Friday, May 27, 2011

Review: Avido (Dinner) - CLOSED

438 Oxford St

Thurs - Sat
7 days from 5:30pm til late

We had a 'taster' of the Avido experience a little while ago with a sneaky mid week lunch. We were so impressed with the food that we decided to head back to see what dinner could offer.

Our last parlay into the Avido menu at lunch showed us exactly what they could do with risotto. Not that mound of claggy, no budge rice piled high into a bowl but creamy, 'bitey', flavourful and warming risotto.  Mmmm... delicious!

Remembering this, we both cannot go past a risotto as entree. Squeak orders the Wild Mushroom risotto with goat's curd. Can you go wrong with such flavour combinations?? Certainly not - and Avido doesn't let her down.  The risotto is beautifully cooked and is creamy and rich. 

I order the Queensland Spanner crab and prawn risotto with charred vine tomato, chilli and lemon. I'm not completely sure what my expectation is, but what I receive isn't it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the execution of the risotto, or the perfectly cooked and delicious prawn but the risotto itself has a very strong tomato flavour which overpowers the delicacy of the spanner crab. It is an enjoyable dish, but certainly the mushroom risotto wins this battle.

Squeak cannot go past the 300 day aged grain fed Rangers Valley skirt steak. hand cut chips with a watercress, parmesan and horseradish salad. This comes presented on a wooden board and the steak is beautifully cooked, accompanied by a delicious herb butter and a generous mound of chunky chips. 

It is a very cold evening so when I see the words pork belly, taleggio, al forno and black pudding in one sentence - do I need to look further?  Absolutely not!  So I order the Bangalow Pork belly, taleggio and cauliflower al forno with santi spiced pear, crispy black pudding and radish salad. When this arrives, I am certainly pleased with my choice.  It also comes with a marinated pork rib - more pork! Who can argue? I tuck into this and am pleased. The rib is delicious, the spiced pear perfectly paired and the cauliflower is yummo!! The crispy black pudding is outstanding. The radish salad also provides a welcome relief to the richness of it all. I will admit to one small(ish) downfall to the dish. The pork belly itself is a touch dry and didn't have that moist deliciousness I like to experience.

After such a rich and filling meal we decide to share the Flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake with orange and creme fraiche. This is certainly pretty to look at when it arrives and it is indeed intensely chocolatey! It is not, however, a flourless chocolate cake in the sense that we have come to know them. It is much more like a dense  chocolate tart filling. Delicious - no doubt. But not a flourless chocolate cake (certainly not like the infamous Chocolate Nemesis!)

Stephen, the waiter that we remember fondly from our last visit cheekily suggests a short black with a shot of Frangelico and reads our moods aright! Down the hatches these go and they provide a warming end to a delicious meal.
Avido Restaurant & Wine Garden on Urbanspoon

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