Thursday, March 22, 2018

Woodland house (Prahran - Melbourne) 03/2018

Always elegant, decor is restrained and pleasant, we've eaten here a few times, in 2014, and 2015,

Table settings are simple, glassware and cutlery excellent quality.
Grilled scampi, salted roe, saltbush
Mussels and foie gras
Purple taro feta
Wallaby and pepper berry sable
Spiced sweetbreads with bamboo salt
Unfortunately the sweetbreads were lost with the thick breading and the coriander.
Spanner crab, tomato, kohlrabi, pomelo
Salt baked onion, grilled abalone, smoked oyster
Bread, which was very moorish, was served frequently.
Cape Grimm beef, buttered potato, radish and black salt
It's in there!
Fatty pork, slow baked cabbage, sorrel, black garlic
Mandagery Creek venison,pickled quince, juniper
Beauford cheese, truffle, buttermilk
A salad
Sweet coconut, last of the berries,lemon myrtle pepper
Baked chocolate, treacle ice cream, apricot vinegar

Petit four
Comments: Every dish was a joy to behold, beautifully presented, however some of the taste combinations left a lot to be desired. For me there was a tendency to use too many ingredients and sometimes to overwhelm what should have been the hero of the dish.
Score:14 /20

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Illume (Boat Harbour - NW Tasmania) 02/2018

This cafe has been moved about six months ago, from beachside at Boat Harbour to the Bass Highway, where it operates next to some attractive cottages.

It's an open place 

with clean tiled floors, attractive wooden tables and comfortable chairs, some covered with skins. 

Very suited to functions.
There is also an outside dining space 
with good views.
Decoration is garage sale eclectic and inconsistent.

it has an a la carte menu with a range of pizzas, interesting entrees and fish, meat and vegetarian mains. They have a few specials on a board 
and I was happy to try there corn fritters with lettuce, cauliflower and haloumi fritters with vincotto reduction and chili jam.. 

A very pleasant start.
Striped Trumpeter is a deep sea fish that I have only eaten once before. 
Steamed and presented skin up, though not crisp, it lay on a bed of shredded salad in a curry soup with an accompanying corn rissole, an extremely strange dish.

The fish has a firm white flesh which flakes easily. It is not at all 'fishy' in taste and has an extremely mild flavour.  Too bad there was no spoon on the table.
I skipped the dessert.
 Score:13.25 /20

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Bayviews (Burnie - NW Tasmania) 02/2018

Last time I came here I thought it the best restaurant in NW Tasmania so I was happy to come back for the third time. Unfortunately the wonderful mussels from St.Helens have been struck by illness and are no longer available. They had a special - chilled spanner crab blended with sweet corn chili and fresh herbs with house baked brioche, corn veloute and parsley oil.
It sounded interesting and looked good. unfortunately the complex ingredients did nothing for the crab, the taste of which was almost entirely lost.
Following a palate cleanser 
I had a scotch fillet with a mushroom sauce.
Served with onion rings, potato and beans and almost blue it was a nice dish. 
Slow cooked rolled belly of pork layered sage and five spice with potato, chive and mustard seed croquette, pickled pear, celeriac puree, dehydrated pork crackle, Spreyton pear cider and cassia bark reduction. 
The pork was surprisingly dry.
Steamed vegetables came without dressing or sauce, in a separate small dish

Desserts looked complicated. I had an almond dacquois cake, milk chocolate, butter cream, cream fraiche, brandy macerated cherries, ice cream and hazelnut ganache.
This was quite good but I think the Tasmanian Leatherwood vanilla bean panacotta, pineapple and chili salsa, creme de menthe ganache, honeycomb crumb, tuille and pineapple cream. 
was even better.
Not as good as my previous meals here but still the best restaurant in Burnie.
I think the best way to eat here is to have either the six or the nine course degustation menu.
Score: 13.75/20

Friday, February 16, 2018

Hursey's (Stanley - North West Tasmania) 02/2018

Tasmania is full of incredible scenery and gorgeous little 'villages' or towns mostly very close to the coast and offering outstanding sea and bush views. 
 They also have lots of history and many have plaques in front of some of their more important old buildings.
Stanley is one of those places. 
Thirty years ago the Hursey family, whose fleet fished the west coast of Tasmania, chose to set up a retail fishmongers and a cafe here. After a $1.5 million refurbishment including a second floor the restaurant now seats 100 and seems to be thriving. 
The entry foyer contains large tanks for live fish and lobsters and information about the life cycle of rock lobsters and of some of the fish they serve.
and has a take away food area and fish bar called Kermie's. 

Upstairs, there is also a small lift, there's a small comfortable lounge area 

and the restaurant proper in a large light high ceilinged room 

with views over the wharf

 and water.

A very short walk brings you to the water's edge, 

an aquarium and s heap of lobster pots past their use by date.
Tables, chairs, glassware and crockery are simple and unostentatious.
Decor is also simple with menu information both in hard copy and around the walls.
Lobsters are available, natural, with garlic butter or Mornay. Sashimi too but they need 48 hours notice.

The home made Mornay sauce is excellent and more impressive than the garlic and butter.
For the rest it is a better class of fish restaurant.
 Comments Score: 13.75/20