Sunday, 22 August 2010

Trifling with truffles

Just in case you thought Rita had retired from dining out, let me hasten to assure you that that definitely is not the case. Last night saw a repeat visit to one of my most favourite haunts/eateries – Red Velvet Lounge at Cygnet – with fellow blogger and friend Victor. We had lots to catch up on, food-wise, and if you’ve ever read Victor’s blog, you’ll know he is a mine of information for any Asian cooking recipes, or advice, a human could ever possibly want or need!

Last night was Truffle Night at RVL, and, as ever, Steve excelled himself in the truffle stakes, with a menu liberally peppered with truffles.

Victor and I obviously have similar tastes in food, as we always seem to order the same dishes when we eat out together, and last night was no different.

We both decided on the scallops in truffle butter for entree, then the line-caught blue eye done with truffles and served with a truffled potato salad for main. Both dishes were extraordinary, but we agreed on the fish as the overall hero. Every mouthful provided the taste sensation of a superb blending of truffle, fish and butter predominantly. Gorgeous!

We completed the meal with the sweetness of a beautiful almond-honey parfait – a perfect ending to a perfect meal.

Steve came out of the kitchen after he’d sent out mains, and joined us for a chat – a monster effort considering the guy had been in bed all week with pneumonia! I hope our conversation contributed to a slight improvement in his condition!

Anyway – if you were unfortunate enough not to be on the receiving end of a Steve evening meal featuring truffles, let me tell you quite bluntly – you’re a mug! You should have moved heaven and earth to eat there!

Next Saturday night, Rita has the biggest honour in the world in having been offered the opportunity to eat somewhere extremely special……watch this blog next Sunday for her report!
Posted on by Rita


Victor said...

It was lovely catching up with you and Steve, and a great evening overall at RVL. I am still thinking about the exquisite truffle potato salad and perfectly cooked fish with a nice crusty skin.

Enjoy your coming weekend. Look forward to the next write-up on your biggest weekend adventure!

ut si said...

Sob :(

sir grumpy said...

I can't quite imagine chocolate with scallops and fish. But if it turns you on, go for it....

Christina said...

I knew that was your comment Sir G, before I even checked.

sir grumpy said...

I had a look at the RVL website and it was very good. However, I do wish they'd spell it Lager instead of Larger.
probably a tie-pin errror like wot I do.

steve said...

Hi Rita & Vic-nice to catch up with both of you.
Collette-no sense in crying over missed truffles!
Sir G-Lager corrected, thanks!

Sue said...

I had a great coffee and brioche style glazed fruit loaf at the new Italian Pantry called Vino, Cibo e Piu. Nice atmosphere, $1 espressos before 9am.It's in Federal Street with a view of the Black Buff Bottle Shop (downside).

Christina said...

Waiting Rita... what did you do last night.

Anonymous said...

The attached food looks like dated Tassie rubbish fit for a backwards rubbish state that sadly believes it is a cuisine competitor

Anonymous said...

What attached food? There is none?

Funnily enough though, I agree with this bit: "dated Tassie rubbish fit for a backwards rubbish state that sadly believes it is a cuisine competitor"

I'm not talking about RVL's food either. Just Tassie in general.

Rita said...

Yes, I, too, thought when I read that comment "what attached food?". The comments about Tassie food being "fit for a backwards rubbish state that sadly believes it is a cuisine competitor" are so general and uninformed, and demonstrate a total lack of vision on behalf of the writers, that I don't really know why I'm responding, as I usually adopt the attitude that there is no way I could sway or influence people with that opinion so why would I bother starting.

However - I totally dispute that point of view, and on behalf of the many food establishments here in Tassie who do, in fact, excel in producing original, authentic, regional food, I think that statement is a gross generalisation.

Given that the comments are placed at the bottom of the RVL truffle write-up, I am assuming you might be referring to the truffle menu at RVL as being one which aspires to being a "cuisine competitor", and one which you feel is second-rate?

My response to that is that unless you went there and tasted the food on that menu (which may or may not have been outdated, or not. Who dictates what food is 'in' or 'out' at any given time anyway?), you are in no position to make a comment anyway, surely?

The whole point of food is in the eating of it.

