Milsons Restaurant

17 Willoughby Street, Kirribilli

Now living in Kirribilli we’re on the look out for good local eating and Milsons looks the only player if you don’t feel like Asian. We’d been here before when we’d organised a family meal prior to getting married. I think the size of that bill, paying for 20 people had scared me off for a while, but the quality of food was good and so we needed to give it another go.

They were able to fit us in at short notice on a friday night. It’s a gutsy menu giving a full range of modern Australian food with the obligatory Asian twist (you can’t get away from it).

I’ve noticed a trend of where entrees are becoming mini versions of main courses, with an ever increasing price to match. There’s clearly a pyschological thing going on here where people choosing a restaurant based on price only look at the cost of main courses. (We were told they had reduced their prices). So whereas the cost of mains are at a very reasonable $30, entrees are only $8 less so the meal is not going to be as cheap as you think. However in the case of Milsons you do get what you pay for with decent ingredients to match.

Starting off, my entree did represent pretty good value for money and did not disappoint:

Belly of pork with stir fried scallops, shitake mushrooms & vietnamese dressing. I’d happily have eaten this as a main course. It’s a bit of blokes dish – fatty unctuous meat with a touch of finesse on the side and some good acid to cut through it. As always the crackling is a little tough to get through and deters many, but i persevere. I like it.

My wife plumbed for the special of a cauliflower soup (I think) studded with four marron tails.

Again no slacking on the portion size, but it was a pretty refined creamy soup and the tails were well cooked. I was only able to get the briefest of mouthfuls, so it must have been good.

We went a little retro with our main courses. It was friday night, so following the tradition of my upbringing I went for the black angus beef with chilli tomato jam, cavalo nero & stacked potatoes (kind of dauphinoise).

It was quite a mighty dish. I don’t think I was even able to finish it. The beef was a touch on the rare side, but it didn’t matter. It was just a bold dish, let down only by the chilli jam which was overly aggressive and a touch unnecessary. The potatoes more than made up for it, with excellent yielding crispness. It was an ideal plate of food for friday night.

My wife went for Kurabota pork loin with a saute’ of savoy cabbage and bizarrely sweet corn and peas:

Again this was a dish that lacked a bit of subtlety, it was essentially meat on a plate. None the worse for it, but a little challenging. The pork, importantly was on the pink side, so it was still pretty succulent – which you don’t often get. I’m not entirely sure the peas & sweetcorn were a welcome addition. Perhaps there are some things that are best left in the 70s/80s….

We were too full to tackle dessert, being defeated by the sizeable dishes we had received. We enjoyed our meal and thought this a good neighbourhood restaurant to return to. It’s not a place for every night. Although the mains are good value, the overall bill does mount up a bit. But the cooking is certainly competent, it’s just a question of how refined you like your food.


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