Tag Archives: Lobster

Michael Lambie, 17 Years in 17 Dishes at The Smith

I was at The Smith a few weeks back and noticed a sign up in the ladies room: “Michael Lambie, 17 Years in 17 Dishes”.   The man behind some of the most famous restaurants (Stokehouse, Circa, & Taxi) was celebrating his 17 years in the Melbourne dining scene by serving up some of his most delicious dishes.  Needless to say, the very next day I signed up for it!

I was pleasantly surprised to discover upon arrival that drinks were included in the cost and with unlimited top ups!   Turned out to be a much bigger night than I’d originally anticipated…

We started off with three canapes:  kingfish sashimi with nam jim and toasted coconut, organic tofu with pickled ginger, cucumber and mint, and freshly shucked oysters with ponzu and wasabi caviar.   A lovely refreshing start to the dinner.

Canapes

The food was broken into time periods, so the first four dishes represented 1995 – 2000.  The mushroom cappuccino with truffle cream was like heaven in a cup.  It was rich, earthy, and creamy.

Mushroom cappuccino with truffle cream

Harrisa crusted yellow fin tuna with Thai style spanner crab salad was excellent.  Refreshing and light.

Harrisa crusted yellow fin tuna with Thai style spanner crab salad

Seared Atlantic scallops with cauliflower puree and curry oil… well I loved this dish.  Beautiful and delicately seared scallops with creamy puree… yum!

Seared Atlantic scallops with cauliflower puree and curry oil

King Island crayfish salad with tomato confit and lobster oil dressing…  Can’t go wrong with that combo!   The cray was fresh and perfectly cooked.  The dish salad added a nice crunch.

King Island crayfish salad with tomato confit and lobster oil dressing

The next episode was 2001 – 2004 and first up was quail salad with apple and celery salad, bois bourdon sauce.  Crispy pan fried quail on a tangy salad.

Quail salad with apple and celery salad, bois bourdon sauce

We were then presented with a very full plate housing San Daniele proscuitto with blue cheese dressing and crostini and ballotine of duck and foie gras with rillettes, parfait, hot toast and ginger pear chutney.   I love these charcuterie plates – heaped with salty tasty goodness and crusty bread.

San Daniele proscuitto with blue cheese dressing and crostini

And last lastly, we go into 2005 – 2012.  The roast wild barramundi fillet with eggplant caviar, basil puree and orange miso jus was an interesting combo but worked well and tasted good.

Roast wild barramundi fillet with eggplant caviar, basil puree and orange miso jus

Wonderfully cooked and tasty rolled roast rabbit saddle with rabbit confit and grain mustard veloute.

Rolled roast rabbit saddle with rabbit confit and grain mustard veloute

This was so so good:  Wagyu 7+ rump cap with horseradish cream and yakaniku dipping sauce. Meat was  cooked perfectly and the accompaniments were amazing!

Wagyu 7+ rump cap with horseradish cream and yakaniku dipping sauce

And last but not least, a modest raspberry souffle with white chocolate sorbet to finish a marvellous dinner.

Raspberry souffle with white chocolate sorbet

I hear you asking “how did she walk out of the restaurant?”.  Stuffed full of fine fine food?  Stumbling from too many wine top ups?  Euphoric from eating some of the best dishes ever?   Yes, twas all of the above.

For more info on The Smith:
The Smith on Urbanspoon

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Pressed Lobster at Pressoir D’Argent, Bordeaux

When I’d heard that Pressoir D’Argent had a lobster press (and apparently there are not that many in the world), I had to check it out.   What is a lobster press?  It’s a heavy silver contraption that you put the cooked lobster shells into and press it (manual turning of a handle) to get all the lobstery goodness out.

That aside (yes, sounds like a strange novelty!), the restaurant was great.  Hard to believe they were awarded only 1 Michelin star considering the restaurant was gorgeous, the service was impeccable and the food was some of the best I’d ever had (innovative and tasty).

