9 | 2.5 | 2.5 | 2
- One of the best restaurants in Sydney
- Creative, yet intimately familiar food
- No miss dishes
- The beautifully elegant design and view
- Menu does not vary enough between seasons
- Desserts is a (relative) weak point
- Beetroot, Black Sesame, Goat Cheese
- Agnolotti, Tomato, Caper Dashi
- Evergreen, Sorrel Sorbet, Lemon Basil Granita, Mint Meringue, Shiso Jelly, Parsley
TL;DR – LuMi Bar and Dining takes Italian food to the next level through thoughtful and masterful Japanese influences. At only $105 for an 8 course degustation, LuMi Bar and Dining is not only one of Sydney’s best restaurants but one of the best value for money restaurants as well.
Agnolotti with Tomato Dashi. Italian or Japanese?
Those who know me, or have read my A Tavola review, will know that my two favourite cuisines are Japanese and Italian. And while on paper they could not be more different, scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find that their similarities run deep.
While Asian cuisine is built around flavour, and French cuisine is built around technique, Japanese and Italian cuisine are united in that they are built around an almost religious reverence for tradition, ingredients, and simplicity. Perhaps the only thing more fiercely guarded than a Japanese shokunin’s recipe for sushi rice, is an Italian Nonna’s recipe for ragu.
And though they both take very different approaches – Italians cook with feel and passion, while Japanese cook with discipline and precision – the end result is the same. Both pasta and sushi are the ultimate embodiment of “less is more”, a phrase more often touted than practiced. Few people in this world can do as much with five ingredients as the Italians but the handful of people who can are Japanese.
It’s for these reasons that LuMi Bar and Dining, a Japanese influenced Italian restaurant, is one of the best restaurants in Sydney.
But for this wonderful marriage to work, you need a culinary genius at the helm. One who not only has exemplary experience in Western cuisine (Noma, the Best Restaurant in the World in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014, and Attica, the Best Restaurant in Australia), but also Japanese cuisine (RyuGin Tokyo, 3 Michelin Star). Federico Zanellato is just that man, his experience allowing him to synthesise the two cuisines into one, taking the best of both cuisines and elevating it towards perfection with precision and passion.
What’s most impressive though is how “right” the food tastes. Make no mistake, this is not fusion – the food at LuMi is so well-executed that you can not tell it draws influences from multiple cuisines. It’s entirely new, yet beautifully familiar. It feels cohesive, like a cuisine that has been passed down several generations – like an Italian Nonna’s recipe for ragu…or a Japanese shokunin’s recipe for sushi rice.
That beautifully elegant design. LuMi is Italian for small lights.
Photo credit – lumidining.com
As LuMi Bar and Dining feature a seasonal 8 course degustation menu (3 and 5 course degustations also available for lunch), I haven’t included lengthy tasting notes on each dish. Dishes you get will likely be similar in style, but with different ingredients depending on what’s fresh and in season. I will say this though –
- LuMi Bar and Dining is one of the best restaurants in Sydney
- There were no miss dishes. Every dish was consistently well conceived and executed. I’ve only experienced this one other time before
- At $105, it is easily one of the best value for money fine dining restaurants out there
- If the Beetroot, Black Sesame, Goat Cheese or the Evergreen dessert is on the menu, go running
Snacks – Cucumber, Burnt Mushroom Butter, Yoghurt, Roe (8.5/10)
Snacks – Foie Gras, Biscuit, Jam (9/10)
Snacks – Tempura Mussel, Aioli (7/10)
Bread with Burnt Butter Mascarpone
Parmesan Chawanmushi, Tomato Dashi (8/10)
Tuna, Stracciatella, Tomato, Perilla Oil (6.5/10)
Beetroot, Black Sesame, Goat Cheese (9.25/10)
Agnolotti, Tomato, Caper Dashi (9.25/10)
Tagliolini, Moreton Bay Bug, Kumquat, Lemon Thyme (8.25/10)
Lamb, Red Miso, Heirloom Carrot, Lime Kosho (7.5/10)
Strawberry, Yoghurt, Mountain Pepper (8/10)
Fennel Pollen, Frozen Coconut, Rhubarb (7.5/10)
So fellow foodies, what’s your favourite fine dining restaurant in Sydney?