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Bread with parsnip dip
I found the parsnip dip interesting.
Chilled skate with artichoke paste, slow cooked red pepper, squid salad, parsley jus
J is not a fan of cold entrees but I am. Unfortunately, this was not to my taste at all. I would liken the taste to a can of tuna mixed with a generous serve of mayonnaise. The slow cooked red pepper tasted like ordinary antipasto from a jar. It was definitely not something we expected at all.
Air-dried wagyu, duck liver parfait, fig and beetroot chutney
This was one of the better dishes from the night. It is noteworthy that nothing on this plate involved any real cooking or preparation on the part of the kitchen staff (apart from plating up, which they did a very good job on). The wagyu needed no further preparation apart from slicing, the duck liver parfait and chutney both tasted like they came out of a jar.
Confit pork belly, green curry, bok choy
It looked delicious on the plate and we were both hopeful that the night was looking up (food-wise that is, apart from that, we were having a fabulous time!). The pork lacked any flavour. It was extremely stale. The fat was rubbery. It was obvious that the meat had been prepared well in advance and had been quickly defrosted and pan-fried before serving. I have never tasted pork belly like this before.
The scallop was tasteless and insipid.
At this point in the night, we realised we were in a bizarre alternate reality, much like a scene from Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. That could be the only explanation. We waited for the moment Gordon Ramsay would storm into the restaurant, shouting abuse. Amusing as that would have been, that never came to pass.
Garfish stuffed with prawn, nori, coriander cumin
Every bite was filled with mini, utterly annoying fish bones. It was sad that after ploughing through and removing those deadly spikes, we were left with an extremely under-seasoned, zestless fish devoid of flavour. The concept of the dish was good. The execution, on the other hand, was horrendous.
Berry Gazpacho, yoghurt sorbet
The dinner ended on a somewhat pleasant note. This was an enjoyable dessert. Simple and to the point.
Chocolate tapioca, chocolate espuma
This was an average dessert, at best. But given the other courses served throughout the night, we were thankful at how ‘non-disastrous’ this was. I guess everything in life is relative.
And it was over. What an interesting experience. I have never been so shocked by food in my life. And please do not be fooled by how well these dishes present. Taste is an entirely different matter. I would recommend this restaurant for a hilarious night out, but please stay clear of it if you wish to taste delectable food. As the menu prices are equivalent to 1 hat restaurants in Melbourne, it surprises me that this restaurant has remained open for a substantial period of time (the wait staff we asked told us it has been open for about seven months) given the quality of the offerings.
J and I have read the reviews of this restaurant on Urbanspoon and are both puzzled by the extent of praise lavished upon this eatery by other reviewers. Nevertheless, we can only speak from our personal experience and there is only one word for the food: Monstrous.1
1. For the purposes of this post the word 'Monstrous' is given its ordinary meaning and not the one given by Matt Preston (Masterchef).