Saturday, December 24, 2011

I am still alive

Readers,


Merry XMas and a Happy New Year to all of you.


Been so busy running around and just soaking up the time spent with some close friends and family.


Food blogging will have to wait. 


For those in KL who have my number, give me a buzz!


Thanks
Joe

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Medusa Dining @ Paddington, Brisbane

I heard about Medusa a while ago from a fellow blogger, summarised as a nice place with whimsy and modern cuisine, foams and all too. It took us a voucher from Living Social to finally make our way there last week, venturing into Bardon, an area I actually haven't gone before!


The place looks classy but out of place in a block of shops which has Dominoes 2 doors away and a supermarket around the corner. However with all glass on 3 sides of the wall, you have one of the nicer views of the city skyline, making a good place to hold a function.


The deal that night was a 7 course degustation for two with 2 glasses of moscato for AUD 89, supposedly with a value of AUD230. However I consider myself a seasoned user of group buying websites and you learn to take the values with a pinch of salt. 


Service was switched between an elderly Asian man and a young waitress. Attentive but we could have done with a bit more patience when describing dishes. The man was quick and I could barely catch more than 2 words while the girl was quite soft and I couldn't hear more than a word or two. 


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We were served a "surprise" from the chef, I am guessing the word is meant to be amuse bouche. However not catching what it was, it got us guessing and guessing. With a texture that was like tuna / beef, it was nothing too spectacular.

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The first course was a salmon sashimi with a bed of salad, pineapple bits and pineapple emulsion. Slightly too sweet and lacking a bit of acidity to balance it. However as a first course, it was quite generous in portion. 


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Jamon Serrano with blood sausage dust and assorted mushrooms. Nothing wrong except we would have appreciated more bread for this or something sweet to balance out the saltiness.


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The Chicken Breast was cooked to perfection, probably sous vide because it was so moist. Sitting on a bed of pumpkin puree, we started to see similar garnishing; the pineapple bits from the first course and the mushrooms from the second course. We loved this dish.


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The garnishing repeats itself once again, the pineapple bits and the mushrooms appears in another role. There was nothing wrong with the carpaccio but nothing sparkled in the dish (including the quail egg). I would have also preferred this dish before the chicken for a better continuity. 


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The second and last hot dish of the night, the star of the night too; the pork belly. The sweet glaze, crispy crackling and melt in your mouth meat, oh why is the portion so small? What seemed like a weird combo, there was yoghurt with passionfruit along with a piece of sweet potato and a poached pear. 


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The cheese course was a small piece of soft cheese from Lyon. I could have easily finished that slice on my own but we had to share, boo. 


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Luckily we had a dessert each and got a pretty good rendition of the traditional indonesian layer cake paired with a scrumptious creamy butterscotch ice-cream. We loved this dish. 

Was it worth AUD 89? Yes but could it have really cost me AUD 230? I don't think so. There were a number of recycled garnishes, only 2 hot dishes and small protein portions. 

The plating was exciting at times but I didn't get the same impression that my fellow blogger had when they first visited the place. Turns out the head chef has already jumped ship to another restaurant but I guess not all is bad because there's plenty of potential from what we saw that night. 

A pity we won't have the chance to return again.

Address and contact details:

Medusa Dining on Urbanspoon

Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. Brilliant view, good food but missing the extra edge on some of the dishes to be a shining star.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pineapple Hotel Steakhouse @ Kangaroo Point

I am alive!


After stressing about how we were going to pack everything up in our unit, getting it insured, whether the removalists will come, where to park our car over Christmas, I am glad it is almost all over. 


Most of the stuff is now packed in boxes, I have just paid for insurance, confirmed that I can have a parking space over Christmas at my apartment and reassured myself that the removalist is no con job. 


Apart from that, we have been visiting all our favourite joints at any available opportunity; once a week of the tonkotsu ramen in Sunnybank and lots of Korean Fried Chicken.


It was not only last weekend that we said to ourselves, "hey it is our last weekend in Brisbane, yes we are kind of broke but shouldn't we try some more new places?".


So we did.


After flipping through the Entertainment Book which is well seasoned, we decided to steak out at Pineapple Hotel. 


Pineapple Hotel is one of those "hotels" that actually doesn't have accommodation but is a pub / steakhouse / pokies bar. With a display of various cuts of beef in different sizes, it got us salivating. 


I decided to order the signature cut, the 700 gram T Bone which was gigantic.


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At AUD 40, it was not cheap but having the buy 1 free 1 deal, it was a bargain at AUD20. A steak this size at the butcher will cost you close to that. However, it wasn't perfect. 

Mine didn't come with any garden salad despite the description on the menu. However I wasn't really in the mood for green leaves and I was pretty sure the waitress would have obliged to give me some. Slight oversight.

I guess the problem I had with the steak was that it didn't have enough char on it, probably due to 2 things; the grill wasn't hot enough or there was NO seasoning on the steak. Although not just exclusively to Pineapple Hotel, I find that a number of places just don't season their steak before going on the grill, is it an Australian habit?

That said, the meat was cooked according to how I want and I might have made a mistake ordering butter instead of a sauce since the steak wasn't seasoned. 

If I had to go for steak at a "hotel", I am afraid there are a few places that are a notch better than this namely Caxton, Norman and Breakfast Creek.

However if you like your steak au natural with no seasoning, this is the place for you, especially if you can get hold of an entertainment voucher.

Address and contact details:


Pineapple Hotel Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars. I am afraid the steaks here are not my cup of tea.