Cafe Paci is the creation of Chef Pasi Petanen, former head chef of Marque Restaurant and sits in the old Mexican Taqueria Cafe Pacifico in Darlinghurst. It was originally planned to be a pop-up for 1 year only, but has since extended for an extra 6 months that will end at the end of January 2015 (unless it is extended again?). And for a small price of $85 per person, it is hugely popular!
Fermented rye bread w/molasses & house churned butter
While a couple on the table weren’t too fond of it (score! more for me), I actually found it rather good. Served warm, the middle is moist and doughy with a subtle fennel and yeast flavour, while the crust is chewy, sticky and sweet due to a good brushing of molasses syrup.
Rye bread tacos with sticky rice and egg butter
A homage to its previous occupants this dish was really quite unexpected. The warm buttery filling was velvety soft and rich matching perfectly to the slightly sour rye taco.
Blue swimmer crab, mustard, pickled melon
Interesting to say the least, this was a flavour combo I had never come across before. The pickled melon ribbon was beautifully layered on the bed of creamy crab pieces and had a sweet/sour flavour and slight crunch.
Lamb leg tartar, tartar sauce, kale
Tartare and tartar! Like a delicious surprise, this dish comes covered by the vibrant kale only to be pulled back to reveal layers of crunchy fried bread crumbs, tender raw lamb and home made tartar sauce. A really nice dish.
Mussels parsley potato
Probably my favourite of the night, the mousse of airy and creamy potato puree played host to some very flavoursome muscles and a very well matched parsley sauce.
A great dish with an funny play on words, the Photato was basically a cleverly deconstructed version of the Vietnamese classic Pho. With a slice of rare beef, a minty meaty broth and some chewy enoki mushrooms. But the best part was the amazingly thin potato noodles. The work that must go in to them is pretty damn impressive!
Carrot, yoghurt, liquorice
To tell you the truth I was a bit disappointed when I read that there was liquorice in the palate cleanser, so understandably when the dish was served I was a bit apprehensive.
Spooning through the first layer of creamy yet light yoghurt mouse I found a lovely carrot sorbet sitting on top of a jet black slice of liquorice cake. The sorbet was intensely fresh and pleasant and while the liquorice on its wasn’t my cup of tea, I have to admit I really didn’t mind it mixed with the other ingredients.
Rye ice cream, apple, white beer, cocoa, malt
While the components of this dish may sound a little strange together they really did make for an impressive dessert. Imagine eating cold, sweet bread and apples with milo. So wrong , but actually so right.
Corn and Butter
Popcorn flavoured fairy floss! Two of my favourite treats in one. I think the best part is its mix of sweet and savoury.
Pork and Fennel
Soft pork crackling covered in chocolate and fennel seeds.
Cafe Paci is not your regular fancy dining restaurant. The menu is constantly changed and its only here for a limited time. We weren’t a fan of all the dishes, but for $85, how can we complain?
Level 1, 95 Riley St,
Darlinghurst NSW 2010