Saturday, 15 October 2011

This weeks dining out roundup (RVL and Tassal Shop)

Above: Simon Cordwell, with Antony of the Tassal Shop

This week has been a bit quiet, dining-out wise, but Rita, along with her intrepid apprentice, youngest daughter Bec, have had a few standout meals outside the house.

Rita had a beautiful lunch on Tuesday at old favourite, Red Velvet Lounge in Cygnet. It was Steve’s day off (which I knew beforehand), so it was interesting to go there with someone who was way better known to staff than I and not be recognised or acknowledged. None of the floor staff were faces I knew, so while they chatted amiably with my companion, they politely ignored me, which is exactly the way I prefer it.

We both had the Clover Farm Lamb Navarin with winter vegetables ($26.50), and shared a flourless orange cake slice for dessert, complete with cream and ice cream. The lamb was absolutely outstanding, with a heavily-laden flavour of red wine, which complemented the lamb perfectly. The cake, surprisingly, was also beautiful and moist, with the appropriate amount of orange contained in it as to be instantly recognised, had I been blindfolded, as orange cake! I said ‘surprisingly’ because it looked so boring and average in the cake display fridge, but my first mouthful told me it definitely wasn’t boring and average!

Miss Bec went to Launceston for work this week, and ate dinner at The Terrace Restaurant, at the Country Club. She partook of some beautiful meals at The Terrace and Joseph Chromy vineyard, and being accustomed to her mother photographing every plate of food put in front of her whilst dining out, proceeded to do the same! Pictured on the right here is her Seafood Taste entrée at Terrace ($24), which comprised local wasabi tempura prawns with lime-dressed fennel and celery salad, anchovy crumbed flash fried calamari, seafood arancini and east coast oyster with crème fraiche and black caviar, crisp pork grits and granny smith apple. She said it was exactly what she felt like, and perfectly done with all flavours marrying well.

A cooking class at the Tassal Shop in Salamanca Quarry was the final eating out experience of the week for Rita, who has been suffering with a version of this accursed flu which everyone I know seems to have been demonstrating symptoms of. Despite feeling like crap, Rita trekked to the Tassal Shop and sat in with cooking teacher Simon Cordwell, Exec Chef at Hadleys (soon to be Peppers on Collins St) and his willing helpers and students, while he cooked up a feast for us.

Tasmanian oysters with soy, lime and mirin pearls (pictured above at the top) started the evening’s meal. These little ‘pearls’ also adorned one of the courses which Colette (Ut Si Café) and I shared at Hadleys last year, and found amazing. Simon explained, and demonstrated, exactly how he makes them – an intriguing process which requires a certain understanding of chemistry (and physics?) to begin with! They are a stunning addition to foodstuffs, like an oyster.
Following hot on the heels of the oyster starters came:
Baked parmesan custard with grilled new season asparagus
Korean BBQ salmon with kimchi and dipping sauce
Sesame seared salmon, wakame, shima wasabi and light soy sauce
Miso glazed salmon, asian salad and chilli lime dressing
Avocado and yoghurt panna cotta with strawberry and avocado salad, palm sugar and lime syrup, served with a glass biscuit.

The dessert reads as if it would be weird, but in actual fact was glorious, and a perfect way to finish the meal.

We went home, sated, and clutching our menu and recipes of every dish we ate. It’s Tassal’s birthday, so this seemed a fitting celebration (one of many over this week) to end the week with.

Next week looks very interesting……watch this space!

Posted on by Rita


GL said...

Good to read you are back on form, great post. I really shouldnt be craving Korean BBQ salmon with kimchi and dipping sauce at 10.40am.

rockoyster said...

Great article on Ut Si in the Spring edition of Tasmania 40° South.