Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Life is tough for poor Rita

I KNOW I’ve got the best job in the world, and today was another shining example of that fact. Isabel, a work colleague, was down in Hobart from Sydney for a few days, and volunteered to take Rita to lunch at the venue of her choice, no expense spared!

Well – open slather, so where will Rita choose? Isabel left the decision to me, very wisely!

There were a few places I wanted to check out – principally Peppermint Bay and Marque IV – but when I called both to book, neither were open for lunch on a Tuesday. That left it to my next logical choice – Meadowbank. (I had taken her to Cornelian Bay Boat House on a previous visit so I needed to find a different venue).

So – Meadowbank it was – and what a fabulous choice for the weather today. It was absolutely glorious there, and Isabel was hugely impressed with the choice.

Stephen (ex Gondwana) looked after us superbly, and the kitchen did the same.

We ate Mushroom Risotto (below), Seared Tuna, Lamb Cutlets, Olive Tapenade, and shared an Apple Crumble for dessert.

All was absolutely stunning, but outstanding was the tapenade, tuna and crumble. The tuna (below, but you probably can't see the fish nestling under the greenery!) was dressed with a variety of fresh herbs including young coriander, dill and mint and the combination was just like eating a palate cleanser instead of the meal. The youngness (youth?) of the herbs meant that the full flavours of each separate herb hadn’t yet reached full maturity so provided a lightness that you don’t usually get with an older plant.

I love olives, and particularly kalamatas. The tapenade was perfect – not too salty, and made up totally of olives instead of being padded out with other “goodies”, as I’ve had in the past.

Yummy Crumble is below.......

I left the Lamb Cutlets (below) as I found them a bit too tough to cut. They were very tasty but a bit too chewy. I wasn’t upset, and just decided to leave them. However, this was noticed at clear-back time, and, much embarrassed, Stephen took them off the bill, and added a complimentary dessert in apology, after the kitchen had checked my claim and agreed.

The lack of Simon West heading up the kitchen didn’t seem to impact on anything there, and the place seemed to be ticking over as ever, which was good to see.

They expect to make an announcement soon about their next Head Chef but meanwhile all seems to be normal. I love it there, as does Isabel now.

Posted on by Rita


Stephen Estcourt said...

Tough life Rita :-)

Sam Tucker said...

Sounds like an overall good experience at Meadowbank. Good to see that when the food isnt fully up to scratch the remedy the problem and you leave very ahppy.

On a side note i think it was a good decision to eat at Meadowbank, as i have eaten at Marque iv twice since the changing of the guard and have been thoroughly disapointed. it is a sad place with Paul not in the kitchen now.

regards Sam

Christina said...

Went there today Rita, just for a quick wine with friends, and word is they have a new chef now. Am dining with people in the know tomorrow night so will find out more details, like names and such.
I've been told to tell you to get back down asap and check it out.
A bit french I think the cooking style is.