We really wanted this to be excellent , as we'd been booked for weeks , with friends , and they'd been here previously for lunch and had a great time.
We did arrive later than the booking , and our table had been given to others , so we were inside this time , and it was very noisy. Place was already very busy by 6pm , a good sign generally.
The waitstaff were friendly , but one had to almost shout to be understood. Water was very prompt , other beverages orders taken , and menu's perused. We simply could not hear much of our waiters conversation about the menu , but as friends had been previously , knew the main deal.
Now , our table consisted of 2 very experienced Chef's , a Commercial cook and my wife , a very worldly experienced cook. We're a tough crowd to please by any standard , so if we thought it was good , it was most likely fabulous , and even if we did not approve , likely others might like it lots.
We ordered 2 serves of the Pork Skewers , the Swordfish, the Pork & Prawn Dumplings & the Beef Tartare to start.
The 2 cold starters arrived quite promptly , and that was good , as our table was small , followed by the 2 hot dishes. That made for an interesting amount of table management , but we coped.
The Swordfish was quite good , was wolfed down happily , the Beef Tartare was a quite spicy version and all enjoyed this variation.
The Pork skewers were slightly overcooked , were good , but not great. Flavour profile a little lacking , in our opinion. The Pork & Prawn dumplings were excellent , the accompanying sauce a perfect match , excellent depth.
We (as both couples) ordered the Beef Cheeks , a perennial favourite of mine , and many a Chef I know , slow cooked and nestled on a bed of noodles cooked like a Roesti , with Pickled Onions.
My wife and I also ordered a Roti , and a Som Tam salad , but both of these arrived after the Cheeks , did make the experience possibly less than fully excellent.
We all gave full marks to the Cheeks , a truly excellent rendition of Fusion cuisine , if we'd have had the space , would have had them for dessert !
The Roti , when it came , was excellent , a very good example of the famous bread.
The same could not be said for the Som Tam though , it came very late to the table , we'd all almost finished the Cheeks , but the first taste did not go down well. I've cooked often in Thailand , and this is a staple there used for many functions and is a simple , but often complex dish to get right.
The dish was overly vinigary , with barely any crunch and few additional ingredients. There was little evidence of Lime juice or Fish sauce and I could find no dried Shrimp.
That said , others may well have enjoyed it , but we did not.
We then chose some desserts , a Coconut Panna Cotta and the Banana pudding with a Rum caramel and Vanilla Gelato.
The Panna Cotta was very well recieved , and was excellent ,as was the Banana Pudding , initially , but after a mouthful of it's intense flavours , we thought it a touch too sweet , and a little on the large side. A good effort , maybe excellent with a little refinement.
Wait staff were very good , esp. given the difficult circumstance of the noisy environment, from that aspect everything was fairly smooth and professional.
So , what did we all think after returning home and dissecting the experience ?
Well , we'd all go back , that should tell you plenty , we'd probably stick to lunch though , less crowded and noisy , and we'd possible have some more in depth discussion with our waiter prior to ordering.
Overall , a very good experience , and one we'd recommend to anyone who loves Fusion food , it's a very good example , especially for the Sunny Coast.
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