Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Plum in Salamanca Quarry

Plum, the new restaurant of Mark Goodluck (ex Head Chef Lenna), and his business partner Sam, on the former Mr Wooby’s site, was the dining venue for tonight.

Rita had a dinner meeting with Charlotte Brown, from the Cable Station at Stanley, catching up with NW news and finding out what it was like to work with Rick Stein in one of his restaurants in Cornwall, which is what Charlotte has been doing for the past 5 months.

The Cable Station has big plans for the coming season, including Producers Dinners, and a stand with Lee Christmas at a local show, but more of that later.

Tonight the focus was on Plum, and Mark’s restaurant and food. Unfortunately (for Mark) we were the only customers, but I saw that as a major positive, as we were able to chat to Mark, meet his partner Sam, enquire about the various things we tasted from all staff, and generally have a whole restaurant at our beck and call! When have you ever been able to say that before?

The renovation and fitout is superb. No expense appears to have been spared. It feels fresh, clean and smart, as well as making you feel comfortable. I loved it.

The menu was relatively small but totally adequate with enough of a selection for most, I would think. We bypassed the 7 oyster selections on Page 1 of the menu, and proceeded to the entrees. Charlotte decided she’d have 2 entrees (one for entrée and one for main) as she wanted to have a dessert later. The 2 entrees she chose were excellent choices – Confit of Coal Valley Pork Belly, served with roasted apples on a minted pea puree, topped with a caramel dressing ($17), followed by the Braised Beef Cheek, served on a white polenta, drizzled with a veal jus flavoured with a hint of bitter chocolate ($16). The Beef Cheeks were absolutely delicious, and quite a decent sized serving (larger than a standard entrée size we thought), so excellent value for money. The pork was also beautiful. I thought she chose really well.

I had the Tasmanian Pan Fried Scallops entree, served on a white bean puree with sautéed mushrooms, dashi beurre blanc and truffle oil ($22). It was very rich but being a fan of rich food and concentrated flavours, I loved it.

For mains I had the Prawns, marinated in rosemary and garlic oil and finished with slow cooked tomato sauce accompanied with a potato pave, fresh green beans and olive tapenade ($31).

It was exactly as it is written, and was a good dish to follow the richness of the scallops. I liked this one, but as I also tasted Charlottes beef cheeks (and having previously tossed up as to whether or not to order that dish in preference to the prawns), I wished then that I’d selected the beef cheeks, as the cheeks was a fabulous concentration of great flavour.

Charlotte made it to desserts, and selected the day’s special of Bread and Butter pudding with 2 house ice creams on the side. She loved it too, but really shouldn’t have ordered it, as she simply couldn’t tackle most of it.

They had a few extras, which were great – their bread rolls are the best I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant; the after dinner chocolates, and almond bread that accompanied the coffee were welcome, and yummy. It’s those little expressions of generosity that are appreciated by customers, and make you want to return.

All in all, a great experience in a great new restaurant. I really want Mark to do well with this, so will watch with interest, and hope as the silly season fast approaches that many more will give this restaurant a go. They are busy, particularly on weekends, with breakfasts, and have a designated barista so obviously take great pride in their coffees.

As Molly Meldrum says, do yourself a favour – go to Plum and try it out for yourself.
Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

We went to Plum on a Friday evening just after it first opened, the service was fantastic, as well as the food. And the decor is stunning. And will be returning!

Christina said...

Plum is on our list of places to go next year on monthly girls night out.
I walked pass Olive last night and had a quick glance at the menu and that seems pretty good too.
Piccolo is also up there. Great review in the Mercury the other day but I have heard some disappointing things too.
Rita I must agree that Darjoh's is wonderful.
The service was great from a very lovely waiter who I forgot to ask his name or he would have been on your great service list.
For entree I had a sample plate of prawn dumpling, crab dim sim, prawn dim sim and steamed pork buns. Yummo! That good I ordered some more to take home for Phil.
For my main I had the special of the day, stirfy duck and vege in a black bean sauce. Heaven on a plate!! The other ladies enjoyed their meals too.
Prawns with ginger and chilli and a beef curry.
Desert was a wonderful chocolate cake with raspberry coulis, cream and icecream.
I can't wait to return and take Phil too. The duck goes down as one of the best meals I've ever had, and believe me I've had a few. The flavours all just went together perfectly
I was lucky enough to speak to the chef for a while and I told him of my enjoyment. He was so pleased to hear such positive feedback.

Rita said...

Hi Christina - glad you loved Darjoh's, and that you and the girls will eat at Plum next year.
I am really upset that today I have had to cancel my much-anticipated meals at Piccolo and Marque IV over the next 24 hours, due to coming down with the worst pain ever experienced (even worse than my cancer, which in hindsight was a walk in the park compared with this!), which my Dr suspects may be kidney stones, but the cat scan at Calvary this afternoon should tell me more.
Bugger, and ouch!

sir grumpy said...

Rita, sorry to hear of you pain. Hope you get over it very quickly.
I'll even behave and not try stirring old Gobbler or anyone else tonight.
(I thought I'd get him with the chips thing but he didn't bite).
What was on that Plum site before...wasn't a greek place or something?
What happened to that?
PS Rita,don't the Italians drink a whole bottle of olive oil to flush the stones out? Or how about a whole bottle of sticky?
Get well soon.

Rita said...

Sir G - thanks for the thoughts, and am tempted to try the sticky remedy, except am on such a high dosage of pain killer I think it might do more harm than good!
Plum was previously Mr Wooby's.
Gobbler is pretty canny you know - I think he can tell when you're trying to stir him by now!

Christina said...

Sorry to hear your not feeling so good Rita.
Let us know how you get on.
Thinking of you.
It must be bad for you to miss out on Marque IV!!

ut si said...

Just got this on BITTEN. The first comment is very Sir G.

Hope you're feeling better Rita...but, unfortunately this ain't gonna help!

Anonymous said...

Get better soon, Rita.

Stephen said...

Where and of what style are Olive and Darjoh's?

Looking forward to visiting Plumb before Christmas. I've been itching to try somewhere new.

I'm sure its old news, but I really recommend Pigeon Hole for breakfast and lunch (on the same day preferably!)

Rita said...

Hi Christina - I know you of all people would know how bad it would have to be for me to miss a meal at MIV!! Feeling better today, thanks everyone.
Stephen - Olive and Darjoh's are both in Bellerive, in Cambridge Rd. Olive is new, so I'm not sure about their food as yet, as haven't been there yet. Darjoh's is Asian, predominantly Thai. Originally I wasn't very impressed with their food, but after nagging from a few commenters on this blog, re-visited them and absolutely loved their food, so have done a public retraction (gladly!) and am now a firm fan of theirs. If you enjoy Thai food - go there immediately!

Christina said...

Stephen, Olive describes itself as a wine bar and cafe, thats what it says on the door anyway.
From the menu it's a bit italian maybe as there was a list of pizzas, but also lots of seafood dishes and share plates.
Bit of this, bit of that really.
If I wasn't in such a hurry to get to Darjoh's maybe I would have paid more attention.
Might be good one lazy Sunday afternoon.

Anonymous said...

This is my uncles Restront i have been there once for my cousins birthday i wont to go ther for mine the food is so nice there!

Anonymous said...

Just went to plum. Service was less than average. 1 member of our group did not recieve a meal and was then asked to pay for it. The meals that did come were good, but it is hard to take a sour taste out of your mouth. Needless to say my girlfriend had her birthday breakfast ruined.