Sunday, 7 June 2009

The Northern Club, Launceston

Rita and youngest daughter, Miss Bec, journeyed to Launceston in foul weather conditions late Friday to visit an ailing relative in hospital. This was an ideal time to check out the Northern Club referred to here on this blog last week, so we booked in there for dinner after fulfilling our duty at St Vincents Hospital.

As luck had it, we had the good fortune to be recipients of a most beautiful 5 course degustation designed to showcase the best this all-encompassing restaurant had to offer.

We ate:

Jerusalem artichoke soup with truffle oil and chives ($9.80 on Specials menu) – absolutely the best flavour combination ever. I adore Jerusalem artichokes, and combining them with the truffle oil was inspired, and really hit the spot for both of us.

Grilled marlin with pumpkin rotolo, caperberry and king prawn salad ($28.40 on Specials menu). Out of all the 5 savoury courses, this one, while totally acceptable, was easily the most ‘normal’ and un-startling.

New season seared scallops with cucumber and ginger salad – these were kick-arse. We only had 3 scallops but every mouthful was stunning, and the accompanying salad was one I could have eaten all night. I love ginger, so this was a star for me. The dressing on the salad partnered with the cucumber and ginger perfectly.

Tasmanian lamb sirloin with braised lamb ravioli, Mediterranean veg and pancetta jus $26.80 Rita was starting to get a bit full by this stage, so grazed at this dish but was pissed off she had to send a bit of it back to the kitchen. The sirloin had a beautiful smokey flavour and the lamb in the ravioli was done exactly the way I love it – long, slow and tender.

Twice cooked crisp pork belly with celery, walnut and apple salad $14.80. This one was Bec’s favourite and she hasn’t stopped telling everyone we subsequently met about it. We had similar at Marque IV in April, and my thoughts were that MIV’s slightly topped NC’s but I reckon Bec would beg to differ. She tried to lick her plate but I slapped her!

We felt like something small but sweet to finish off with, so were presented with a dessert platter comprising a small crème brulee, a small bowl of poached raspberries, a little chocolate pudding and a scoop of housemade hazelnut icecream.

The brulee was exactly as we wished it to be – delicious; the raspberries light and equally delicious; the choccy pudding a lovely surprise, as it was one of those that contain the yummy runny chocolate as a surprise package inside. The ice cream was a great accompaniment to the other dessert dishes.

The service was impeccable, and the restaurant itself is a gorgeous old former bank managers residence, and still feels as elegant as it must have looked 100 years ago.

Bec had matched wines with every course so was pretty ‘happy’ when we left! She loved all the wines she was offered, and commented that they had done an excellent job with their wine selections for her. Rita sat on one innocuous cocktail all evening, and luckily she did, as we emerged to even more disgusting weather (rain, sleet and thick fog) and slowly made our way to a friends new house in Riverside to spend the night.

We loved our evening there, and really wished the restaurant was closer (ie – in Hobart) as the rest of the menu sounded great, and there were quite a few other things I would have loved to try. They have a $14 lunch and dinner menu on Mondays and Tuesdays, so that too would be a drawcard for many, I suspect.

If you find yourself in Launceston one evening and want to try somewhere great – pop into the Northern Club for a great meal. I will definitely be back next time I’m in Launceston.

61 Cameron St, L’ton
6331 3568

Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

We went to Northern Club a while back and enjoyed it too Rita. Glad you found it and wrote such a good report.

Stephen said...

The Jerusalem artichoke soup sounds great. I really like artichokes, however served. In fact I looked up the recipe - looks easy to make at home.

Anonymous said...

degustations are 10 courses long. there is no such thing as a 5 or 6 course dego

Rita said...

I hate to dispute this Anon, but I have just googled the meaning of 'degustation' and there actually appears to be no set amount of courses for a dego, and from all my online research thus far, most seem to average between 6-8 courses, not 10. Basically it seems it is meant to be a showcase of the chefs signature dishes, giving people a good cross section taste of his or her best dishes.

Marque IV's is definitely not 10, nor have I had 10 courses at any other dego meals (totalling around 15) I have been to over the past 10-odd years, so I think I would tend to agree with the general concensus online of 6-8 courses, especially as Matthew Evans stated in an article on same in SMH in 2004 that you are not meant to come away from a dego stuffed to the gills, and dragging your stomach along behind you! They are meant to have provided you with the sampling of the many dishes.

Bri said...

Degustation is simply the sampling of various dishes, foods or drinks.

Check out the degustation at Alinea, an amazing restaurant in the US. 28 courses!

Anonymous said...

Anon, you were thinking of decadegustations which have always been ten courses from the Roman times.

This was of course shortened to decustations after a while. So thats the confusion.


hrv said...

I had a 17 course dego at Interlude once and a 22 course that we did ourselves. Lots of fun!