Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mount Macedon Hotel, Mount Macedon

A very typical country pub for the locals and the weekend visitors alike. T and I were here on a Friday night for dinner and we sat in the bistro. The menu is surprisingly unconventional and the specials board  also featured some curious options such as salmon with prawn sauce and squid ink pasta.
T ordered chicken as it was one of the gluten-free options and I ordered the prawn cannelloni because I thought was a rather strange thing, and an especially odd thing to feature on this menu.

Sometimes, being curious pays dividends and other times, it does not. In this instance, it did not. The pasta sheet had a homemade look about it which was cute, however I found it too thick and too rubbery. The filling was actually quite delicate but there were two unnecessary prawns inserted at either end of the cannelloni. There was also a bit too much sauce, which drowned out the delicate sweetness of the prawns and the capers were certainly an odd addition to the dish.
T’s chicken was slightly less strange, although the lumpy ricotta filling inside was both inelegant and unnecessary, and my dear T spent the better half of his meal scraping it off his chicken.
After mains, they forgot about us for a bit, however our table was well positioned to give us a view of the courtyard and the bar, and I relished soaking up the atmosphere of the place.
For dessert, we decided on the poached apple for T and the home made fudge for me. The fudge turned out to be quite good and I enjoyed its utter sweetness. The apple on the other hand wasn’t poached very well, tasted premature. It should have been poached in pieces or poached for longer.
Overall, we still enjoyed ourselves and the awkward food wasn’t enough of a detractor to impact the mood of the evening. However, it did remind me of an episode of that Gordon Ramsay show where he forced a restaurant to simplify its menu and then taught the kitchen how to execute every dish perfectly,  to ensure that every dish on menu will be well made every time. I feel that the same strict approach of simplicity should be enforced at the Mount Macedon Hotel. Good food can simply be good simple food.

Mount Macedon Hotel on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 25, 2014

Burwood Teppanyaki House, Burwood

I visited with my parents on a Sunday for dinner. Mummy really wanted to try this place out, but as Daddy is still apprehensive of teppanyaki, they compromised by settling on choosing from the al carte menu.

It's quite an extensive menu, ranging from different types of sushi and sashimi, entrees and mains, and even a whole section devoted to shabu shabu hotpots.

The al carte menu suited us well because we could order as much as we liked. This we hoped would go some way towards appeasing Daddy. His apprehension comes from the one and only occasion when he was subjected to a set teppanyaki menu. He left that dinner grumpy and hungry, and has held a grudge against teppanyaki for more than a decade since then. Over the years, this apprehension of not being served enough food has extended to Japanese cuisine in general and this is one of the few Japanese restaurants that we've visited as a family.

I was tasked with the ordering and I wanted to make sure that we would have enough food. Fortunately, the servings turned out to be quite generous and my order of an entree, two mains AND a shabu shabu hoptpot was just right for the three of us, or 2.5 given that I am / should really be on a dress-diet.

As for the taste, the food was mostly pretty good, with a few minor tweaks here and there that would made them even better.

The soft shell crab was very meaty and juicy and came with a good sauce. However it was slightly over done and the parents found it a bit too oily.

Both the duck breast and the lamb chops were cooked very well. The duck was succulent and there was enough skin on top to keep in all the juices, and add more flavour to the meat.

The lamb chops were quite pink which we didn't mind, but some might find this a bit undercooked so it's probably best to specify your preferences. Also, a touch more heat to the fat near the bone would have been nice to seal it off. As it was, it was the fat was too fatty to enjoy, so we just focused on the meaty part.

The shabu shabu hotpot was my favourite part of the meal and I found the broth both light and enriching. The beef was very thinly cut and cooked quickly in the boiling broth. It was fun and easy and delicious to eat.

Burwood Teppanyaki House on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sweet Water Inn, Prahan

Having pork belly makes for a good day. Managing to have pork belly twice in one day makes it a great day. I had already devoured a Southern style pork belly bahn mi during my pow-wow lunch with J earlier in the day, so when I saw pork chops back on the menu again, I knew I had to act.

Southern style food twice in one day is certainly a bit brave and I should feel bad for putting my dress-diet on hold for yet another day, but sometimes the opportunity to consume more food is just too
good to pass up.

Unfortunately my pork chop was a bit of a disappointment. The meat had been cooked for too long, and rind of fat around it had not crackled properly. It had retained its fatiness but it wasn't juicy and soft. The coleslaw was also too dry for my liking although the mash was slightly better. There were also two sauces that accompanied the meal, whiskey and banana ketchup, which were interesting.

R went straight for dessert and chose the banana and pineapple fritters. These arrived to much aplomb because she / we had been waiting for them for quite a long time, despite specifying that we wanted this to arrive at the same time as our other dishes. Again, these were also lackluster. The flour coating was too thick and I could barely taste the fruit. It felt a bit like eating fried doughnuts and ice cream. 

Sweetwater Inn on Urbanspoon


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