Thursday, September 23, 2010
We started things off with a bottle of ‘Josef Chromy 2008 Pepik Sparkling’ this lively little drop from Tasmania is a recent favourite of Buggles & Squeak’s, having first sampled it at Bloodwood a few months back. It has a delicate flavour with a hint of citrus to it, it goes down very easy.
The menu is quite extensive and very heavy on the seafood, in fact if you aren’t partial to seafood (and I’m not) there is not a whole lot of other options (if you're vegetarian they may whip up a nice vegetable tempura for you).
However, if you love seafood in all its varied forms, you will love this restaurant.
To the entrees….
If there are oysters on the menu then my mum can’t say no.... and sure enough she couldn’t say no here.
She ordered a selection of Coffin Bay, Merimbula, Saint Helens and Pambula Oysters, half a dozen arrived freshly shucked on ice with eschallot vinegar. She enjoyed them, but said they were not as good as the legendary Coffin Bay Oysters she once sampled at The Summit.
My sister ordered the Crisp Smoked trout & Green Mango Salad with Thai basil, sliced eschallots and birds eye chilli.
This went down a treat. The smoked trout was very crispy & not too strong in flavour and the Thai salad was a very light, flavoursome & worthy accompaniment.
Buggles predictably decided on the Sashimi of Salmon, Tuna and Kingfish with wasabi, pickled ginger and soy dipping sauce.
Buggles is a massive fan of sashimi and this was good, very good… however Buggles enjoyed her sashimi at Monkey Magic much more.
As previously mentioned I am not a fan of seafood so I ordered the Steak Tartare with matchstick potatoes.
This arrived topped, of course, with raw egg yolk and it was spectacular. The matchstick potatoes were delicious & added a nice crunch to the otherwise silky smooth tartare…..really, really good. Was it as good as the Steak tartare from The Bentley?....no, but what ever is??
And to follow, mains….
My mum and Buggles ordered the Barramundi, thick chips and tartare sauce served with mushy peas.
The Barramundi fillet was thick, well cooked with a very light batter that wasn’t oily at all. Both mum & Buggles can struggle with a too dense & oily batter, so this was perfect for them. The chips were thick, light & fluffy & mum was particularly taken with the mushy peas. Success!
My sister chose Bourride of Salted Cod, Snapper, John Dory, Vongole and King Prawns a classic Provencal fish stew thickened with aioli, served with a crouton spread with harissa.
She found the aioli was smooth and creamy – very nicely balanced and not overpowering on the garlic. The salted cod gave the dish a little flavour kick and worked well with the other fish. The king prawns were delicious and sweet and the vongole just melted into everything. The tiny crouton with harissa, suited her just fine as she is not a huge harissa fan. All round delicious.
I love a good piece of beef, so whenever it is on a menu I find it very hard to ignore. The beef at Rick Stein’s sounded divine.
Fillet of Black Angus Beef with pommes coq d’or, kale, confit garlic and Marchand du vin butter.
The fillet of beef was beautifully thick & tender, the Marchand du vin butter lush but not overpowering, the confit garlic sweet, and as a lover of potato the pommes coq d’or really hit the spot. The kale both green & purple was crunchy & slightly bitter it added a nice contrast to the other ingredients… thoroughly enjoyable
And to finish, dessert….
Buggles ordered the Apple Tart Tatin with Cinnamon Ice Cream.
This was a lot smaller than we all expected. Buggles enjoyed it but it didn’t come close to her all time favourite ‘apple’ dessert…the ‘Caramel glazed apple tartlet’ from Bistro Moncur.
I went for the Passionfruit Tart with Crème Fraiche. This was very tangy & tart just as a good passionfruit tart should be. It was also quite light & creamy, with a nice buttery base. I loved it.
The dessert winner however, was my sister’s Orange and Cardamom Crème Caramel, sounds innocent enough, but it was silky smooth, incredibly light & the flavours of the orange & cardamom were so beautifully paired…it was absolutely divine.
To top it all off, the wait staff were very good… attentive, professional but not in your face.
Rick Stein at Bannisters is the perfect place for a long indulgent lunch (it has to be lunch to make the most of the view). We all certainly felt it was worth the 3 hours+ drive from Sydney.
I feel we will return.