Upon arrival, we had a lovely glass of champagne and a few small treats including gold dusted macadamias (just a bit over the top) and salmon tartare in a crispy cone.

Macadamias in Gold Dustsalmon tartare

For entrees, we had what was described as scallops in foie gras and langoustines and foie gras.  Cooked scallops were encased in a sphere of foie gras and wrapped in savoy cabbage.  It’s then sat on top of a crispy piece of bread, on some tasty foam, and a green sauce.  Whilst it looks a bit weird, it tasted really really good.  The langoustines dish consist of plump juicy langoustines, sandwiching a piece of pan fried foie gras, with foam and champagne/seafood jelly.  Presentation for this was gorgeous, and it tasted fantastic.

Scallops in Foie GrasLangostine with Foie Gras

Then came the lobster.  A few lives ones were presented to us for selection, and then whisked away to be poached.  It all comes back out, and the lobster shells are pressed and the sauce is cooked before us.  The sauce is then served with the poached lobster and a side of rice with veges (so similar looking to Chinese fried rice but didn’t taste anything like it).   The pressed lobster sauce was unbelievably good.  It was like the most intense buttery lobster bisque.

LobsterRice with Veges

We were then given a fruity palate cleanser before moving on to dessert.  For dessert, we ordered what was described as citrus and wow I was totally blown away.  The plate consisted of little pieces of foam, jelly, mousse, biscuit, gelati and cream and it was perfect in every way (balance, texture, taste).  Phenomenally good.

Palate CleanserCitrus

To finish, we had coffee and a beautiful plate of petit fours.  The sweets specialty of Bordeaux is caneles and  we were also given a little box to take away.  The caneles are browned on the outside and a bit chewier, but soft and stickier on the inside.  Very rich consistency, and I can eat lots of them, but in very small bites!

Petit Fours

All up, fantastic dining experience.  All dishes were spectacular and the service was first class.   The restaurant is located in a beautiful building in the main square of Bordeaux.   I loved the star of the dinner, the lobster, and all it’s accompaniments.   If I’m in Bordeaux again, I would re-visit to have the lobster again!

For more info on the lobster press, here’s a link.

Tickets, Barcelona

People, believe the hype.  Tickets is all that they say it is, which is totally amazing.   We booked 3 months in advance on the web before heading off (note to east coast Australians – the clock resets at 8am our time for the bookings).    The restaurant’s decor is whimsical, inviting and open.  The service was brilliant.  And the food was magnificent.

When in Spain, must eat jamon.  We had the thinly sliced salty “Joselito’s Gran Reserva iberian ham” with “the tomato bread” which was toasted and smeared with rich tomato goodness.

The “slices of tuna belly with it’s tartare, panceta and salmon roe” was delicate yet packed a punch.

These “miniairbags stuffed with manchego cheese” were like eating puffy clouds of cheese.  And the pearl on top were olive oil droplets!  When I first saw them I thought it was golden roe (!).

The chilled “avocado cannelloni with crab and romesco sauce” was a divine and delicately balanced dish.

This was my least favourite dish for the evening.  “Macerated prawns with soy and ginger” had prawns that were creamy in consistency (which is not my thing), but the sauce was delicious.

I have no idea how they made the “marinated fried fish” as the outer crust was so delicately crispy but the inside fish was perfectly moist and juicy.  Delicious.

The ““mollette” with double chin” was to die for.  It was like the greatest pork sandwich I’d ever had.  The consistency of the bread matched the juicy tasty pork to a tee.

This dish looks a bit rude, but the “confit potatoes with pork rib jus and boiled iberian ham” was great!  The potatoes had so much flavour in them!  Loved it!

Tasty “chicken skewer with shitake mushrooms” was great – juicy chicken and mushrooms grilled on a skewer.

Grilled lobster” was cooked perfectly and super tasty.  Came with a lemony dressing which enhanced the sweet chunks of lobster meat.

