Our entree selections were two in number: the grilled lambs tongue, sweetbreads, Jerusalem artichoke puree, pickles ($23) and the crisp and smoked duck, goats cheese, mandarin, seaweed and wasabi leaf ($24).
Although offal is a somewhat confronting idea to most people - self included - the tongue was deliciously tender and the sweetbreads (a great euphemism for the thymus or pancreas) had a lovely creamy texture. My sister, G, who has no qualms with offal, was a huge fan.
For mains, we ordered the wild barramundi, tempura calamari, heirloom carrots, burnt carrot puree ($36) and the anise roasted kingfish, sake steamed clams, heart of palm salad ($35).
The star of the night however, was the lamb shoulder to share - 'cooked for a very long time' and served with shiso mint sauce and rosemary jus ($81).
Q: How long is 'a very long time'?
A: Twelve hours at ninety degrees. (!)
Some kind of magic must happen in those twelve hours: the meat fell cleanly from the bone with the lightest fork prod, and was juicy, melt in the mouth and incredibly tender. Unfortunately, the shoulder was carved before I could capture its pristine, untouched state, but you'll have to believe me when I say it was a truly a thing of beauty. The sides of green beans with a miso dressing and beer battered chips and mayonnaise were a lovely touch.
With the table cleared of mains, I fulfilled a long-held dream of mine: to address the waiter, dessert menu in hand, and say in an offhand tone, 'We'll have one of everything'. Okay, so I lie - I was far too excited (yes, I really am that nerdy with my dessert), but I think our waiter was just as enthusiastic.
From top to bottom: nashi pear cheesecake crumble, poached rhubarb, vanilla ice cream ($16); cup of 'green tea' - green tea custard with flecks of tea, a thin layer of green tea custard, green tea sorbet and served with sugar encrusted cubes of bread ($16); hot chocolate pudding, toasted sesame ice cream ($16); chocolate and kinako truffles ($6); and my favourite of the night, shochu roasted jumbo camerosa strawberries, crisp meringue, cardamom cream ($16). The cup of 'green tea' was texturally complex, but well executed, and the most subtle flavour-wise, while the kinako - soybean flour - provided a nutty, slightly salty contrast to the chocolate.
Tank is one of those places worth saving the pennies for when a special occasion comes around - the venue is edgy but inviting, the waiters friendly and knowledgeable and the food is elegant and thoughtful. A tip though, if (or more correctly, when) you order the lamb shoulder, keep in mind the serving size is generous - enough to make three people deliriously happy, excepting adolescent carnivores.
Tank Restaurant & Bar
North Quarter Lane, Ground Floor, Santos Place,
31 Tank Street
31 Tank Street