Annata is a sleek addition to the Crows Nest dining scene – it’s a restaurant and bar that wouldn’t look out of place over the bridge in Surry Hills and the stylish modern Australian dishes on the menu back up that impression. Our expectations were set high when we visited on a Saturday night, especially since it was a full house – we had to weave past the bar and cosy high tables at the front to head upstairs to where there were more tables in the long, narrow space decorated mostly with dark wooden elements and furniture.
We kicked off our meal with a few Coffin Bay Pacific Oysters, served with an interesting pickled black fungus that gave it a refreshing, acidic hit to bring out the freshness of the juicy oysters.
Coffin Bay Pacific Oyster, pickled black fungus, $4 each
We can never resist a good Burrata and Annata’s rich creamy rendition didn’t disappoint (although it was hidden under a radicchio leaf), with an intriguing hazelnut crumble giving it an almost dessert-like vibe that was brought back to its savoury roots with the addition of hen egg.
Burrata, hazelnut crumble. hen egg, balsamic, radicchio, $15
Next up, we tried the seared Yellowfin Tuna, which sounded delicious paired with dollops of black garlic, corn puree, bacon and dashi, but we found that the flavours didn’t quite jump out as much as we thought they would from each of those elements, though the tuna had been seared well.
Yellowfin Tuna, Corn Puree, Bacon, Dashi, Black Garlic, $22
The Quail Breast was cooked well and served on a bed of soft spelt grain, but we felt it needed more punchy elements to lift it in the flavour stakes.
Quail breast, Miso, Spelt Grain, Sorrel, Jus, $24
From the mains, we went with the Hiramasa Kingfish which came on top of a mound of crispy puffed wild rice, which was great as a textural element, but we weren’t fans of the turmeric caramel and pickled ginger that it was paired with.
Hiramasa Kingfish, Puffed Wild Rice, Turmeric Caramel, Pickled Ginger, $32
Annata is a chic space that brings a slice of city dining to the lower North Shore that we enjoyed, but while there are a few strong starters and interesting ingredients on the menu, we felt that the modern Australian offering was a bit of a hit and miss for our visit.