Wednesday, August 26, 2009
We've eaten at 31 of the 100 they named and some of them don't deserve to be in the top 200 but leaving aside regional biases I think there is another issue. It's the nonsense of rating restaurants as though there was a a measurable difference between them. Tetsuya is better than Vue really Show me how. De Stasio (28) is better than Bistro Guillame (29) I wouldn't have either of them in the top 30 but how did the 'judges' decide? Another dreadful pair the Grange , SA (52) and Catalina NSW (53), shouldn't be there at all. No doubt one is worse than the other but who could say which. Stokehouse is 27 places above Taxi. You have to be kidding.
Bad reviews and bad ratings can have a big influence on the success or failure of a restaurant, as can good ones. It is iniquitous to rank them in the manner Gourmet Traveller has. Unless there is an outstanding reason to separate them I believe that the approach should be of the Michelin Guide type or of the Age Good Food Guide. In effect they are in groups. Give them a mark if you like, or a star or a hat or a wreath whatever but all you can be sure of if you rank restaurants from one to a hundred is that everyone will find things to object to and accidentally you may do someone some real harm. The best way to rank restaurants is on the basis of public opinion in the way that Zagat does it. Individuals cannot avoid there own biases and it is very difficult to be unkind about a restaurant where you have been offered freebies. The amalgamation of a large number of opinions would produce a much fairer estimate of a restaurants quality. Lets hope Zagat sees the light and starts a guide here
Saturday, August 22, 2009
They have a range of congees ($6.5 upwards) a kind of rice soup which may have almost anything added into it for example beef or giblets. There is a special menu for them in English on one side and Chinese on the converse. We had one with roast duck and one with prawns, both excellent with plenty of prawns and duck. After that we had sweet and sour prawns in a well balanced light s & s sauce, a noodle dish, roast duck ($17 a half), a very delicately poached Murray cod in a light ginger sauce and a plate of greens. Every dish as good as anywhere. All that and a passable bottle of red came to $150.
The presentation is ordinary, as are the crockery and cutlery. It's noisy and always crowded. Half the waiters are Chinese Uni students but they are efficient the food is very good and it has a great, bustling atmosphere that transports you to what one imagines it might be like in a busy suburban restaurant in any city in China.
Friday, August 21, 2009
After a shot of ouzo with ice and cold water provided by the house we drank Raspani 'Epilegmenos 2004 ($64).
We have not enjoyed Greek wines very often but this was an exception. There is a grea atmosphere about HR, the food is variable, excellent in part, and the prices on the expensive side of average.
Score 14/20/ serve)
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
kazari: Japanese ='to decorate' or 'to exhibit' 'to arrange with wit'
Tucked away at the back of a gallery filled with a wonderful collection of old Japanese and Chinese furniture, paintings baskets and artifacts, this little cafe with half a dozen tables, opens for lunch Tuesday to Saturday and for dinner Friday night. It has a small menu that changes every week of Japanese style food including some 'sozai', tapas style dishes. After a small dish of slightly sweet sour marinated greens we began with a serve of very tasty steamed dumplings, chicken and prawn siu mai ($18), Chinese style. This was expensive compared to the average Chinese restaurant, followed by Coffin Bay oysters served with grated daikon, carrots and ponzu sauce ($12) which were pleasant without being exceptional. Steamed sea perch in foil with shallots, mushroom and saki with crisp bread was extremely good, delicate well balanced moist and very moorish ($23). We then had a wonderful pasta with seaweed and a light chilli flavouring which did not destroy the palate for the next course. A miso soup ($3) was worth having anytime. The sauteed spring lambwith slightly spicy nato miso on top ($23) was a small serve and very ordinary after the previous dishes. There is a small range of desserts ($6-$9) served with green tea or black sesame ice cream and a pot of Green tea. BYO with a $5 corkage is very reasonable. An interesting place well worth browsing around before or after a meal. So where is it? 490 Malvern Rd. Half a dozen doors west of McDonalds, opposite the Peugot showrooms.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Saturday, August 08, 2009
He practices experimental dishes on Tuesday nights not all of which reach the regular menu
Beef, ginger,etc Wagyu grade 6
Violet crumble -very very sweet
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Baked Spring Bay scallops, brioche and lemon crumbs, King Island Hereford steak tartare, olive oil croutons and Petunia smoked salmon cakes, with sauce gribiche. There was a bit of interpretation here. Scallops and cakes were both plural when I went to school but that seems to be regularly ignored by menu writers. The scallop was a little overwhelmed by the dressing but still had plenty of flavour, the tartare, enough to cover a 20 cent coin, and with no sign of raw egg was quite bland as was my salmon cake. To make up for that there was plenty of 2004 Barringwood Park I J Sparkling which was very pleasant and a NV Bay of Fires Cuvee brut from Piper River. This had a finer structure and I preferred it. A carpaccio of sweet cured Kingfish, King Island crayfish and caper salsa
accompanied by two Rieslings (Moorilla and Tamar Ridge) that were surprisingly dry was an excellent dish the very fresh fish combining well with the light sweetness. A ballotine of Petunia ocean trout was a highlight.
It doesn't get any better. Beautifully prepared, perfectly poached retaining superb texture and strong colour simply excellent. the tempura Freycinet oyster would have been better with a batter from the local Japanese supermarket and the Bay of Islands sparkling jelly failed to sparkle but it hardly mattered. I did not care for the two chardonnays (Barringwood Park and Frogmore Creek). The loin of grass fed 'Wild Clover Farm' lamb Tasmanian black truffle mouse, Jerusalem artichokes, green pea puree and potato pearls
was another remarkably good dish despite the absence of any apparent contribution to taste or texture from the truffles in the mousse - I could see the little black spots so I know they were there! This was as moist, almost sweet, a tender piece of meat as any carnivore could desire. It came with two pleasant pinot noirs (Moorilla Muse and Bay of Fires). Dessert served with a Pirie Clark botrytis Riesling, which was as expected and a better than expected Frogmore Creek iced Riesling was a winter rhubarb jelly, vanilla panna cotta, mini pavlova, rhubarb compote and a King Island Dairy creme fraiche ice cream
which was also very good, particularly the panna cotta. Coffee/tea was included so the whole meal was outstanding value. There was a bunch of wine people present representing the vineyards but only Judy Robinson,
second from the left, came to speak to us about Barringwood Park, which is close to Devonport and has done well at recent wine shows. Warmed by the copious wines, the excellent dinner and the flames leaping among the stones near our table,
despite the many criticisms of other reviewers I would have given Pure South a hat without hesitation for this dinner