Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fish Frenzy (Burnie - North West Tasmania) 08/2017

Fish Frenzy occupies a smallish space beneath Bayviews Restaurant and Lounge Bar. 
The fore court of this eat in/takeaway fish and chip cafe is adorned with some marine animal like sculptures which struck me as the sort of thing that might scare small children!
Built in the style of many small cafes blackboards advertise the menu's but they also have 

table menus

The place is rather bare, clean and very plain. 
They also have newspapers for patrons.
Apart from fish and chips

and oysters
they also have salads - calamari salad

prawn salad
and sushi
They must buy it in. 
Rather than just the usual vinegar, tomato sauce, mustard, salt and pepper their counter features! an assortment of cookies
For all that it remains a fish and chippery with frills.
Score: 13.5/20

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Bayviews Restaurant and Lounge Bar (Burnie NW Tasmania) 08/2017

After a taste of a couple of entrees I was keen to come back for their 9 course degustation menu and was lucky to find someone to join me. I wrote about the venue on a previous blog and will not repeat that here.
I doubt there is anything like this between here and Melbourne and if there is it would not be as adventurous.
Here’s the menu, which is preceded by some small chef’s offerings
A small arancini ball of chicken and chorizo
Amuse bouche
The oyster was particularly tasty
Citrus, coriander seed pepper dusted Southern calamari, romesco sauce, roasted peanut, coriander, thai basil, bean shoots, nim jam dressing.
Perhaps a bit over complicated, nevertheless the elements melded well and it was very pleasing with it's great variety of tastes and textures.
Pan roasted Bannoch farm quail, celeriac and radish remoulade, sweet corn veloute,crispy chorizo, parsley oil.
A super dish. I could eat this everyday!
Wild mushroom risotto truffle oil, charred red peppers, spring onion oil
The truffle taste, and their special odour, got lost somewhere between the kitchen and the table.
Pan roasted Macquarrie Harbour Atlantic salmon, fragrant yellow coconut curry  sauce, crispy local cuttlefish, roasted pumpkin, lime leaf yoghurt, red mizuna, fresh herbs

I guess it's my fault I forgot to mention that I like my salmon just barely cooked. This was just a little over cooked for my taste which made it a bit ordinary instead of being an exquisite dish.. Once again it was a dish made more complicated than it needed to be to get the best from the salmon.
Sous vide poached chicken breast in Masterstock, sesame lemongrass broth, pickled ginger, organic noodles, pickled diacon, and fresh herb salad.
Sous vide is great for fish, interesting for red meat but really adds nothing to chicken breast. Indeed it is less moist and tasty than a good roast chicken. the accompaniments, without the chicken, made a very good broth. 
Sorbet tamarind ice cream, A super little palette cleanser.
Tasmanian Midlands venison shoulder slow cooked in red wine, juniper and pepperberries, braised red cabbage, roasted and pickled beetroot, white onion puree and water chestnuts.
This meat could have been cooked forever and I think it would still have been stringy. It was about as good as it could be cooked that way. I think it would have been better if it was just seared on the BBQ. There was no taste of venison left. The pickled beetroot and the puree made the dish.
Pre dessert
Kaffir lime pannacotta, lemon thyme jelly milk chocolate, rice crisps, wattle seed tuile.
Totally delicious!
Peanut praline semi freddo, caramel, almond crumb, chocolate mousse, flaked almonds, mocha soil.
A fitting end to a pretty good meal.
This menu was $130/person with matched wines for a further $45. At a good Melbourne restaurant it would be double or more and wines considerably more.
The menu is extremely extensive, perhaps with an excessive number of ingredients for many of the dishes, some of which were sometimes totally lost. or so subtle that their contribution to the dish was unrecognisable.
For all that I loved the variety. The quality of the produce was unquestionably excellent, presentation was attractive and the dishes were never boring.
It’s also a lot to eat so if you have that menu start early.
The matched wines would have left me dangerous to drive home and not at my best for work the next day so I settled for a glass of Josef Chomry Chardonnay and later a McLaren Vale Shiraz having tried and not cared for a Relbia Estate Pinot Noir.
Score:16.25 /20

Secret Buddha Cafe (Burnie NW Tasmania) 08/2017

Perhaps this name means something to someone, certainly I’m not that person.
It’s a small cafe at the entrance to a nursery,

a bit out of the way for a cup of coffee or a a lunch but well attended doubtless because of the nursery.
It occupies a hexagonal shaped room with a central pole supporting the ceiling. I don’t know the architectural term for this shape structure.

Bits of it have been cut across to give room for a ‘boys’ and girls room,

for a fireplace 
and a larger part has been isolated for the kitchen and serving area.
Menus are on blackboards but there is table service.
The furnishing is eclectic auction room or roadside discard style. 
There’s a rack of odd magazines and a local newspaper. Comfortable and unpretentious. I liked it equally as much my waiter’s old and well worn tartan trousers (he didn’t know what clan they represented)
They make there dishes in house but virtually everything is ready to heat, or toast and serve.
I started with the pate.
A good size serve with fetta cheese, cornichons and leaves and plenty of warm toasted baton.

It was straight out of the refrigerator - too cold to be experienced at its best. It was quite lightly seasoned with pleasant taste. The cap of duck fat was easy to remove if desired.
I went on to the sea food chowder. They offered me a half serve.if I wished. I took them up on that so as to try something else.
Stuffed with prawns, mussels, strips of calamari and some salmon in a thick sauce this was very nice but again under seasoned.
for a finale I  had a toasted Panini with mushroom, garlic, lettuce and fetta.
It was as promised with a little red cabbage and bean shoot salad. 
They have an excellent fetta that made the panning a pleasure to eat. The garlic was very good too, just there but not unbalanced.
They served me a good large cup of coffee with a palate cleansing small glass of soda 

but I skipped the cakes and cookies.
It cost me $43 for a very decent lunch.
A beaut little cafe for lunch or a snack.

Score: 13.5/20