The “liquid ravioli of Payoyo cheese” was amazing!  It was like cheese in a cheese membrane which just exploded in your mouth.   The cheese was quite strong, like a mild blue flavour.   The toasted bread atop gave a nice crunch.

First dessert was the “pineapple with Maraschino cake and lime meringue“.  Cold sweet chunky pieces of pineapple mixed with cake and covered with a browned meringue.  Refreshing and light.

My boyfriends step dad is Catalan so we had to have the “Catalan creme roll“.  Sweet creamy filling with sweet crispy outer shell.

Last was the recommended “warm lava cake of “Turron de Jijona” with raspberry sorbet“.  As described, the cake was warm and once broken oozing with almost caramel like sauce.  The sorbet was a nice sharp contrast to the cake.

So we had a lot of food.   And it was delicious and quite the experience.  I was really bummed that we didn’t get the forest dessert (it was like a chocolate cake and other things made to look like a mini forest) and the mango sorbet which is served to you from an old school ice cream cart.  Guess I’ll have to go back for it!

Just in case it wasn’t obvious – I love this restaurant.

Atlantic – 5 Course Crustacean Celebration

My first visit to Atlantic was so great, I had to go back again ASAP!  I discovered that there was a 5 course “Crustacean Celebration” on at the end of Jan, and booked it in!  Service was friendly and efficient, setting was gorgeous and atmosphere for a Monday night was bustling.

First course was “Golden Beetroot Carpaccio – spanner crab, basil, lemon, beetroot jelly“.  The crab and beetroot were both sweet, which was offset and balanced by the burst of lemon.  It was a great start to the 5 courses.

The “Raviolo of Scallops and Coriander – sauce jacquline” had a wonderfully round and firm ravioli, surrounded by a buttery sauce with veges hidden underneath adding a crunchy texture.  The sauce was the outstanding element that brought the dish together.

The “Slow Cooked Morton Bay Bug Tails – confit fennel, cherry tomatoes, black olive oil, tarragon” good, but unfortunately not my thing as the bugs were slow cooked and therefore very soft in texture.  Looked amazing though!

The next dish, consisted of the most exquisite and perfect lobster I’d had in awhile… “Roasted Tasmanian Crayfish – wagyu beef cheek, kipfler potato, brown onion marmalade, red wine bordelaise“.  The lobster was fresh and had that wonderful taste and consistency.   The sauce, onion marmalade and potato mixed through mashed potato were perfect companions.   Wow and wow.

Dessert was “Honey and Goat’s Cheese Parfait – citrus sable, summer berry salad” which was a nice light way to end the 5 courses.   Pretty as a picture, and tasted lovely.

Overall, Atlantic has stolen my heart.  I’m thoroughly in love with this restaurant.  Sure some may hate on it as it’s a bit pretentious and expensive, but the food is outstanding in freshness and quality, and the cooking is executed well.

For more info and reviews:
The Atlantic on Urbanspoon

Boston Food Trucks and Lobster!

In the lovely city of Boston, surrounded by historic sights and endless amounts of clam chowder, I saw my first food trucks! There they were, like a mirage in the city, serving burgers and tacos! As an afternoon snack, the food was tasty and satisfying.

I was so excited to be in Boston… we went to Harvard for a day, walked the Freedom Trail, but most of all, we ate our hearts out!  Clam chowder, lobster, crab cakes… the list goes on!

First stop for seafood action was Tia’s Restaurant which is located near the waterfront.     Between the two of us, we chose to share the “Award Winning Boneless Buffalo Wings” followed by the “Baked Stuffed Lobster” with a side “Basket of Onion Rings“.   The buffalo wings and onion rings were average but the stuffed lobster was awesome!  It was half a pound of lobster, stuffed with crab meat, scallops, shrimp and buttered cracker crumbs.  It also comes with fries and coleslaw.  It was sensational!

