I probably shouldn’t say this out loud but, I’m very impressionable.
Thanks to Tomislav Martinovic, I now have a $6,000 Pacojet on my wish list for Christmas. Watch out Mr. Taste!
When I visited Tomislav back in May, I was amazed by his use of ‘crumbs’, ‘ice’ and sorbet to bring his dishes together. The secret to all three came down to the prized Pacojet machine which churns down frozen mixtures into snow like powder.
I was invited back to Tomislav last weekend for a cooking demostration using his three most prized posessions – the siphon cannister, water bath and Pacojet. It was interesting to discover just how big a part these three devices play in Tomislav’s restaurant.
For those that have dined at Tomislav, you would have probably ordered his paper thin rice crackers to start. Tomislav tells us that this gem took seven months of brainstorming and five weeks to develop. In the biggest surprise of the morning, we learn that the rice crackers were just plain old rice paper brushed with egg whites and lightly fried. Genius!
To accompany the rice crackers, Tomislav made a sour cream and chive dip which was light as air – thanks to the siphon cannister which transforms the sour cream dip into a soft puff, which looks very similar to shaving foam.
Texture is very important to Tomislav: he manipulates dishes but not so far that they lose their true composition. He also likes to add new texture to his dishes, standing by his philosophy of ‘substance, not just aesthetics’.
An example is his poached bluefin tuna dish, which features wasabi glaze, soy parsley crumbs and parsley cress. The two textures of parsley works in harmony and creates layered flavour. The bluefin tuna is cooked with olive oil and rosemary in a waterbath for five minutes at 52 degrees. The fish is then brushed with clarified butter to restore moisture, giving the tuna a soft sashimi-like texture with stacks of flavour.
The Pacojet has a hand in most of the desserts and enables Tomislav to create fresh soft serve like sorbets to order. The ice creams are also incredibly light because there is no egg or cream mixture – ingredients are simply combined with a little water and glucose. When put through the Pacojet, the razor discs cut through the ice crystals so finely that they transform into soft cream. Tomislav’s chocolate sorbet, made with 400g chocolate, 150ml of water and glucose, is liquid chocolate in its purest form. Tomislav describes the sorbet as a cold chocolate ganache.
The lemon ice which featured on the oyster entree (and possibly my favourite dish on the menu) is also made by using the Pacojet. Tomislav combines lemon juice, water and sugar to achieve the perfect topping for the freshly shucked oysters.
Another highlight from my first visit to Tomislav was the rhubarb in his cheesecake dessert. Tomislav tells us that the rhubarb is cooked in a waterbath at 70 degrees for two minutes with grenadine, which gives a red candy like colour and flavour.
It is then served with a cheesecake mousse foam topped with cream cheese jelly. These soft rubbery cubes accentuates the cheesiness of the mousse. The dessert is so light and airy, not dense and gooey like most other cheesecakes.
Tomislav will soon be introducing a dessert degustation from 9pm onwards, which includes a dessert isnpired by the Golden Gaytime and a cola slurpie pre-dessert.
2/13 Kirketon Road
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
# 02 9356 4535
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 6.00pm – 10.00pm.