Preoccupied Press

Month: November, 2012

Little Blue House

The french fusion restaurant gets a mixed review

La Grillade crows nest

La Grillade

118 Alexander Street  Crows Nest NSW 2065
(02) 9439 3707
lagrillade.com.au

Firstly, I do not have photos because I was absolutely consumed in the meal, and sometimes I’m not in the mood to look like a tourist.

La Grillade in Crows Nest was new to me. Most people I spoke to about it said something along the lines of

“Oh, that place has been around/good for years!… they’re under new management now though so…”

So. I don’t know what it was like before, but what I ordered was something incredible.

Hold up for a second though, I’m not a 10/10 crazy lady who likes any food put in front of her. There were a few little points worth mentioning that weren’t splendiferous.

The gorgeous little building itself resembles a house with a blue front. They have a sweet garden area out the back (unfortunately it was raining when we visited, so we opted for indoors).

The staff were lovely, but disorganised; we had to ask to see the menus and for the bill between gaps of uneasy confusion. Our runners seemed flustered, and although very friendly they were not on top of everything. However, not a night-ruiner by a long shot.

Bread came out for free (win) and we were given samples of cauliflower soup with brioche crumble to try (double win) which was amazing- I’d order it next time. We had the herb stuffed calamari with risotto and pork crackling (19.50) for a shared entree. It tasted lovely, however it was minuscule and by no means worth its price. Two tiny pieces of calamari and a shard of crispy fat, (with the risotto we had two mouthfuls each). Don’t get me wrong, very well executed and a flavour sensation with the herb mix, but ridiculously priced and definitely not one to share.

Michael ordered the 7+ Wagyu flat iron with frites and cafe de paris butter (37.5) which was very nice, yet quite heavy and limited in flavour variety. The dish lacked some crispy greens or some vegetables. Even so, a fairly classic french dish which was done well, but without the expected contemporary flair of La Grillade’s fusion cuisine.

I had the rolled lamb breast (34.00) and I’m almost lost for words. Get it.

The pureed jerusalem artichokes, dauphinoise and sauce were absolutely perfect. It was a rich meal (like most french dishes) but the lamb itself fell apart and you are constantly attempting to mash as many of the flavours onto your fork as possible.

My advice for both dishes would be to order a side salad, to break up the richness.

Speaking of richness, how chocolatey can a chocolate torte get? La Grillade nailed it (17.00). One of the best chocolate tortes I have ever tried, accompanied by completely uneccessary (and untouched) double cream and a small scoop of cherry sorbet. This dish is big enough and rich enough to share, which is rare advice coming from me; the crazed chocoholic who awaits dessert at every outing.

All in all, a very enjoyable night. I think your experience will largely depend on your ordering so choose wisely! And accompany the meal with some french champagne.

Bon Apetite!

La Grillade gets a 7/10

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How Much is that Pasta in the Window?

With a line and a waiting list 30 people deep, is Jamie’s worth the wait?

 jamie_hero

Jamie’s Italian Kitchen

107 Pitt Street  Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: 8240 9000
Web: www.jamieoliver.com/au/italian/
 

“It’ll be about a two and a half hour wait guys.” A young girl balanced a wooden plank of prosciutto, olives and bread, shuffling from person to person. The line of people outside Jamie’s Italian Kitchen was unbelievable at 5.30 in the afternoon and although it moved seemingly quick, the wait for a table grew longer.

It’s the one with the boxes of handmade pasta in the window, where the shopfront is almost missable, but extends vertically to seat 200 people. It’s easier to find if you scan Pitt street for a queue enjoying olives on the house.  I’m glad we waited. As it turns out, the caprioska’s were decent and you can order most entrees to the bar while you wait. Plus, some people must have given up so we only waited 45 mins.

Here’s the verdict:

BREAD (free)- A little gift from Mr. Oliver himself, a basket of herbed bread with European style olive oil and balsamic. If it were up to me, all restaurants would offer this for free. It’s just polite. Cudos.

ITALIAN NACHOS ($7.00)- A small portion of fried ravioli parcels filled with cheese.  The dip is the important bit: a little heat but a fairly basic, flavorsome, tomato base.

CRISPY SQUID ($12.00)- Beautiful and crispy; tossed with chilli. Also a small portion, but at the price of the entrees it’s worth trying more than one. Maybe I’m being selfish and just wanted the squid to myself (likely).

BUCATINI CARBONARA ($14.00/$23.00) – I got the tagliatelle pasta and it was sensational. Very creamy and on the salty side, which is to be expected. The pancetta makes this dish incredible, but being on the heavy side, I’d order an entree size next time.

TAGLIATELLE BOLOGNESE ($12.50/$19.00)- The winner of the night. Made traditionally with beef & pork, the flavours are unbelievable. What makes this dish so special is the crunchy, herbed breadcrumbs that hide within the pile of saucy pasta. They change- up the texture and keep the meal interesting.  Image

The most noteworthy of notes regarding Jamie’s Italian has to be the well-trained, freindly staff. Despite being a full house (with a line 2.5 hours long outside) they were awesome. I’m not a suck up I swear.

Basically it’s worth the wait. The prices are amazing for the quality, so I suggest tasting as many dishes as you can muster.

Goodluck!

Jamie gets a 9/10

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