chance to enjoy polenta, and what a better way to do it then with braised duck and parmesan.. literally two of our favourite foods. Once again, this dish was packing with flavour. While this dish majorly consists of polenta (which can be quite bland if on it's own), the balance of duck, parmesan and polenta on each mouthful was perfect. That said, while the flavours were all on point, the duck was not evident at all - almost non existent. We can only speculate that the braising effect almost blended the duck with the sauce on top, and thus the reason for the amazing taste combination.
Thank you again Zomato for the voucher to dine at The Wine Library.