Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Little Snail

quite a few times i have been so close to buying the group on vouchers for the little snail, luckily i didn't have to waste money. i always walk past it when i walk to The Star. it's because it's entrance isn't on the side facing darling harbour. but it's literally across the road from harbour side shopping centre.

the whole night went by so fast. their mise en place was sooo quick. usually when you have dinner in a western restaurant, their service takes some time, since you'd slowly eat the first course and enjoy/savour it. i eat relatively fast compared to people when i go out, but here, i felt like i had to gobble down my plate since they came quickly to collect plates, and then they handed out the next course quickly as well. everyone ate so fast as well. maybe because i actually had lunch before so i wasn't super i result, i didn't have much time to take a nice photo of every plate of food. it was packed, even on a sunday night, but i'm pretty sure most people there had vouchers.

we were on the 2nd level next to the window (:


i don't remember the names, but the one on the left had a mixture of stuff. the middle one was mango, but it was way too sweet (and i can take more sweet stuff compared to other people), some organic white wine, approx $75 a bottle. i bet the actually price is around 50, but restaurants always up the prices of alcohol. actually not only alcohol, but coke cost $4. i actually didn't have any soft drinks this  year at dad's xmas dinner.

"a gentle kiss" cocktail on left-$15, cocktail on the right. it's the same as the one in the previous pic, but this looks nicer with the layers. bro with a strawberry cocktail in the background.

this cocktail was alright, but i prefer wine over cocktails. sometimes cocktails are heavy on the alcohol, but just tastes sweet (luckily this one wasn't). you might as well drink flat soft drink.

more drinks, hehe.

i calculated that i had at least $50 worth of drinks. the boss was probably eyeing us, ordering so many expensive drinks. that's why i like western restaurants, the drinks menu is more extensive than asian places. on the other table they ordered a jug of this cocktail which looked exactly like oj but with some fruit punch. this kid whose 5 years old thought it was juice and took a sip, and he immediately got drunk and crashed! haha, he actually fainted... such responsible parents....i always think cocktails have more alcohol than normal wine, since they mix it with who knows what....i told my dad before he could tell me that i was going to drink tonight, so he couldn't have as much since he needed to drive. i think i'm ok with alcohol. on quite a few occasions, i've had about 4 drinks and didn't look red and felt clear minded etc. my mum can't, she went to this function when my uncle came over with unlimited drinks, and she couldn't think/walk straight...

snails has been a lifelong thing i've wanted to have, but never had the chance. i remember when my cousin was still in high school, she shouted my mum french and my mum had snails, but i wasn't there to try. after 19 years, i have finally tried snails!
Escargot de Bourgogne
Dozen snails marinated in herb-infused court bouillon, oven baked in garlic butter

the texture kind of reminds me of mussels/sea food, but not as chewy as i imagined. don't know how to properly describe them. they're actually really nice! probably because it's cooked in heaps of herby butter. 
Salt and Pepper Squid
Lightly coated in panko, fried, with petite mesclun and capers and cornichons aioli

my brother doesn't know how to order. i told him not to get this, and he doesn't listen to me. only 4 pieces of squid (they were initially stacked in one tower). not worth it. the aioli was alright, and it was quite light, but still not worth it.

Salmon Roulade
filled with herb cheese mousseline, served with potato nest and passion fruit dressing

only had a little bite of the salmon roulade since there were only three. it was alright, the herb flavour in the cheese wasn't very prominent but it wasn't too heavy either, which was good.

Paté Maison
Armagnac flavoured duck liver pate with marinated champignons, date chutney and port vinaigrette

ordered this for mum since i wanted to try something different to normal day food. when i went to aria, i also chose this duck or goose liver dish, but it was served in this pastry tube thing and really fancy. this was just a cylinder of liver. even though the sauce is pretty, i don't think there was enough. it was served with slices of garlic bread and normal bread, but i think the serving was too big to make it a pleasant liver dish. it had a slight grainy texture. it looks small on the plate, but the plate was massive, so the liver pate in a big portion wasn't that good.