Boston is known for clam chowder, and upon a few recommendations (including local’s in Boston) we decided to try Legal Sea Foods.   There are numerous outlets in Boston, and we went to the one by the waterfront.  The clam chowder (apologies, I don’t have a pic of it) was too creamy for my taste.  We also had the crab cakes – which were amazing!   It was a whole lump of crab meat, with a creamy mustard.

For more info on Tia’s:
Tia's on the Waterfront on Urbanspoon

For more info on Legal Sea Foods:
Legal Sea Foods - Long Wharf on Urbanspoon

Golden Fields and the infamous Lobster Roll…

Golden Fields was delightful.  Sunshine was streaming through the windows, into the minimalist and open restaurant when I was there for lunch (which btw, you can book for!).

Started with the infamous “New England lobster roll, hot buttered bun, cold poached crayfish, watercress and Kewpie” which was everything that was promised.  It was light, tasty and perfectly balanced.  My only criticism is that it was tiny, and costly!  I could have easily had 2 more of these puppies.

Next up we had “Pork belly in white bread bun” which was delicious!  Tasty braised pork belly in soft fluffy white bread… mmmm!

Crispy skin duck, steamed bread, and plum sauce” was delicious – the duck was crispy and salty, and there’s nothing like constructing your own sandwich of duck meat, hop sin and cucumber.  The steamed bread was not as well done as it could be, there was just something a bit off about them in appearance, but when in my mouth, it tasted awesome!

Dessert was “Peanut butter parfait, salted caramel and soft chocolate” and this tiny packet packed a punch!  Salty peanut butter with sweet caramel and chocolate – divine!

Lunch was great, with the crowds being less evasive then the evening sessions and the food being delicious.  The only thing I wished for was more food!  Definitely going back to have more lobster rolls, and to try other things on the menu!

For more info and reviews on Golden Fields:
Golden Fields on Urbanspoon

Land of celebrity chefs… Las Vegas!

Ahh Vegas…  scorchingly hot days, endless electronic sounds of the pokies machines, cocktails in ridiculous glasses and land of the celebrity chefs!  The selection of restaurants on the strip was endless, and here are ones that I tried out!

Table 10 is Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant located inside the swanky Palazzo.  I’d never heard of Emeril prior to this wow the food was good!  I had a New Orleans Fried Shrimp Po-Boy with Natural Cut Fries whilst my boyfriend had the Angus Ground Beef Burger (grilled to order – sesame seed brioche bun – natural cut fries – choice of bleu or cheddar cheese) along with a side of Truffle Mac-n-Cheese (excessive for lunch, I couldn’t help myself!).  Lunch time prices were very reasonable, and I still have dreams about that Shrimp Po-Boy… it was so good!

Nobhill Tavern is Michael Mina’s restaurant located at the MGM Grand.   The restaurant decor was minimalist and elegant.  I had the Maine Lobster Pot Pie with baby vegetables and truffle cream – which I think may have been the greatest dish I ate during my whole trip to the US.  It had a whole lobster sitting atop crispy fluffy puff pastry in a rich truffle cream – what more could I ask for?   My boyfriend had the special of the day, which was a beef short rib served with mashed potato (which he substituted for fries).  His comments on the short rib:  “promised to be a simple piece off meat of the grill but turned out to be so much more”.   Would so go back again,  as I saw a couple serves of burger sliders go past and I’m desperate to try them!

Would a post about celebrity chefs be complete without Wolfgang Puck?  I think not.  We gave in and went to his restaurant Spago in Ceasar’s Palace.  We were there for lunch and had the Chicken Meatball Sandwich, soup du jour (Clam Chowder) and Tuna Sashimi on crispy rice cakes.  The food was good, and the restaurant was bustling as we sat “outdoors” under the blue sky (ceiling).

All up, Vegas had some of the most spectacular food I’d had.  In the land of excessiveness, it seems natural to eat excessively also!

For more info and reviews on Table 10:
Table 10 (Palazzo) on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews on Nobhill Tavern:
Nobhill (MGM Grand) on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews on Spago:
Spago (Caesars Palace) on Urbanspoon