Sunday, 16 November 2008

Citrus Moon in Kingston

Rita is going to have to be a bit of a food snob in her explanation of her brunch today at Citrus Moon in Kingston. While the food was fine, I have to say that if you went there wanting technically correct food, you wouldn’t get it.

Eating with two cooking teachers also didn’t help the cause for CM.

The girls ordered Eggs Benedict, while Rita, who had already breakfasted, ordered quiche and salad, having first sought the mega-friendly waitperson’s advice on something light and lunchy. She said the quiche was sweet potato, fetta and spinach, which sounded good to me.

I also ordered a vanilla milkshake, with the memory of my milkshake at Sip a few weeks back still fresh in my mind. I should have heeded my own internal warning. This was, once again, one of those ordinary milkshakes which made the Sip one stand head and shoulders above all others.

The eggs had packet hollandaise on them. Now if you’re an Eggs Benedict afficionado, serving packet hollandaise on it is the food equivalent of turning up at a Pink concert and finding a contestant from Australian Idol performing instead! If it were me, I would make the decision not to include Eggs Benedict on my menu rather than compromise with a bought sauce. Don’t you only order them for the sauce? Otherwise you’d just order a poached eggs and bacon, or ham.

On questioning, the owner explained that due to the recent scare with eggs and home made mayonnaise, they had made the choice to use the bought hollandaise, with no fresh eggs used, hence no risk to customers. However, as my companions explained to me, the various councils have bought in quite effective ways of guaranteeing that the kind of food poisoning we had a few months back at Venus will now not occur if people follow the basic guidelines, as proscribed by the various councils.

So, I’m sorry, but being a true Eggs Benedict lover, I am simply not prepared to compromise, and need to know if I am ordering EB, that the cafĂ© or restaurant has made their own hollandaise. A moot point anyway, given that I didn’t order it today. Smith St Store’s brunch of EB, blogged about a few weeks ago, definitely was their own hollandaise, and beautiful it was too.

My quiche could actually have been more accurately described as a frittata. It had no pastry, and the consistency was odd, as well as it being overcooked and dry. The owner, seeing it left on the table with not much eaten, came over to enquire about it and was extremely apologetic on finding out the reason why it was being left. She explained that they put polenta in their quiches, as they have many customers who are gluten intolerant. That’s totally fine and understandable, but maybe that fact could be noted, either on the menu, or verbally at the time of ordering.

As it was, she was extremely understanding about it, and only charged me half price for it, which I thought was good of her, and for that fact alone I would go back.

The prices at CM were very reasonable, the service excellent and friendly. Bad luck about our food choices today but if you just wanted a snacky type meal and were in Kingston, it’s a great venue.
Posted on by Rita
47 comments

47 comments:

Miles McClagan said...

I live in Kingston, and I've never been there - although I'd ask for a lime spider instead of a Vanilla milkshake - but now I want to go! So much of this place I still don't know...don't you find when you live somewhere you end up missing 1/2 of it!

ut si said...

Ooh yuk...I didn't even know you could buy packet hollandaise. Clearly I need to get out more! Made eggs ben for my brother (chef) here on a visit from Melbourne recently...the hollandaise split...twice! He rescued it with a tablespoon of cold water. Now, if I just had a brother who was a plumber or electrician or renderer...

Michelle said...

This whole egg thing is out of control - we had a BBQ recently at a school fair and were told we couldn't serve egg & bacon rolls because of food poisoning risks. But a cheap nasty sausage full of rubbish is fine. Go figure...

Anonymous said...

Your friends were quite right about the hollandaise and the various council positions. Theres a few new guidelines and there not hard to follow. So no excuses.

When I'm in Kingston, (once a blue moon), I go to juiced on the waterfront. They make there own Hollandaise, in fact the kitchens open so you will see them doing it. As for milkshake, ask them for a real vanilla chiller, its a bit expensive at $6 but they put real vanilla pod in it, my nieces hijack my wallet for it so I know.

Cartouche

Anonymous said...

I think they are a bit hamstrung by the fact the heritage of the place was a health-food store and cafe.
Then just health-food cafe and so on.
The toughest pastry I ever couln't eat was from here. It was around something called a homity pie.
Ah well. But their cakes are magnificent.
On a bigger note, Rita ...don't you think Beach Road there would be the perfect EAT Street?
It is flat, by the beach, within reach.
I'd love to see bistros, asian cafes and restaurants of all description, wine bars and even upmarket music bars.
Why can't we get a whole street like this. I think there are around 35,000 in Kingborough now.
It could be our destination spot.

sir grumpy said...

