Saturday, 26 January 2013

Terrace Restaurant

Tasmania has two main Casinos; the famous Wrest Point (which this year is celebrating it's 40th Anniversary) and the less well-known Country Club located in Launceston. While AJ and were staying in Launceston we decided to head to the Terrace Restaurant; the fine dining cousin to Wrest Point's revolving restaurant. 

The menu at the Terrace is similar; modern french inspired cuisine with an impressive wine list that has won many awards. AJ and I were interested in exploring the dessert selection here so decided over two nights to treat our palates. 

On the first we tried the Dessert selection; a selection of the entire menu but in minature. It was a great way to sample the menu; creme brulee with blood orange, lemon tart, panacotta and a chocolate and peanut brownie. We also tasted a selection of soft, hard and blue cheeses which came served with brioche, crackers, apples, quince and raisins. 

On our next visit we sampled some of our favourites in greater proportions which allowed a better assessment of the expertly prepared dishes from the Terrace kitchen. 

Without a doubt, I'd have to say the Brulee was the best prepared of the desserts - perfectly creamy, a crisp toffee and accompanied by a delicious sorbet.

The sampling of the sweet treats on the Terrace's menu only sparked my curiosity for the rest of the selection. 

Terrace Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Barilla Bay Restaurant

Towards the Hobart Airport there is definite shortage of culinary options. However, there is the Oyster farm that provides some of Tasmania's best shelled delicacies which also has a great restaurant/function centre; Barilla Bay. 

The menu presents a great range of choices including some great non-seafood options. 

We decided to try some of the oysters - which come served natural thai, gin and tonic sorbet, crumbed with spicy salsa, kilpatrick and many more ways. For $26 you get 12 oysters in three varieties. After choosing the G&T sorbet, the spiced and crumbed option and the kilpatrick we delighted in the fresh seafood fare.

For main AJ decided to try the Pulled Pork roll which was served with a nice side salad and chargrilled corn. I opted for the special; duck served three ways; a duck sausage, a duck wonton in broth and seared crispy duck breast. The duck was beautifully seasoned and each preparation was excellent. The pulled pork was juicy and packed a punch in the flavour department.

Deciding we were too full for dessert we left Barilla satisfied with our visit and will be back next time we're in the Cambridge area - definitely worth a visit if you want to take an airport bound friend out for dinner. 

Barilla Bay Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Smokey Joe's Creole Cafe

AJ and I were headed up to Launceston and decided that we would check out a unique Tasmanian restaurant; Smokey Joe's Creole Cafe Restaurant.

Located on the outer limits of the CBD the restaurant is a converted house and has plenty of character. Confederate flags, feathered masks and a range of musical and historical images are scattered throughout this homestyle establishment.

On to the entrees; we ordered the onion rings, chilli fries, popcorn chicken & buffalo wings. The rings were beautifully crispy and a brilliant colour. The chilli fries had well seasoned chilli and cheese topping but were slightly underdone. The buffalo wings had a good colour to them but were far from the saucy wings depicted on US food shows. Dining with us were Mr T and aXs who had just returned from a month long trek around the USA. They enjoyed the entrees but explained that it was just not the same as the food over there.

Then came the mains; AJ ordered the pulled pork sandwich, I decided on the Barbecue which was a mixture of chicken and ribs. The pulled pork was flavoursome and moist. Plenty of meat and a good serving size. The barbecue plate was also a generous serve of ribs and chicken. The ribs were tender and had a delicious spice rub. The chicken was well cooked but slightly bland - it really needed a stronger flavoured basting to seal the deal. 

Mr T's plate of Ribs

Service wise, this isn't silver service dining - it is honest, family friendly food that is unpretentious and unique. If you come expecting beautiful cuts of meat or delicately prepared chef-style dishes you'll be disappointed.

Whatever you order, the dishes will be tasty and great value - it probably isn't a restaurant for the 'foodie' but it definitely is somewhere to have a good time with your friends or family.

Smokey Joe's Creole Cafe on Urbanspoon

Friday, 18 January 2013

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie

While AJ and I were recently in Sydney we checked out one of the 'must visit' foodie destinations for sweet tooths: Adriano Zumbo @ Star City & his newest patisserie in Waverley.

The Star is a bright and exciting take on the Japanese sushi-train. Diner-style stools, colourful plates and plenty of delicious sweet treats make this outlet a perfect option for a dessert degustation.

There are of course Zumbo's famous Macarons (or Zumbarons), cakes and other pastries. But the real uniqueness of this location are the tiny treats which are samples of their full-size counterparts. We sampled a range of chocolate, citrus and even vegetable inspired plates; all something delicious and unusual. 

Later during our visit we ventured out to the Sydney suburb of Waverley. 

Tucked away in a quiet street is a rather inconspicuous version of the same amazing creations. Here we sampled some cakes - the famous V8 cake and a new Chocolate and Banana layer cake named 'Eric is a Bananaman'. The V8 lived up to its reputation and was an outstanding example of the Zumbo kitchen baking genius. The new choc-banana blend was even better - gorgeously indulgent and bursting with flavour. 

For those who aren't native to Sydney - Zumbo's outlets are a must visit. However, if you've ever watched 'Masterchef' or strolled into a bookstore that stocks his cookbooks lately you probably already know that.

Adriano Zumbo P√Ętissier on Urbanspoon