December 11th, 2007

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Review - The Little Snail

Recently I dined at  The Little Snail which has been around in one location or another since 1966. In their current location near Harbourside in Darling Harbour/Pyrmont, they actually look like a much more expensive restaurant. The décor consisted of palm tree pillars, a sparkly ‘star’ ceiling, a stone statue pillar and a corrugated iron ‘roof’ on the bar - a real surface paradise!

Dinner is a set three course fixed price option is only $49.50 per person, and you choose from a reasonable selection of entrees and mains, and a smaller selection of desserts. If you bring small people, they get their own two course fixed price menu ($15), and a lot of staff attention. We watched General Manager Richard Moate lead a very developed service culture on the floor, where staff introduce themselves to younger diners, happily arrange menu substitutions and generally pander to younger guests.

As we sat down we were given some instantaneous Garlic Bread - in fact the service all the way through was snappy, and food came from the kitchen very quickly.

We chose a dozen of their signature Snails baked in the shell in garlic butter - the snail shells showed marks of previous occupation (apparently many restaurants run the shells through the dishwashers and reuse). Beyond that, it was a pleasant dish, with an intense garlic sauce that was lovely on the accompanying Herb Bread.

More to my own taste was the flavoursome Bouillabaisse filled with scampi, mussels, prawns and multiple types of fish, served with garlic bread. For the price, I felt the serve and quality of seafood was very good, particularly the prawns which were cooked perfectly.

The mains were slightly less impressive than the entrees, but I am often inclined to prefer entrees. The first one we chose was a lovely slow roasted shoulder of New Zealand Lamb.

We also enjoyed the Duck A L'Orange on Crushed Kumera and Grand Marnier Glaze.

Desserts were perhaps the least successful part of the meal - but they were far from bad. I had Banana Crepes with Marscapone, Strawberry Compote & Chocolate Sauce. I couldn't find the banana, but later learned it was in the crepe batter. It was an intense pile of cream that I only ate a little of - the three courses left me totally stuffed.

The better dessert was the Traditional Creme Caramel, except for the blobs of strawberry flavoured sauce (wrong).

The menu is French inspired contemporary Australasian and the wine list is very well priced, so skip the corkage ($4 per person).

The Little Snail

50 Murray Street, Pyrmont
Ph: (02) 9212 7512

Little Snail on Urbanspoon
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