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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bites: Mosmans @ Mosman Park

Mosman’s has always caught my attention.  It first started with the venue hosting the Miss Universe Selection for W.A. and yeah, I guess it ended after the pictures.  Haha joking :P!  There are heaps more about its history but I will leave that to Wikipedia.  After missing our booking last week due to a cold, I could not have been more excited about coming out.  What more when the last few meals you had were no more than porridge and soup!


When we reached in the evening, we were the only ones there.  Seated at a private corner, the little darling and I enjoyed view of the Swan River which was partially illuminated by Mosmans trademark blue lights.  Judging by the marine life swimming so closely to us, it was clear that they were attracted to the light.


The interior of Mosmans.  Albeit its simplicity, its traditional approach does not let down the ambience for a romantic evening.



Mosman’s :)!


The warm bread to start our meal:


Warm olive bread, confit of garlic, D’Isigny butter was our pick to start the night.  Cutting the bread into half started with a nice crack of its crust followed by an airy inside.  Quality butter spread complemented the delicious garlic confit.  All little condiments really mixed into something amazing.  Despite disliking olives, the garlic – butter combination tamed my judgmental thoughts of it.  Even darling who does not normally eat too much bread before starting, ate as much as I did!



Australian pan fried scallops, sweet corn & chorizo salsa was the little darling’s choice of appetizer.  She loves her scallops and this was no different.   It was still perfectly cooked with its sweetness still intact, not chewy in any sense.  The corn helped brought things together giving it another sense of texture.  The salsa with Chirozo combined the elements together really well and overall this was ‘wow’!



For me, I decided to go with the crab & parmesan Aranchini with romesco salsa.  Crumbled goodness filled with ….! That was my only problem here.  While the Parmesan’s presence was clear, I could not feel any crab. It was really subtle perhaps just so as to give it a little seafood touch.  Even the little darling had some.  Or at least I convinced her to have some.  The romesco salsa was just nice if I had to comment on it.  It felt well balanced.  I am not quite sure what composed this delicious salsa but it was something new which I really enjoyed!



While I have never ordered any fish dishes other than fish and chips, I was keen to try the fish at Mosman’s well knowing what their forte is.  Having said that, I ordered the West Australian Goldband Snapper, coconut pilaf rice, lemongrass cream, and shoot salad as my main.   Inspecting each element in my mouth tended to be less satisfying when I had each of them by itself.  Typically aromatic lemongrass cream felt lacking in flavour and so was the rice.  But when I started eating the fish, I found it splendid.  The fish was perfectly cooked with the flesh tasting sweet. It’s freshness did not disappoint and it was really good.  After awhile it all started to make sense.  The toned down elements did not intend to steal the show from the fish which was meant to be the star.  Fresh shoot salads added a refreshing touch to the entire meal.  Mixing the rice with the sauce along with the fish and salad really was something memorable!



For darling, her choice of grilled crispy skinned Tasmanian salmon rubbed with Chermoula, sultana & red pepper cous cous, and Tzatziki yoghurt was less than great.  While it was perfectly cooked, there were certain things which she did not like.  For instance, the crispy skin were no where near crispy.  Even our homemade version was a lot crispier!  What she felt next was that the cous cous felt a little overpowering.  She feel that the taste of the fish was covered by the spices of the cous cous.   Overall, an OK! But I guess it was not the best.


Finishing our mains, I was really delighted with the way my night have gone by.  The little darling was happy too, with the exception of the salmon.  After looking around the menu for a bit we decided to share a dessert, and boy were we glad to do so!


Caramelized honey mousse, saffron poached pear and honey jelly, fresh honeycomb.  The main features, each different and yet similarly honey like.  The slice of mouse-jelly cake was delicious.  Mousse was not smooth but I really liked the way it turned out. Felt somewhat frothy yet yummy!  Jelly layer gave a good sense of chewiness which was yummy followed by that crumbly bottom layer.Poached pears were cooked nicely with a matching presentation.  Saffron taste was not the most obvious flavour but was definitely present.  As for the honeycomb, it was just honeycomb being what it is.   Really good dessert I thought. It is one where all the flavours were not to overpowering.  Felt really mellow except for the honeycomb which leave that sticky bit in my tooth! @@!


Mosmans has been a fantastic host that night.  Attentive waitresses made the experience somewhat personal.  I guess the small crowd did help.  Its seafood offerings did not disappoint.  Whether it was the fish or the scallop and even the crab arancini, they all tasted really good.  All in all, it was definitely a good experience.  If one ever asks for the perfect seafood occasion; Mosman!



Mosmans Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bites: Il Ciao @ Applecross (Revisited)

Two weeks I re-visited Il Ciao to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Despite recent reviews saying it has dropped in quality, there were no significant issues with the food we had. At il ciao, there is always a wait and no bookings are allowed for group of 7 and less. Nevertheless, the free pizza slices kept the waiting patrons happy!  While we waited, I was snapping around trying to get accustomed with my new toy.


Using my workmate’s Canon 30D! I can tell you one thing for sure, you’d be surprised what this trusty aged machine does! It really produces some fine pictures!

The appetizer for the night:


The chili mussels were flavoursome with its flesh more well cooked than most places.  However, the missing richness in its tomato taste failed give us the perfect start.


After the mussels, the girls were back to their usual antique.


The ladies :)


For our mains, we each ordered one and pretty much shared it around the table:


Fishman’s scotch fillet was one of the superb dishes that night.  While it did not offer all the qualities of a dry aged steak, the scotch fillet did not feel lacking in anyway.  It still was cooked to order albeit slightly overcook, but the most amazing part of the steak was the sauce.  Creamy goodness with mushrooms and chopped tomatoes.  Just a good mix of sweetness, saltiness and acidity.  Slurps!



Nee and I both ordered the Ruspante alla Diavola or the chicken char-grilled and marinated with chilli, rosemary and white wine  served with a side of Spaghetti Bolognese.  I have had this before and like 3 years ago, it did not disappoint.  This is easily a good chicken roast with a tasty outside and a moist inside.  Seasoning was flawless although Nee did struggle with the heat a little.  Bolognese side is definitely worth that extra dollars adding.  While they do not use wagyu, the mince still felt moist and juicy.  Definitely my pick at Il Ciao!



The little darling’s lasagne was also pretty decent.  If there were any wishes, it would be more of that rich tomato sauce and of course some b├ęchamel to go with it.



Traditional Ligurian twirled pasta with ricotta cheese, sundried tomatoes and Italian sausages in a fresh tomato sauce was  Yvonne’s choice that night. While it tasted OK I thought that the pasta could have been a little softer.  There were some instances that it felt significantly undercooked!

And lastly the birthday girl!  Finally 18 now! Happy birthday ;)!



And ok, the little darling and I