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“You must have dessert”
Review of Universal - CLOSED

Cuisines: Australian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Neighborhood: Darlinghurst
Reviewed December 2, 2012

This place was recommended to my partner from his colleague, and it was worth the trip. We went on a busy Friday night, with a 9:30pm booking, but came early, around 8:30pm to try and get a table earlier, had a cocktail in the bar, and were still seated shortly after 9:00pm...very accomodating. Once seated, the service was rather slow, but our server was very informative and knowledgable. It is really designed to be a do-it-yourself degustation, where you pick 3 or so plates to try...we were not that hungry so we shared 3 plates between the two of us, and each had the dessert. You have to have the Gaytime Goes Nuts dessert; a deconstructed version of sorts of the Golden Gaytime Aussie candy bar. It was fabulous. The cheeky waiter who brought dessert asked, "Are you boys having a Gaytime?....and how about for dessert?" The food courses were full of flavor, and you really get the Indian infuences in some of the spice pairings from the chef. It is a unique space...kinda look like eating in someones garage. Aside from the smokers on the patio, it was a good experience, and would return. I think it would be fun to come back with 6-8 people and share the dishes all around.

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Thank 160AdamH160
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (111)
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24 - 28 of 111 reviews

Reviewed November 19, 2012

I'm not going to lie. The only reason my girlfriends and I made a reservation at Universal was to try the Gaytime Goes Nuts dessert that we had seen on Masterchef Australia.
Our reservation was on a Friday night where the convivial atmosphere was a good mix of business folk along with sociable family and friends out for the evening. Given this was our first Christine Manfield dining experience, the waitstaff duly advised that three (savoury) courses would be adequate followed by a dessert.
Each course arrived in order of menu listing and were sized between an entree and a main, although I found them to be erring more on the entree size. Whilst I was super impressed with each dish in both flavour and edible design, I couldn't help but feel overcharged.
As the desserts of 3 x Gaytime Goes Nuts descended on the table so did the silence - this truly was one of the most gorgeous and sublime desserts I have ever eaten, so much so, that I was going to order a second helping until the waiter made an 'oink oink' remark in my direction......
For the three of us, our final bill came to $508. This included four cocktails, an $82 bottle of wine, three savoury courses each, one dessert each and two coffees - make up your own mind, but I thought this was a bit of a sting given that I was borderline between hungry and 'only just' content when we left.

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Thank harryandlloyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2012

Universal was the venue for the launch of Penguin Lantern's new food title, "My Greek Island Home" by Claire Lloyd recently - I was lucky enough to be invited by Lyndey Milan who was supporting the Greek theme with dual sales of her wonderful " Taste of Greece"

Christine Manfield created a menu styled from both - Claire's recipes from Lesvos, where she lives and Lyndey's from the Peleppones ( you may have seen her series on SBS)

Seriously stunning adaptations in true Manfield style A Mezza plate of loulouthia (zuchinini and feta fritters), chargrilled octopus and skordalia, and a haloumi, fennel and orange salad. Followed by grilled swordfish, eggplant relish and spinach puree. Followed by one of the best dessserts I've ever, ever tasted. Titled "honey cream, lemon curd, strawberries, toasted almonds' it was as light as a feather and sweet/sour. Fingers crossed it stays on the menu!

The accompanying Greek wines were light and delicious, the repartee from Claire and Lyndey entertaining and warm. People had travelled from Melbourne and Bathurst just to attend -testimony to the talents of two terrific chef/authors. Claire's recipes are woven into telling her story of life on Lesvos with stunning visuals.

Bravo Chris! An new Greek culinary Ambassador!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2012

First time at Universal today. I have most of Christine's cookbooks so had a fair idea what to expect. I was not disappointed.

A short menu had a good variety of flavours on offer. Each dish is entree sized but presented more like a small main. More filling than they look. You need to hunt around to get a bit of everything on your fork and then enjoy the tastes of the whole. We started with two dishes each. Then went to a third and felt pretty full. The dessert menu convinced us we could somehow fit that in too.

Everything we had was great. Kingfish and eel lovely. Pork Belly had interesting textures, sliced through the crisp edge and into the soft meat, in a broth of mushrooms. Not too fatty. Fabulous.The "gaytime goes nuts" dessert was an absolute triumph.

Service was friendly and helpful. The somelier particularly was obviously into his wines. The matching glasses was the way to go. Even the beer selection is interesting.

This is not a cheap eat but it is offering something a little different and the quality and originality is top notch. Highly recommended.

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Thank bska59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2012

We had a few different dishes at Universal. They were ok, I will not return but I am happy that i have tried it.

Thank mi0soer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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