didn't take photos of sides (waste of memory space on my phone). had this chilli, garlic and honey bread. it was so nice! some nice spiciness, herbiness and sweetness. the garlic bread was alright. the fries were really hot, in terms of temperature. the mash wasn't as buttery as other places, but had heaps more garlic, and more creamy.
Magret de Canard
Crispy skin duck breast fillet with wok tossed spinach served with cassis and raspberry sauce

i had the duck, i was looking forward to crispy skin, but mine wasn't so i was disappointed ): maybe because i had to take photos of everything first, and they put the sauce over the skin, so after taking photos of food with both my cameras, the skin would have lost some crispiness. the actual duck meat was good. a nice solid serving. the spinach was alright. the sauce was different but nice.
Cote de Veau
Veal tenderloin with champignon and chardonnay beurre blanc, served with potato croquette and seasonal greens

bro ordered the veal. i told him not to. when it came, he was all like: it has mushrooms!? obviously he didn't read the menu. so he gave it to mum. the veal was average, but the sauce so really good! not too overly creamy. the croquette had such a satisfying crunch! i only had a little bit, but the crunch was prominent. 
Fillet of Beef Tenderloin
Served with potato millefeuille and red wine jus

this was dad's but since the veal had mushrooms, my bro had this. there was quite a tiny piece of steak on it, but then it was very thick. it was cooked to medium as we requested, but i don't think there was enough jus. i finally have tried a proper millefeuille-not bad.
Kangaroo Fillet
(recommend rare) On garlic pommes puree with a Dijon mustard and honey bordelaise sauce

this was my mum's but she gave it to dad. i don't mind rare meat, so eating kangaroo cooked rare was quite enjoyable. kangaroo can easily become very tough once cooked past rare. good serving of sauce and it was really flavourful. 
Classic Crème Caramel

i know this is a very simple dish in terms of technique, but i was really craving a classic french dessert. too bad they didn't have creme brûlée. then again, i was super full at this stage-everyone was. it's probably because the french use a lot of butter in their cooking. or maybe because at this stage, i've had 4 drinks. or maybe because i've had about 3 pieces of largish pieces of bread filled with butter and garlic etc. this dish was just like i expected. of course it's sweet. i can't bear to make it at home since you need cups and cups of sugar. i know the whole dish is full of sugar, but eating it when someone else made it feels better than you making it and seeing in front of you the amount of sugar you put in.
Belgian Chocolate Gateau
With pineapple and coconut candy

this was my dad's but my bro wanted to swap (see what i mean-everything he ordered he saw it and didn't like it). the menu didn't say this had sorbet in it, but my bro is a massive sorbet fan, so once the dish came, he took it off my dad. the gateau reminded me of zumbo's fondant bar, but not as dense. that pineapple candy was very interesting. sorbet quite nice (: not too sweet.
Chef Churned Hazelnut and Praline Ice Cream
On sable breton and Grand Marnier caramel

loved the presentation. got this for mum since she likes those types of biscuits/pastries. the ice cream was really good! the hazelnut bits were candied so it gave more texture.

Warm Sitcky Date Pudding
With butterscotch and French vanilla ice cream

bro originally ordered this but gave it to dad. the butterscotch was too sweet, the vanilla ice cream was also super sweet, and so was the pudding. not enough date flavour and not dense enough to be a pudding imo. this dish overall was very sweet, dad couldn't finish the pudding, and i couldn't help him either... neither could my bro and he is known the have a sweet tooth, well he was super full, he hd heaps of juices and mocktails etc.

chai tea. look at that colour....sooo strong and bitter. it smelt good, but i think the bitterness from the tea overpowered the spices. it wasn't served with milk, but i was so full i couldn't even finish this tea.

after dinner it was handing out christmas presents time ie. the women get some gift and the children get money, hehe. the men don't get anything though =/

harbourside carpark is the weirdest carpark i've been to so far. first time going, but my dad even thought it was weird as well. there is an entrance for cars right next to the restaurant, but that take you to the third level. other entrances takes you to different levels. the carpark is definitely a few hungered metres long. it's not wide, but sooo long. the problem? there is only one lift, and the lift is in the middle pot the carpark. so it you parking on the very far side of the varpark, it would take quite a few minutes to get to the lift. also, the lift only takes you to level four-level of the bridge which goes to harbourside shopping centre. to go back to level 5/the streets outside on pyrmont side, you have to walk up this longish ramp and through the exit where cars come in. 

i guess this place is alright. i was just most excited about the snails and they didn't disappoint!


  1. Ngaw, you look lovely. Your hair is so long now!

    1. thanks Renee (:
      i'll probably have to chop my hair off soon-can't stand the heat, haha