Mannequins decorated with delicate silk dresses, retro bicycles and children’s wooden rocking horses fill the window display at Cara and Co. I double-check the address. I look around the level and there are only clothing stores. But then, I notice a menu just beside the glass entrance – the only hint that there is more than just beautiful clothes inside this fashion-filled wilderness.
Walking through the store, upbeat catwalk music and metal clothing racks filled with exquisite garments create quite the entrance and a quick skim of the latest clothing line certainly works up an appetite.
The restaurant’s interior is much like that of the clothing store – it is retro yet modern, cool yet elegant and somehow it works. The lime green glass floor, retro leather seats and regally upholstered chocolate lounge make it feel as though I’m on the set of the Brady Bunch show. I look around, almost expecting Jan and Peter to walk out from the kitchen and play host for the night.
As I peruse the menu, I’m distracted by a flash on the restaurant’s walls. I quickly realise that a high fashion runway show is being projected for diners to watch. At first, this seems odd however, as it grows on me, I realise that it is in fact quite appropriate. Cara and Co is smack, bang in the heart and soul of the glitzy and glamorous Westfield Sydney – one of Australia’s most exclusive and luxury fashion meccas.
As our starter of “I’m too healthy for my soup” arrives, everything that I was thinking about quickly fades away into insignificance. And this is what I love most about the power of food. Pureed jerusalem artichoke and ground hazelnut create the base of the soup however it is the grated granny smith apple, lime and chunks of roasted hazelnut that triumph. Being the first day of Spring, I thought it appropriate to order the lamb. And while the dish is titled “just lamb”, all I have to say is that it is anything but just lamb. A picturesque plate with precisely placed pieces of lamb neck, rib and steak scatter the porcelain-white dish. A subtle pistachio jus is smeared on the side and seasonal root vegetables are sweet and seasoned. Describing it as art on a plate doesn’t do it justice. It doesn’t take into account the intensity of the flavours nor does it account for the intricate textures that dance in your mouth. As I gush over the dish, the waiter can’t help but join in. Excitedly, he tells me, “The flavours are just so real, you can taste every ingredient. The dishes are so complex and yet, the taste is so clean and fresh.” His energy is contagious and I have to agree, Cara and Co is pretty special
Read more about Cara and Co here