LuMi is one of those fine dining restaurants you can return to time and time again, and we’ve done just that. In fact, it is one of our favourite fine dining restaurants in Sydney. The chefs here combine two of our favourite cuisines, Japanese and Italian in a delicious fusion of ingredients and techniques.
Situated on the wharf in Pyrmont, across the road from the Star Casino, it is in a quaint little spot by the water. LuMi restaurant is pretty much a glass box, which provides for some nice setting with water views, with luminescence of tea lights from within, and from the Neon lights from the casino dancing and reflecting off the water’s surface. The setting also adds to the dining experience, as most dishes are seafood based.
We dined on a Wednesday night as a group of five, celebrating a friends Birthday and were seated in a booth. The booth always makes for a comfortable setting when dining out. The restaurant was full which is a good reflection of this quality restaurant and its ongoing popularity. The restaurant caters to a number of couples out for an intimate dining experience, and like us, a number of groups catching up for a special occasion.
The meal started with a tuna tartare in sweet potato crisp and is in a cone shape, much like a Japanese hand roll. A tasty morsel with some nice contrasting textures.
We all loved the Jerusalem Artichoke crisp with Swiss Brown mushrooms.
Next up was a Chawamushi: a cold Japanese version of pea and ham soup, made with a parma ham base.
This had a savoury custard of spanner crab a beautiful textural dish with a silky mouth feel and plenty of umami.
Then there is the Japanese staple, sushi. This was sushi with an Italian twist, with Tasmanian sea urchin roe, nori and an Italian cheese that we didn’t quite get the name of. This to be eaten in one mouthful. The roe had a lovely creamy texture and that decadent sweet seafood flavour.
Next is a fan favourite, one everyone raves about when visiting LuMi and why it has cemented itself on their menu. The Bread, yes the Rye and spelt Brioche and koji (fermented rice) butter with onion powder. The Brioche has a flakey outer crust and pillow soft centre. The texture reminds us of a delicious croissant. Quite possibly the best bread you will ever eat.
Then there is a tasty vegetable based dish of Asparagus, macadamia milk, roasted macadamias and golden raisins. The asparagus has a nice crispness and anything macadamia is always a positive.
The Snapper civiche comes with jalepeno shiso oil, celery and mint. A nice palate cleanser. Super fresh, the jalepeno flavour very apparent, but they have magically made the heat disappear.
The Ravioli with slow cooked pork and fennel is a standout dish. This is a classic flavor combo magnified, with the addition of candied orange, this adds a nice delayed flavour kick. They get so much flavour in to those little parcels. They are literally a flavour bomb that explodes in your mouth.
The hapuku, making for an incredible fish dish, a nice white flakey flesh, that literally melts in your mouth. This is served with a delicious creamy barley, koji(fermented rice) and pickled kohlrabi. The candied orange peel also makes another appearance, providing a flow on effect to the menu.
Another substantial dish is the Smoked quail, Lumi serving up different parts of the bird, including the leg with feet on, giving this dish a rustic Italian feel. The quail is accompanied by a sweet roasted baby beetroot and an earthy yellow beetroot puree.
Yum dessert! Sudachi is a Japanese citrus highlighted in this dish. Coming out with an amazing roasted white chocolate crisp. Some kaffir lime powder, adds familiarity to intensity of the sour citrus flavour of the sudachi semifreddo. This provides an interesting contrast to the caramelised white chocolate crisp.
Liquorice is always polarising, you either love it or hate it. For a hater, a liquorice dish was something we were not looking forward too. However, the Liquorice meringue was suprisingly pretty nice. For the most part, the liquorice mousse provides a lovely creamy texture with a unique sweet tartness, which, combined with coconut ice cream and a passionfruit sauce worked together for a harmony of flavours.
This meal finished with what seemed to be a simple Frangipani, kombu, pineapple cake. It looked pretty with piped butter cream on top.
One of the party isn’t a huge fish eater and LuMi adapted the menu to suit, with primarily vegetarian dishes and the beef dish for the main. It was extremely suitable and we were happy for the adaptions.
The service was professional and unobtrusive, they did a good job of delivering the meals to the table.
In all, a great degustation, with great technique on display from the open kitchen and on the plate. Japanese and Italian might be a. odd couple, like Arnie and Danny Devito in twins, but it also works. Lumi cleverly combines both in harmony and providing sophisticated, thought provoking dining experience.
LuMi Bar & Dining
56 Pirrama Road Pyrmont