PS That was me above (homity goes to town).
pushed wrong buttons, damn it....

Anonymous said...

I hear your sentiments loud and clear on the potential of Kingston Beach. But there don't seem to be many commercial premises down there or else I'd be there like a shot. Its a great looking beach.
On another note, I here Pam Clark was carted off today for chaining herself to a tree on the beachfont. My sis in law has just got off the phone about it.

Anonymous said...

Anyway Sir G theres two chippies down there... thought you would be in heaven.

Rita said...

Miles - I'm sure they'd do you a Lime Spider if you wanted one, even if it's not on the menu.
Ut si - thanks for the tip. I'll remember that next time mine splits!
Cartouche - I've looked at the menu at Juiced, but not eaten there. It's on the list though, and even more so now you're recommended it!
Sir G - CM is under new management, since about 3 months ago. I agree with you about an Eat St there. Somehow I don't see it happening but it could. I think the 35,000 in Kingborough that you mention aren't generally the types who would make those nightspots and restaurants viable in that area, especially with money being as it is currently. But - you're absolutely correct - it has all the potential for blossoming.
Anon 7.39 - we love news hot off the press! Thanks. I reckon Sir G would keep the 2 chippies there in business already!

sir grumpy said...

Hey, I need other places to eat, not just chippes.
I mean there are only seven days in the week, so I need a place for at least once a month when I'm not eating fush and chups.
Come on.
PS the home-made sausage rolls from the corner place are very good. Haute Cuisine ain't everything. For some of us it ain't nuffin.
Now where's my pie and mash and jellied eels....with licker, of course.

Anonymous said...

I agree if its not properly made hollaindaise then dont include it on the menu. cm just need to move it up a bit, great concept, gluten free dairy free and whatever free food can be very exciting . try not substituing things and just using a recipe book that has diet based recipes that have been tried and tested.

rockoyster said...

Any word on the quality of the coffee at Citrus Moon?

Rita said...

Hi Rockoyster - As you asked that question in the comments on the Scorchers post, that's where I responded. One of the girls had coffee, and I believe it was average/so so/OK.

Anonymous said...

Oh please not the coffee debate. When I hear a cafe wanking on about the quality of the coffee I'm like thats so 10 years ago. Its the cheapest thing on the menu. Even jam on toast is dearer. How fucking good has it got to be. And lets face it coffee and the brands have become so bloody generic how would ya know ? everyone seems to be a barrista (1 day course), and its organic, oh yea, grow it yourself, whats its frigging food miles smart arse.
These days if your that anal about it, get an espresso machine and do it yourself, whilst your at it roast your own beans.
And, finally, there are great coffee houses in Hobart, who do roast there own, use their experience and that shows. Putting a sign out and saying Organic fifth generation hippy coffee aint a qualification for that. Sucked in, Emperous clothes and all that.

Kris said...

People do go on about coffee far too much. Is an admission that one likes instant coffee more or less an indictment as admitting that one likes packet hollandaise sauce?

[I don't like packet hollandaise, or at least I think I don't...]

Rita said...

Agreed Kris. It comes right back to personal taste. It's simple - you eat, or drink, what you like. You have an opinion, you are allowed to express it. That's what this blog is about.
Anon 10.55, calm down. Yes, the coffee discussion can get heated, and people seem quite fixated on what is the best, or the most mediocre, in coffee, but does it really matter in the scheme of things? Would you NOT be friends with someone who preferred their coffee differently from you? I think not. Life is short. Enjoy your coffee, or your hollandaise, or your steak, or your milkshake the way YOU prefer it.

Anonymous said...

Rockoyster- The coffee is terrible! I've stupidly had coffee htere a few times, but not anymore. Actually, I've had nothing but bad service there as well, the owners have actually fought in the restaurant whilst there have been customers. I much prefer to go to Juiced up. The coffee, juice, food and service are all much better than citrus moon.

sir grumpy said...

Prsonllay, I'd rather have a cup of tea. Tea bags is fine.
I find tea people are the peacemakers, coffee hounds are warriors.
Tea is from venus, Coffee from Mars anyone?

Rita said...