Waxing lyrical about what might or might not be 'in' with food fashions is incidental to the actual eating of it. Whoever eats something can tell you they either liked it, or not.

End of story. We can debate it all we like, but lowest common denominator is a personal one - it pleases us, or not. We like it, or we don't. It doesn't matter whether it's Hungry Jacks or RVL's truffle dinner, or Tetsuya's best food, or even, dare I say it, Heston's delights.

You just can't generalise and make such a sweeping statement as the fact that the whole state of Tasmania is unenlightened as regards good food.

Anonomouse said...

I've eaten, worked and travelled all over the world and in my opinion Tasmania is a culinary backwater unfortunately. Let me clarify...

Firstly, let me say that there ARE some truly world-class products in Tasmania. Places like Woodbridge Smokehouse, Tas-Saff and Bruny Island Cheese are the measure of any producer in the world. Tas-Saff is the best producer of Saffron I have ever come across anywhere in the world. Bruny Island Cheese on it's day produces cheese that equal or even exceed some of the best producers in the world. Truffles, apples and some seafood are stunning. Oysters in Tasmania are beaten by only one or two places. Cancale in France has the best in my opinion. World-class produce abounds.

But there is also a hell of a lot of crap around. And it far exceeds the amount of world-class produce. Getting fruit and vegetables of that standard in quantity is almost impossible. We import so much stuff which is fumigated, irradiated and god knows what else. Give it a day or two, tomatoes are floury, cucumbers have no taste, eggplants are leeching water and any number of other fruit and veg are compromised. Mmmmm... oranges tasting like cardboard.

There is not a single restaurant in Tasmania that I would rate as being world-class. Not one. Which is unfortunate because you have so much potential. There's not a single restaurant that would be awarded one Michelin star in my opinion. Let alone two or three. Which is a shame.

The general standard of restaurants in Tasmania is incredibly poor. I'm sick of poor service and dull, back in the 80's food. I'm sick of restaurants serving "touristy" food.

I'm appalled at the lack of care in dishes - unrested steaks, overcooked vegetables, overcooked fish etc etc. For a state that prides itself on the quality of food in the state, getting basics wrong such as that is unacceptable. Hell, I was served FROZEN bugs at the most well known seafood restaurant in Hobart in it's "best" restaurant on the dock. They were still frozen after been grilled. In a state that prides itself on it's "fresh" produce.

Suppliers are a joke. Bringing wilted boxes of rocket, "fresh" herbs, squashed tomatoes, rotten chicken - regularly - is not acceptable. If you did that in Sydney, New York, Paris or any other major city you would be dumped as a supplier there and then. Turning up at 1:00pm or after 4:00pm is disgusting. If your not there by 7:30am in a major city you are gone.

The saddest thing is that when you compare to other states/provinces/cities of the same size as Launceston, Hobart or Tasmania in general, the quality just isn't there. The whole point of those comments is a comparative statement I think. If you compare to other "culinary competitors" it's not at the same level. Even comparing to somewhere that is a similar demographic size it isn't. Which is such a shame. All this potential going to waste. You are going to be compared to other places all around the world, hell I am comparing to places all around the world and the quality is lacking.

As to Tasmania and it's enlightenment... hmmm...

Serious enough for ya...

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymose why dont you just FUCK OFF!

Anonomouse said...

Why? I'm entitled to an opinion.

Judy said...

Thanks for the laugh Anonomouse & Anonymous have given me. Very amusing!

Anonymous said...

What's to laugh about? He/she has no idea. Our state is in fantastic condition and one of the top 10 places for food in the world. Our suppliers are better than most, our restaurants leave mainland restaurants for dead.

Christina said...

Massive call last anon.
The world???
I'm a massive fan of Tassie restaurants, chefs, food in general, but the world??
Mainland restaurant for dead???
Some of our restaurants may compete on an even level but that's probably about it.
Great that you have such confidence in us and there should be more of it really.

Anonomouse said...

Why are you such a prick last anon? And were you that arsehole who put up a comment in the Second Bite thread that got deleted? Boo hoo I have an opinion that is different to yours. Boo hoo hoo. Just because I don't buy into the "fantastic" state of Tasmania's hospitality scene unlike many of the locals doesn't mean you need to be rude. I think it has potential. But is a long way from reaching it. What's the problem?