This is a quintessential Sydney experience, dining at Universal with one of Australia's most famous chefs. It's also an original experience: I don't know of any other restaurant that is doing a DIY Degustation. They recommend that you order 3 savouries and 1 dessert, and I'd recommend that you do a matching wine with each (they've been awarded and recognised for their wine list and matching!). What's really special with Christine Manfield's cooking is her spices, often Asian-influenced but fused to a Modern Australian dish. They're flavours bold and clear. The dishes are multi-component but not fussy, a delight of texture and flavour. I loved the baked fish with chermoula, the crispy sticky rice cakes with duck egg topped with a green mango salad (and sweet-sour spices), the duck, the pork belly. Well, we loved it all. My favourite though was roquefort mousse served with a sweet thick Spanish sherry (Manfield is famous for her desserts). Wow. But here's the rub. She's closing the restaurant at the end of April 2013. So get in quick. Lovely service as well, by the way, the right mix of friendly and efficient.
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