Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The Glass House, July 2015

Hugely enjoyed a very long lunch recently at The Glass House on Brooke St Pier.
First impressions: light, spectacular views  of the waterfront and water, expensive well designed and carried out restaurant fitout.

This is most definitely not the restaurant/bar for your average suburban $10 pub meal fan! It exudes an elegant, exclusive air as the waitstaff competently glide around you doing their jobs.

The food menu comprises only the first page of the weighty menu you are handed. The following six (?) pages are beverages of every conceivable type you could imagine or want. Whiskies, cocktails, wines.....you name it and it's most probably there!

My wine of choice, had I been rich enough, was a 1998 Chateau d'yquem  dessert sauterne priced at $700 (a steal if you compare it to some of the wine on offer at Me Wah!).

So to the food. There were three of us, so anything we requested that comprised only two in the serving, we were given three, to ensure we all got to taste a good cross section of the small plate menu they offer.

Our waiter explained that the plates were designed to be shared by all at the table, and that worked very well for us.

We had:
Baby octopus (steamed) with kimchi salad ($13)
New seasons Tassie scallops in a beer tempura batter, with yuzu mayo, green tea salt ($18)
Steamed Spring Bay Mussels in sake broth ($22)
Yakitori chicken ($12)
Gyoza chicken wings ($18)
Cape Grim eye fillet bulgogi bao, pickled carrot and daikon ($14)
Okonomiyaki Japanese pancake ($10)
Scallop sashimi in coconut vinegar (a special for that day. Not sure of the price, sorry)
Panna cotta of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf ($9)
Champagne chiboust, yuzu, lemon curd ($11)

My absolute top four on the gastronomic charts (of this meal) were the tempura battered scallops, gyoza chicken wings, and the two desserts.

I have never tasted scallops as fresh as these. How many heavily battered and boring deep fried scallops have I eaten in my 66 years? Thousands, because I'm a sucker for a scallop of any kind. Glass House's offering was unbelievably pure, clean, light and fresh tasting.

The gyoza chicken wings were everything  you want your stuffed, crumbed and deep fried wings to be! Crunchy, finger licking perfection!

The octopus and kimchi dish I found a bit bland, with the virtually tasteless octopus deflecting attention from the tangy kimchi. My least favourite dish I think.

The mussel dish surprised me because we got such a huge serving of mussels. The sake broth was stunning, but as I frequently buy and poach a kilo of Spring Bay Mussels myself, these weren't too far away from the flavours I usually add to mine, so this particular dish didn't knock my socks off hugely, despite my overall enjoyment of the dish.

The special of sashimi scallop was perfectly executed and bought forth with clarity the beauty of the scallop flavour.

The yakitori chicken sticks were a lovely tasty snack but essentially just two decent sized bits of marinated chicken meat on a stick!

The baos were the only dish I didn't try but my friends assured me they were excellent.

The two desserts were chalk and cheese in flavours, but complemented each other perfectly. I'd never heard of a 'chiboust' before, but Wikipedia quickly told me it was a creme patissiere (pastry cream) lightened with stiffly beaten egg whites. In appearance it resembled one of those pastry cream filled matchsticks, with a brûlée style burned top.

The panna cotta too was indescribably wonderful. Not too sweet, with the kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass flavours clearly predominant on your palate. Both desserts were exquisite. The best finales to a meal ever!

Sipping our lattes (and massaging our now bloated tummies!) afterwards, we dissected and rated the meal. It earned 8/10 from all of us. Would we hurry back? Hell yeah!