The Emporium

Introducing the newest most beautiful and Instagrammable restaurant ever!
Don't let the familiar logo fool you. It's not to be confused with The Coffee Emporium, albeit the same company, not the same thing. Far from it, in fact.
In an attempt to separate from the brand as a singular unit, The Emporium shatters all your expectations from The Coffee Emporium franchise

The new building located in Phillip Street Parramatta is a gorgeous sight for sore eyes. The Italian villa style building hosts an open and stylish restaurant with the option of both inside or outside dining, with a bakery around the side and piazza adjacent. Outside the restaurant is a beautiful open space with floating gardens and an abundance of flowers and greenery. The inside is just as beautiful and sleek with arches and wooden flooring. The space was maximised to accommodate a good amount of people without sacrificing the comfort and the ambience

The staff had us at hello, seated us in the picturesque garden terrace with gas heaters and blankets to keep away the chill.

The menu is designed to share but isn't restricted to it if you'd rather not get friendly with your companions.

The first thing I noticed was the amazing use of flavours and produce scattered throughout the menu. We made the mistake of considering The Emporium as a cafĂ© but after seeing the menu, we realised it is very much a restaurant, perhaps even a fine dining restaurant. Unbeknownst to us, we had timed our visit in the very early stages of opening so the menu had not yet been finalised (but we would never have known!). Although they didn’t have a kids menu, the staff made commendable efforts to try to accommodate (and tolerate) the one year-old dining with us.

I noticed a couple of things when our dishes hit the table.
The first was that the dishes were plated beautifully and delicately, comparable to the beauty of hatted and starred restaurants. 
The second thing I noticed is the distinct quality of their crockery; from the steak knives to the glasses, it was all beautifully chosen. 

As a side dish we ordered shoe-string fries.
They looked pretty thick cut and not very ‘shoe-stringy’ to me but they were nice and crunchy with a soft centre so they were still delicious. The accompanying black garlic aioli is one of the most delicious dipping sauces I've ever had. I was absolutely addicted to the sauce! It had more depth of flavour than your average aioli and was just packed with deliciousness. 

Grilled Haloumi, charred cucumber, pomegranate and radish
The haloumi had a perfect char to it that added a little bit of a smokey taste to the robust cheese. The cucumber , also charred, added a new dimension to such a fresh vegetable. The radish and pomegranate added a beautiful and delicate freshness and sweetness to the salty cheese. This was a great small platter to start the meal that was packed with simple but beautiful fresh flavours. 
Wild mushroom mozzarella tortelini, charred leek and,hazelnut

The tortellini was a generous size with a good amount of mushrooms packed into such delicate parcels. The pasta was so fresh and soft, cooked with so much respect and love. They were like little presents filled to the brim with earthy wild mushrooms. The charred leek gave an additional flavour and texture to the dish,  perfectly paired to the hazelnut for a well rounded meal.

NZ Scotch fillet (medium) with a medly of mushrooms and kale 
We ordered the steak cooked medium and received it at an absolutely perfect state.
The steak was full of flavour from the smokey char and from the cut of meat itself; very tender and juicy. The medley of mushrooms and kale each added their own texture and complimented the rich bodied meat This dish was absolutely delicious with a nice variety of texture throughout, and it was just so beautifully presented. 

Coconut sago, mango sorbet, grilled pineapple and passionfruit curd
This dessert was a fresh and pleasant surprise on The Emporium menu.
It was bursting with sweetness from the mango sorbet and tartness from the passionfruit curd. The coconut sago added a creamy saltiness to the sweet combination. Grilled pineapple is a deliciously versatile ingredient seen in both savoury and sweet meals. All together the elements have their own unique texture and flavour creating a delicate, unique balance. 

On another occasion, I found myself drawn back to The Emporium for coffee and dessert one evening

The simple affogato was presented beautifully like a potion. The ice-cream was far better than any generic ice cream. It had a nutty taste to it and was smooth and creamy, hitting the spot just right on with the deep rich coffee. 

Ewe's milk yoghurt panna cotta, strawberry gel, pistachio foam
The panna cotta was plated incredibly with that gorgeous wobble that you expect from the very best panna cottas.  It was creamy and melted in your mouth. It wasn’t overloaded with gelatine that some tend to rely on to maintain the shape. The yoghurt was slightly sweet and the tangy strawberry gel brought some zing to the dish. The addition of meringue combined with the pistachio foam and crumb added a full range of texture to the dish.


Overall The Emporium has really brought a new dimension and certainly setting themselves apart from The Coffee Emporium franchise. 

It was exceptional in every aspect - from the staff to the venue to the delicacy and balance of the food. 
As somewhat of a local, I'm proud to see this restaurant uplift the dining scene of Parramatta and I look forward to seeing other people enjoy this venue and the changes and surprises that The Emporium still has to offer. I’ll certainly be back often to find out!

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