August 20th, 2007

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Best Cheese

At the recent  at the Restaurant '07 in the R.H.I. my day was made by finding the perfect Washed Rind Cheese. You wont be surprised to hear that it is French (although I will point out that my current favourite hard cheese, Maasdam* is from Holland).

So the current winning cheese is called Epoisses and it is curiously dark in colour, and bold and complex in taste. Forty days old cheese has orange-brown rind and is very sticky. The aroma is both pungent and spicy aroma. The cheese is supposed to be served with a fine Burgundy or a spicy aromatic white wine - we enjoyed it with the Shaw and Smith M3 Chardonnay.

Luckily I was able to find some at Rozelle Fine Foods, imported by Australia On A Plate, so I could share it with my partner.

Often compared to Swiss Emmental, but much smaller in size when produced, this nutty flavored, mild cheese gets its characteristic appearance of large "eyes" (holes) and a domed top from a special bacteria which emits carbon dioxide during the maturation process. Maasdam is a perfect complement for salads and sandwiches and is ideal for melting.
Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Review - Summer Salt

For my birthday, the family lunch was at Summer Salt - a fine-dining restaurant down in The Shire.

The Sourdough Loaf ($6) was aesthetically pleasing, but not really sour... and I think that's pretty essential in my books. The butter wasn't Lescure - enough said really.

In the cocktails, my partner's Apple and Chai Martini ($10) was the most outstanding. I would order it again, and commend it for being a combination I have never seen on a cocktail menu before.

For entrees, we decided to share a Tasting Plate ($36 for 2 people) but we got them to make it for 3 way. We were not told about any substitutions - but here is what we were promised:

And here is what we received - can you see a Zucchini Flower? I can see it was replaced with Octopus - but some notification since my Mother doesn't eat Octopus (they look like spiders apparently) might have changed our choice.

That said, the produce was lovely, though the oysters were massacred  to the point where one was pretty much unable to taste oyster.

For our main, we shared a Seafood Tasting Plate for One ($52) which again had the odd substitution - the Atlantic Salmon came with Honey and Macadamia (quite nice) instead of a Thyme, Honey and Almond Crust. Again, no word about substitutions from the floor staff.

My Mother's main was Veal Scallopini ($32) with barbecued prawns, baby spinach and Hollandaise sauce, and it was lovely - the veal in particular was tasty, and tender.

Dessert was a case of aesthetics over imagination - they looked great, but nothing went that extra mile. My sister liked her Trio of Ice-Creams complete with a sugar sail, and our Dessert Tasting Plate for Two ($24) had a lovely Raspberry Sorbet, and a nice Coffee Ice-Cream. The chocolate tart was too heavy, and the Mille Feuille had nice pastry but the banana and lightly done butterscotch sauce lacked oomph. They also took 10 minutes to notice we wanted dessert menus, and 45 minutes from ordering to get them on the table.

And finally - a word about the toilets... when your patrons walk in, and walk out, preferring to stop at McDonalds on the way home, you should probably worry.

All in all, it is a restaurant that deserves a mention, but needs to polish up their act to justify the kind of fine-dining prices it is charging.

Summer Salt
Elouera Surf Life Saving Club, Mitchell Road, Cronulla
Ph: (02) 9523 2366

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