Project Forty Nine is a chic industrial paradise that is off the beaten path of Smith Street. Coming highly recommended by colleagues, I was keen to see what the fuss was about and I was not disappointed at all. Fine dining at its very best!
This is Collingwood’s best kept secret for those in the know how foodies - focussing on high quality produce and a melting pot of flavours. The space is open and airy in a converted warehouse. The homey touches really bring it to life and bring some warmth to the space. Service is extremely friendly and attentive too with a sense of personalisation with every diner.
First course we decided to have was the Pacific Oysters which were perfection. Served naturally, the oysters were fresh, meaty and sweet in flavour. It left my salivating and ready for the next few courses.
Next was the Morton Bay Bugs (Fazzoletti, moreton bay bugs, salmon roe, lavage) which was served on a delicious bed of handkerchief pasta. Perfectly cooked pasta with an al dente texture. The Morton bay bugs were also cooked enough to still be tender and fleshy with a side of char to it as well. The combination of flavours and textures made such an amazing seafood dish with a level of depth that I could’ve only dreamt off. Be sure to ask for some bread to soak up that gorgeous bisque-like sauce!
From entree to mains, we continued on our seafood theme with the Snapper (Snapper, fennel puree, squid ink, olive). Honestly this didn’t live up to the lofty heights of the previous dish. The fish was a tad on the try side but was saved with the abundance of sauce on the plate to liven it up and moisten the flesh. A bit of crunch from the skin and the spices added a bit of oomph to it as well so definitely an above average seafood course that is worth a shot.
Moving back to land, the Corn-fed chicken (Truffle, jerusalem artichoke, candied pear) was a delight to eat with such a moist and succulent preparation of the chicken that basically melted in my mouth. The chicken was also stuffed with my all time favourite ingredient - truffles! I honestly couldn’t fault this dish as it was so well balanced and light considering the large amount of perfectly executed elements on the plate. Artichoke chips - tick, Fresh pear - ticket, Truffle sauce - tick! WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT FROM A DISH?! (the answer is nothing).
As a side we had to get the Potatoes (Potatoes, aioli, ‘Nduja crumbs). We were told that they are the restaurant’s take on Patatas Bravas and boy did it live up to its inspiration. I absolutely loved it. I always get annoyed when eating Patatas Bravas because of the overload of sauce but on this dish the tomato sauce flavour is instead imparted by the crumb which also added a crunch. The potatoes were fluffy and crisp pillows and the aioli just brought a lovely cohesion to it all. Clever dish.
As always I had to end on dessert and what better than a cannoli?! The crispy shell wasn’t too sweet and had slightly gingery and citrusy flavour to it. The addition of pistachio also accentuated that this was a pistachio cannoli. Overall I enjoyed it and was a great end to the meal.
Let’s just say if I knew that this fantastic spot was just behind work for the past 6 months I would be living here day and night! This place is a needle in a haystack to find but once you do you will agree with me that it’s worth the effort. Fine dining at a lower cost and with a genuine care for the quality of food - this place is a gem!
Presentation (5): 5
Taste (5): 5
Service (5): 5
Atmosphere (5): 5