A surprise 21st for a friend (organised by her super sweet boyfriend-thanks again for dinner!) turned out to be quite successful. Greeted by impressive historic architecture and a some stairs up to the entrance.
We were seated in the upstairs private dining room. It's sectioned off away from the semi private dining on the second floor which looks over the main dining room by this space and a black, but slightly transparent curtain. It's good to have a private dining for events (and people won't judge you trying other people's foods and taking a ridiculous amount of photos). Main downside of being upstairs with many people is that food gets colder quicker, and ice cream melts faster.
cute pepper mill
lamp hanging overhead. normal tables downstairs had a lamp on their table
High Five: Five Spiced Gosling's rum, yuzu, Beechwood honey, pimento, ginger beer-$20
Cocktails here aren't too expensive, averaging around $20. My cocktail had a distinct rum flavour. Some people found it too heavy, I found it just right. Would have liked a bit more spice in it, but the amount of bubbles from the soda was good-not too much. There were only 2 mocktails which I also tried, both were super refreshing, but bit towards the fizzy side and quite sour.
Towelettes: peppermint, cardamon, lemon, lime
A super warm towel to wipe your hands and open your appetite. Smelt really good and I think it also made my hands softer.
In house bread with Kombu and liquorice butter, roasted tomato oil fresh ricotta
If I had to pick a favourite butter, this would be it. Quay's butter was quenelles to perfection, but this butter was the most spreadable butter ever and seasoned perfectly with Kombu (seaweed). Couldn't really taste the liquorice which is fine since I hate black liquorice, but I think the liquorice may have helped in making sure the butter wasn't too salty. If only I could take a tub of that butter home...ate heaps of carbs just because of that butter...The ricotta was very fresh and still had a lightness to it. There was a bit of chilli in the tomato oil which added some depth to the cheese. The bread was cut like a cake, and super soft, both inside and out.
Kingfish sashimi on enriched Koshihikari rice w/ Japanese peach and miring dressing
Queensland Mud Crab w/ salted duck egg and Mexican cucumber
I think this has replaced the prawn mousse squid ink which I was planning to have. There were 3 crab dishes but I didn't end up getting any (but still tried a bit)/ Since there was duck egg, this dish was more on the salty side, but still decent pieces of fresh crab.
Japanese Eggplant tempura w/ grilled cucumber, shiso and sherry dressing
Tomatoes (which were green coluored and looked like beans) really helped enahnce the dish. Eggplant was super soft with a nice tempura coating
Bass grouper w/ knob beurre blanc
When the waiter explained that this was a butter based sauce I was a bit concerned since I didn't want to eat buttery fish. but decided to get this anyway since I haven't tried this fish nor fish with a butter sauce. Wow was I surprised! This sauce was perfect, not too buttery and reminded me of this Japanese mustard sauce that I would squueze onto everything. The fish was firm but still moist and knife slid through easily. Interesting sort of skin, which wasn't too elasticy.
Spanner crab scrambled eggs w/ crisp parmesan toast
Scrambled eggs is one of my least favourtie types of eggs, but these are on a completely different level/ So fluffly and filled with delicious crab, interesting texture from the toasted parmesan on top
Glazed Pork Belly w/ hot, sweet and sour sauce
Didn't get to taste much of this, but it was average.
Grilled Moreton Bay Bug w/ strozzapreti pasta and crustacean butter (35 supplement)
Had a small bite of the morten bay bu,g, and it was fresh and perfectly cooked/ The pasta reminded me of a mac and cheese pasta snack, but super refined here, and obviously no artificial flavouring.
As I mentioned before, sitting upstairs with over 10 people, it's probably hard for the chefs/waiters to time everything so everyone gets their food at the same time. By the time the jus came around (and after all the photos) the beef was only slightly warm. Luckily it remained pink and super soft, as you would expect with grade 9 wagyu. There was a decent amount of fat which was rendered down well, without leaving an oily/fatty feeling in your mouth. ox tail reduction tasted a bit meaty with some depth from the red wine (I think). I normally don't like wasabi, but this gave it the right amount of spice. just a dab with your knife enhanced the flavours. I only put a bit of lime juice in mine, since I prefer red meat without being too 'refreshing'.
curvy knife (but wasn't branded)
Charred Spanich Mackerel w/ braised grapefruit, bok choy and seaweed
Didn't taste much of this fish, but it wasn't as flavourful as the bass grouper. The bok choy isn't your typical Asian bok choy which is soft and fully cooked. I liked this version since it was a lot more refreshing, kind of like mint, but not.
