Two Small Rooms have been garnering a few reviews especially one from Rick Stein, a celebrity seafood chef. So it was a pleasant surprise that day, when we spot an offer from Cudo; 3 course meal for 2 with a cook book for AUD 79. With the original value of dinner being AUD 55 per pax and the cook book probably worth AUD 20, there was a savings of around AUD 50.
Calling themselves "boutique fine dining", the restaurant is literally Two Small Rooms big with the main front room seating probably around 30 people. The sense of boutique continues with the compact menu with a couple of choices for entree, main and dessert.
Alas, with the voucher that we had, we were limited to the Markets Menu; a fixed 3 course meal that apparently changes every month; I suppose a more affordable way to eat here. The ala carte menu costing probably close to 20-30% more.
With fine dining, you can expect a huge mark up on wines. Although we have no idea how much this wine cost outside, we reckon the AUD 57.50 was pretty value for money, smooth and light on the palate, as how i would like my wines.
Fortunately with fine dining, bread is complimentary even if it is one slice; with unsalted butter.
Beetroot Cured Trout with Micro Herb Salad; the vibrant plate of purple hue trout was tempting. I just wished there was more of a salad or left my bread to eat it with.
Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Coleslaw,Apple Puree and Red Wine Jus; the dim environment made it a nightmare to take pictures so the rather blurred out pork belly was my best attempt before the Wife dug in with great hunger. The crackling was crunchy but could be crunchier but i would have liked the apple puree to have given a greater contrast to the savoury components.
That all being said, the entrees were enjoyable.
The mains were a bit boring and almost seemed significantly easier to cook compared to the ala carte menu. The 200G Sirloin Steak with Lyonnaise Potatoes, Spinach & Jus was cooked according to preference. The thing that we will never be able to replicate though is the smoky char imparted from cooking your steak on the charcoal grill. That reason alone, will get the Wife to order this again.
The Salade Nicoise is served with a twist. Instead of canned tuna, you get a chunk of swordfish and the meal is served as a main opposed to an entree. The compulsory egg and potatoes make it comfort food but for a big guy like me, I was glad I got a piece of steak, if not I be leaving the place hungry.
Vanilla Bean Soufflé with Berry Sorbet. With the standard for souffles set by Ecco, this fell slightly flat or either that I didn't feel like an overly sweet dessert as what is expected with eating souffle.
Eton Mess: Broken Pavlova with Strawberries, Mint and Chantilly Cream; looked like a very simple recipe but was well executed. No complaints from the other half.
Overall well cooked food but while with no surprises, I got a very safe, simple and slightly boring Markets Menu. Service though was spot on, warm and friendly and there was no delays in between meals.
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Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. If we had the opportunity to dine on the ala carte menu, I believe the rating would have been much higher or so I hope anyways. I loved the small and cozy ambience and i reckon that alone is worth a visit.