Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sydney Rowers Club - Dedes Restaurant - Australia Day

Last minute decisions on where to go on Australia Day. Unfortunately I have just had a knee operation and I can't walk around for very long so what else can one do, but to go somewhere nice and have lunch. So we caught up with some good friends Narelle and Steve and we took off towards Balmain. We first stopped at the sailing club at Drummoyne but it was too busy and we had to sit outside. too hot. So we decided to go  to the Sydney Rowers Club at Abbotsford. We had been there once before but had not eaten in the restaurant only in the bistro. It was also busy but we managed to get the last table in the restaurant. It is very nicely appointed very spacious and good large windows so you can take in the water views. It was also very cool which was fantastic as the temperature was rising into the mid 30's.

After settling back and having a cold Corona we looked through the menu and decided on our selections. Service was good given it was quite busy. We decided to share a Smoke Salmon Brucetta and order a main. There was a good selection for mains from whole fish to Pork cutlet to steak, seafood platters  etc. We decided on The Pork chop, whole snapper and I had the grilled John Dory. One side only of Fetta, Peppers and Eggplant which my wife said was the highlight of the meal (not that the fish wasn't good either). In fact the fish was excellent moist and tasty. The John Dory was also cooked to perfection. The wine selection was a Watershed (Margaret River) Savingon Blanc Semillon Great with seafood.

Smoke Salmon Brucetta

Whole Snapper
whole baby snapper with lime, asparagus & coriander salad and chilli soy dressing on the side

Grilled John Dory

pork cutlet – murray river

As we were eating we noticed many people were ordering a share plate of deserts which looked very tasty so we had to indulge. It was just the thing to finish off a good afternoon.

baked lemon tart, passionfruit cream, meringue
dark chocolate and cherry trifle, raspberry nougat
mango & coconut crème brulee
summer pudding, gingerbread icecream

Overall I thought they did an excellent job on such a busy day. The service I could not fault, the food was delicious and the waterviews were great so I have rated this a 7/10. Well worth going and going back again. By the way it would also be a great place for a wedding reception.

To reserve a table at Dedes Bar & Grill:
PHONE: (02) 9712 1199

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Basement circular Quay

This landmark music venue has been around for a long time and still is after my visit last week. However, there is one word of warning do not eat there. The food is not up to scratch by any definition. Apart from the food the wine list is also very unimpressive which simply means that this is one place you go to listen to music have a few beers and maybe a wine if you can find one. Now you might think I am being a little hard but the entrees looked like something out of the seventies with a prawn cocktail and avocado on the menu which turned up as a half of avocado with 3 prawns on top and no vinaigrette. Steak came out medium rare, more rare than medium which normally for me is ok but it was cold in the middle like it had just came out of a cold fridge. The sweets were ordered by one of our guests and didn't turn up.

Although yes, we did not go there to eat but we would expect the food to be edible. Unfortunately this rates 3/10 for both food and service. I didn't take any pictures as it was not worthwhile.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cruise Restaurant - Circular Quay

Looking for a place to eat which is not cuisine specific and has a view.?Well not easy to find unless you want to eat at a 3 hat restaurant. So I had some guests from WA who wanted exactly that and after an exhaustive search I found the Cruise which is above the old international terminal at Circular Quay above Wild Fire. What I didn't tell you was this was Friday morning and I needed the booking for Friday night. Impossible! not quite. I booked a table for 8 for 8pm. The good news about this place is you can go downstairs to the cruise bar before hand and have a drink whilst viewing one of the best harbours in the world. It was a buzz packed with workers on a Friday night and people just walking around. We had a drink and if you want something different in a cocktail ask for a "Hello Sailor" sensational!. Lots of juice, alcohol, lychee's, passion fruit etc. no cream.

After a few drinks we went upstairs for dinner where we had a table facing the window and the view but the downside was that half the people were sitting with their back to the view. They try and help this by having mirrors at the back of the people facing the view so the other people can see the reflection. Not bad. The menu was not extensive but there were a few interesting items on the list. Although this was only 8pm the disappointing thing was that they were out of a number of things already, like Yellowfin Tuna entree, scallops entree and they had no ice cream for an Affogato. Apart from this we tried the smoke salmon cannelloni, another scallop dish, gnocchi and Alaskan king crab. All were presented well and tasted good. With the mains I had Rabbit which was overcooked and a little tough, the steak was also overcooked. The grilled Barramundi was excellent as was the Pigs Trotters.

Pan fried deep sea Canadian scallops with a salad of granny smith apples, celeriac, rocket cress & apple balsamic

Tomato water Ravioli of Alaskan king crab with black zebra tomatoes, avocado, fennel & zucchini flowers

Sweet potato gnocchi, rapini, yellow tear drops, black truffle, tarragon & a truffle foam

Pan roasted salt water barramundi fillet, warm salad of sweet corn, peas & eschalots, sweet corn puree, pencil leeks & a tarragon cream

Pigs Trotters

Boned & rolled leg of Macleay Valley white rabbit filled with truffles on a warm salad of slow braised loin, wood ear fungi & baby rocket

Only one person had dessert which was a chocolate delight and tasted great..........

A summer landscape of chocolate & peppermint with chocolate soil, peppermint sorbet with a vanilla scented cream & caramelised

The service was pretty good, the view was excellent, the food was ok but not great and more effort could have been made to ensure all items on the menu were available. Overall my guests from WA my brother in-law Michael Bataille and his family had a very enjoyable night and had exactly what they were looking for so all in all a great night. I have rated this only a 5/10 due to the food being overcooked and the unavailability of some items. Would I go back. probably.