Well, Rockoyster - Anon 1.34 has provided us with a definitive response about the coffee at CM - but remember that is merely their own opinion. Anon - are you maybe getting the owners fighting in the restaurant mixed up, as they are new owners there now, from 3 months ago.
Seems like people prefer Juiced anyway.
Sir G, I'm with you for tea drinkers, being one myself. Tea bags work fine for me, and i love the 'tea is from Venus, coffee from Mars' analogy! It so often seems to be that way, doesn't it?
You don't often find someone who is happy to mix and match with their drinks; you're either a tea drinker, or a coffee drinker, generally.

rockoyster said...

i wasn't expecting a simple question about the coffee to generate such a stream of consciousness. To those who answered the question my thanks. To the others - keep taking the medication.

ps My apologies for originally posting the question on the wrong blog entry Rita. I'll probably get the hang of these new-fangled computer things one day - provided I can get enough decent coffee.

Rita said...

Rockoyster - that's totally fine, and we're glad you've joined us in blogland. Keep on contributing, and making it an interesting place for us to come when the rest of the world is going crazy, or when we need a reality check!

hrv said...

Rita, the egg thing is really quite a big deal. Firstly I would like o state that I do not agree with ANY of the new recommendations with the exception of the disposal of the hollandaise after a set period.

These rules are very serious and have to my mind been dreamt up by burecrats and 'food techs' who base nothing on the realities of cooking. The whole thing began because several restaurants used unsafe and unclean eggs. This is a load of rubbish. The egg supplier may be at fault, but those restaurants are the ones who should shoulder the most blame. They used the eggs in the first place and should be checking the quality of their produce.

To cause this type of food bourne disease you must either use bad eggs, have bad hygiene practices, poor storage and rotation conditions or recipes that do not meet a safe manufacturing standard.

If the egg producer was solely at fault there would have been many more outbreaks. Suffice to say these new rules are ridiculous. They cause huge wastage factors, excess labour and admin costs and do not allow for safe, hygienic cooking practices.

What really scares me is that my local Council EHO or the State Officers could not properly answer my staffs queries with any confidence.

If the egg producer was solely to blame then they would have been shut down, but now all kitchens and chefs have been tarred with the same brush. You either stick to the rules and loose money or serve rubbish plain and simple. The other option is to not follow the rules, but if you get caught....

The interesting thing is they included panna cotta on the list. Sorry never sen a recipe for panna cotta that needed eggs.

So Ritas next time you want an aioli, just ask for the 'special sauce' under the counter, it'll become as rare as hen's teeth!

sir grumpy said...

What about just scrambled eggs, Rita.
Oops, sorry, didn't mean to open that can of worms again.

Anonymous said...

The special sauce under the counter, heh heh. Very League of Gentlemen.

Look HRV, I'm with you on this whole issue, its pissed me off a little, but I have to say the new "guidlines" if I can call them that are a little idiot proof. I guess in that I'm saying that other than professional fits of pique from us all initially its all regulatory bollocks, and nothing most of us wer'nt aware of and doing.
No my biggest concerns are that in my opinion pre-made sauces were left out the fridge too long, kept too long and yes, inevitably kitchens were not sourcing their raw products responsibly.Thats your problems.
Saying your going to use a packet mix, nahh, thats sounds more like you can't make a hollandaise.

Cartouche

Sir G said...

I couldn't care about hollandaise sauce.
Being a pleb, it's a bit wasted on flake and chips.
You'll never hear me shout, Oh, no they've split the hollandaise. they've turned it into scrambled eggs..
What's wrong with tamata sos?
Youse have all got too posh, have too much money or have too much time on your hands....

Anonymous said...

Ahhh Ketchup. You know I can't remember the name of the active ingredient that composites the taste in Ketchup (have to ask Heston Blumenthal that one), but in many respects you can't argue with the success of that and HP. Sometimes when its right its right. I guess that when it becomes uber popular it gets somehow cheapened and frowned upon.
Now if only I could bottle that hollandaise.....

Cartouche.

hrv said...

I noticed today two large ' For Sale' signs on the walls of Citrus Moon. New owners didn't last too long in the crunch

Rita said...

HRV - that's the building that's for sale, not the actual business.
Hoping to catch up with you soon. R

hrv said...

Thanks Rita. I hoped it wasn't the case of hard times for someone giving it a go. And ditto

rockoyster said...

Just when we thought the "Mother of All Coffee Debates" had subsided here I am again to tell you that the new Breadd (I wonder how long the focus group took to arrive at that spelling?) outlet has arrived.

Right next to Coles in Kingston. But never mind the coffee, check out the pastries, pies and the extremely yummy chilli and garlic pide bread!