Blue swimmer Crab w/ fried garlic and fragrant udon noodles
Udon was a bit hard and dry, even with the crab. Would have liked more sauce for both the crab and udon.
Char sit roasted Pigeon w/ buttered leeks and a shiitake and chilli condiment
The only one on the table. Didn't choose this option since it sounded like typical Chinese food, but refined of course. Apparently it tasted like your BBQ roast pork, because of the marinade.
This salad was so well dressed. Every piece of lettuce was covered in dressing. Not too acidic or salty.
Valhrona chocolate w/ macadamia, glazed fig, malt and peach leaf ice cream
Again, the trouble with ice cream is that it melts, so when it arrived it was already melting. Each dessert had quite a bit of plating to it, so by the time they plated everything, brought it upstairs, and since homemade icecream melts faster, and we took quite a few photos, the ice cream was more of a puddle. Impressed they manage to give everyone their correct dish, up until dessert. Maybe because I took someone's dish to take photos, so the waiter thought she didn't have a dessert already, then ended up with 2 but the other person on the other end didn't have one. All sorted out super quickly, so everyone was happy.
The flavours of this dessert combined so well together! The previous week i went to a chocolate tasting, and promised to not have any more chocolate (since I had over 10 pieces), but I couldn't resist a chocolate signature dessert. The chocolate was so smooth and enough amount of darkness in it. The crisp on top and the choc biscuit gave it some crunch, and tied in well with the ice cream. Would have preferred more peach leaf/malt in it since the flavours were more subtle (hard to tell what peach leaf actually tastes like). Figs were super fresh yet not sugary sweet and kept it's fig flavour.
Ricotta parfait, almond, strawberry, spiced lemon sorbet
It was really smooth and light, even though didn't taste much of this. Apparently it tasted like cheesecake, but better (obviously).
Vacherin of pandan custard w/ mango sorbet and lime granita
Didn't taste much pandan in my small bite, but that spoonful I had was really refreshing, and granita wasn't hard.
Date tart-original since 1984
Profiteroles w/ white choc and strawberry
If I had to pick a favourite petit four, the date tart wins. It's a good change from chocolate petit fours. Too bad you can't buy the date tart. It was super soft like biting into a cloud, with a smooth custard, yet perfectly balanced with flavour from the dates. That pastry is amazing. Whole tart wasn't overly sweet. I actually don't like dates, but wouldn't mind eating dates in the form of this tart. Profiteroles were amazing as well-one of the best choux pastries I've come across, and again, flavours were true and not sweet. Fresh cream inside to balance this cute petit four.
We brought in a simple, relatively cheap birthday cake, and although they charged a cakeage fee per person (which cost more than the cake in total), the presentation was on point. A bit of sugar work took this cake to the next level. Each slice of cake was perfectly proportioned, and cut using a super sharp knife, so you can actually see the layers. There were piped cream and and strawberries in the middle. The moved each piping from the middle to the end of each sliced. Strawberries were cut in thirds so everyone had a bit! And let's not forge the massive plate and another set of cutlery (fork and spoon) to eat the cake with.
Java chocolate cake
It looked really dense, but was acvtually quite light, with some mousse inside and not too much orange flavour. I don't really like Java flavoured stuff, but wouldn't mind a slice of this.
Super cute tea box
You were allowed to touch and smell the tea, but since the samples are all together, the smells got mixed up and weren't really distinct.
Jing tea: Flowering Osmanthus-$9
super cute, double glass wall tea cup
The teapot was pretty tiny, but they allowed refills and could share between people. I've had Jing tea before in tea bags which were amazing, but this time I found it wasn't as strong. Still pretty with the flower inside.
downstairs-main dining room
It was a super fun night celebrating 21st birthday with delicious food (: