Thursday, May 31, 2018

Restaurant Galicia (Bendigo) 05/2018_

Galicia where's that? Well it's a is an region in the north of Spain, 

BUT Restaurant Galicia is on the main street of Bendigo, squeezed between McDonalds and the Salvo's.
Naturally they serve Spanish food. A small bowl of seasoned corn 

encourages thirst. There is a small menu of local and European wines at very reasonable prices.
It's a small place, formerly the site of Bouchon, a good French restaurant.
The restaurant seems to be unchanged 

with a few pictures on the walls and changes to the decor to produce a Spanish flavour.
They have small serves and mains which are also designed to share. Unfortunately on this occasion  I was eating alone. 
I started with a capsicum stuffed with a tuna paste. 
That might sound pretty ordinary but it was delicate and subtly tasty. I would have loved to have the paella but it's a serve for two. Next time I come here I'll have it anyway.
For now I chose what is probably, deservedly, one of their signature dishes - Pulpa Al a la Gallega

This large meal of the most delicate octopus on a bed of boiled potatoes was garnished with an absolutely fantastic rich capsicum sauce. A real 'go to dish' and it would be great to share.
I wanted to try a spanish dessert so the 'fried milk' was the best choice.

A sweet, hot, lightly crumbed and fried smooth, soft milk jelly, with a sweet nutty dip, it was pleasant but unremarkable. If you like sweet you'd have to like it - I did.
Few a few more $$ you can get away from the pizzas and hamburgers and have a really interesting meal. The cuisine is traditional, quality, domestic style national food Price: I paid $56 for three courses and a glass of Heathcote shiraz. 
Score: 14/20

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Harmony BBQ and Seafood Restaurant (Malvern) 05/2018

The name tells you most of it. It doesn't tell you that this used to be Ripples BBQ and Seafood restaurant but to all intents and purposes it is identical.
The venue is exactly the same. The ducks hanging in the front window, the aquarium next to the entrance, the cashier and bar set up, 
even the table positions. 
Daily yum cha with uniformed wait staff 

pushing trolleys filled with small dishes also continue as before. Prices are marginally increased but pretty average for these meals. 
We had a good variety of steamed dumplings, 
spring rolls and deep fried dishes 
as well as chicken pie and chicken feet.

The best thing was the quality of the dough in the dumplings. It was not too thick, well cooked and held the ingredients together well. Unfortunately the Singapore pork dumplings had no soup in them.
There was nothing to criticise. In all a god yum cha worth a visit.
Comments Score: 14/20

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Aria (Brisbane) 05/2018

*Click on pic's for enlargement. Aria, according to Google, is a long melody with an accompaniment, usually an orchestra. That's a very appropriate name for Matt Moran's Brisbane restaurant. Although there is no orchestra they serve a long and complicated meal which somehow fits the definition.
The restaurant on Eagle Pier, looks over the Brisbane river across the Story bridge, towards the city. A great scene both day and night.
A comfortable bar is separated from the adjacent restaurant by a wall of wine.

The restaurant occupies an elegant split level room with curved floor to ceiling glass wall. 
Well spaced tables are minimally set with white linen cloths. Extra cutlery comes with later courses.
One rather ordinary abstract painting adorns a wall but there is little wall space for decor.
The seasonal tasting menu offers four courses for $135 (/matching wines $190 or  premium wines $235) and seven courses $185 + wines $270 or premium wine $350. For the wine buffs it should be noted that they have an impressive wine list. A little out of step, as usual, I had saki with my meal.
It began with a lovely chef's amuse bouche-  a fig with cheese and a puffed grain
giving a great taste and textural variation.
Sourdough bread came with a caramelized butter as well as the normal butter. 

Kingfish, sea urchin, parsley, kohlrabi
Well disguised I now find sea urchin very palatable
Gold beetroot, sesame cheese, pear, witlof
A pretty dish but I'm not sure why all the ingredients are there.
Spanner crab, black rice, avocado, wasabi leaf
The delicate crab was rather lost with all the rest plus a little too much salt.
Wagyu bresaola, parmesan, eggplant, fried bread
A super palate cleanser.

I love wagyu  but drying it for a few weeks and serving it up like prosciutto really didn't cut it. 
Smoked pork, turnip, mustard
Simply the best dish of the meal
Roast duck, carrot, orange, wood ear mushroom

Equally as good as the pork.
Plum, gingerbread, yoghurt
Petit fours

 This was a beautifully presented meal, every dish a picture. I began to think of the problem of justifying everything that was being served. Would simpler have been better. The more ingredients one puts on a plate the more likely it is that someone will find something not to their taste. In this meal nothing offended my senses but the taste of many ingredients was diminished  so that some dishes became quite bland. Regardless you'd go a long way to get a better meal.
Score: 17/20