A great addition to the Kingston scene!

Rita said...

RO - I laughed when I read your focus group comment! Looked at the website, and know the outlet in town, but didn't realise they were expanding at such a rate. A bit of competition for Banjo's?
As Colonel Klink would say, very interesting!

Munched said...

When is Rita going to review juiced?
Been meaning to check it out myself.

Rita said...

You've jogged my memory, thanks Munched. I'll get there soon.....

lemon curd said...

what's/where's juiced?

Munched said...

Juiced Up is on the waterfront at Kingston Beach. A block back from citrus moon.

Anonymous said...

Lunched down at the Citrus Moon today for the first time in about 5years.

Dissapointing really... Owner seemed dis-interested, small menu, cold coffee, scum/filth under the cake cabinet.

Ordered the soup of the day, which tasted like a can of carrots. Menu board said the soup came with house made toast - crap. It was "bought in" bread - you can actually tell.

Obviously they expect customers to believe this arrant nonsense, and abusing the publics intelligence by expecting them to belive this rubbish is not good.

I fondly remember the previous owners - Always friendly, always professional, always good service.

sir grumpy said...

Yes, house made toast. What's the prob? Had to toasted on the premises. Sheesh!

Anonymous said...

Dont understand sir g

Anonymous said...

Lunch here today was good

Anonymous said...

STIRRED What a load of bollicks , The Citrus Moon Has had a new owner for 6 months but he only collects the rent!!THE COFFEE IS ORGANIC AND GOOD The tea not in bags but real tea in tea pots.All cakes ARE made in house as are ALL cakes.As for dirt under cake cabinet !! you haven't been there for a long time Fioor has BEEN completely redone and no furniture was there while that happened!!It is a place with a difference and LOTS of people come back for more!!

Anonymous said...

STIRRED
RITA tell me where you get your information from re CITRUS MOON??
You are all wrong about what goes on there talk to me and I will fill you in.By the way the Bread is also made IN HOUSE.It can't be compared with JUICED AS they don't cater for same type of customers.It is its own special place and if you don't like it stay away and let those who like good wholesome food enjoy it!!

Anonymous said...

Stirred.
Either you have been misled or you are misleading people.
Every morning I walk my dog early. More often than not I say good morning to the delivery driver who is putting the bread order at the back of Citrus Moon. So I'm sorry to inform you that they most certainly do not bake all of their own bread. Someones fibbing.
I am a regular there, and have been for some time.
I have purchased the exact same cakes in Citrus moon in both Tassie and the mainland. Of course this could mean that a phantom baker and patissier that no one ever sees is supplying everyone else, but I somehow doubt its tiny kitchen could support this theory.
On sunny days I often mix it up a little and take my morning coffee at juiced up or even beachfront 32. Funnily enough I often see the same faces that dine at Citrus Moon in the same venues. Maybe like me they welcome a little diversity in their dining. So no Citrus Moon is not exclusive to a particular crowd, we like choice.
Finaly, I and many of my fellow dog walkers can see no discernable difference in the quality of the coffee's on offer, much of a muchness. Organic it may well be, but coffee is not that good for you anyhow, saying its organic is like offering out organic Tobacco or Alcohol in my view. If it were fair trade it might be different, but I don't see how that makes it any more tasty. In any case over the last 8 years or so I can remember Citrus Moon changing coffee brands at least twice and people still raving on about it. Your all very confused.

Anonymous said...

I do wonder what the truth is...

You see first I'm told they make all their bread.

Now I come on here and it says they dont make all their bread.

Trade secrets?

Anonymous said...

Go past anytime between 6.30am & 7am any given morning and see for yourself. Big white van, bald guy manna bakehouse written on the side. Draw your own conclusions on the rest.

Anonymous said...

ANON 6.52

You are WRONG re cakes. I think they used to have bought in ones but now I think they are made there

Anonymous said...

One or two? but not all of them. Who's baking them, they don't have a full time cook, not open more than 8 hours a day, no one working back late or even in that early. And why can I buy the same flourless cakes elsewhere?
What else don't we know, free range eggs? Organic vegetables?
Next we will be told the nachos are made on site.

Anonymous said...

The end of an era - Citrus Moon - CLOSED TRADING JUNE 22 2014.

Lease ended with no option to renew.

Building being pulled down and turned into a Italian Restaurant, with upstairs acccomodation.

You only get one cafe this good every lifetime.

Kingston's first cafe - Been in business around 20+ years.