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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bites: the Old Crow @ Northbridge

Northbridge and its ever growing number of eateries are an interesting scene for foodies like myself.  Every now and then,  I see something open but am extremely skeptical to go in and try despite their great ratings and rave reviews.  Blame me not as a few places have left me disappointed.  Fortunately though, the Old Crow on William Street was not one of those eateries.  Our waitress for the night have a pretty cool accent.  I assumed she is Scottish and Bel agreed though Jordan reckons a little more Irish.  Shit you not, but she was helpful and super cheerful which made our night great.   More importantly, she was keen to explain all the things we needed to know about the food we ordered while making a few great recommendations too.


Our night started with free complimentary bread with in-house whipped butter:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The joy of free things.  Especially those that actually taste good.  So where do I start?  Deliciously crusty on the outside and  fluffy on the inside.  WoW!  Definitely awesome but the butter despite its rich and creamy texture felt lacking in flavour.  Definitely needed the salt that was on the table.  Great stuff :)!


Next, we ordered the ChimichangaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Chimichanga or the fried tacos were so yummy.  The pulled beef had lovely flavors and the shells were so crispy.  At the base, Old Crow puts a corn salsa and a guacamole to create the perfect Mexican wave.  Old Crow style that is.  An American creation which I have not tried anywhere else but in Perth.  Not bad for starters!  Hot sauce gave it that extra kick but beware of the little pockets of oil that sipped through the openings!  A little scary!


Our first shared plate came out looking really awesome.  The chargrilled octopus on a tomato base with some chick peas and a dollop of sour cream.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This dish ticks a few boxes.  Presentation was top notch for $14.50, the sauce was awesome such that I started using the complementary bread to mop the plate and the chick peas were great accompaniments despite me not understanding it presence.   But for me, the octopus was a little overdone.  It became chewier than it should be. While I was not bothered, I was expecting a little more.  Perhaps too much haha.   I wanted something that when cut through, would feel like a warm knife cutting through butter!  Maybe only this can be done with squid.  No idea @@!


All share plates were $14.50.  This was the Duck Parfait


My choice for the night was the duck liver parfait.  Ever since my encounter with Foie Gras a few years back, I started eating these little nasty things which taste absolutely fabulous.  No I will not eat them Chinese style, but OMG when it goes parfait, I am usually sold.  This creamy parfait did not disappoint.  The seasoning was good and it felt decently rich but not as rich as I expected!  Jordan lauded its lightness where he can go for many rounds but fat ass Bel and I still preferred it to be more decadent as we would still got for more even though if it was very rich.  Typical fat ass problems here hahaha.  During dinner I was told that Brioche is the best bread to go with parfait.  True enough, this pairing made it a race to see which melts in your mouth first.  The bread or the parfait.  Great stuff for sure!


I was pretty stuffed by then.  The Chimichanga, squid and the parfait.  Even Bel was full.  But Jordan who was on my #yolo trip to Sydney was not.  No wonder he was the perfect companion to my Sydney foodie tour!  If you would like to see what we had  check out My Sydney Foodie Trip in 36 hours.  Despite being full, we braved on to finish what we ordered.  Our first main to share was the Blackened Pan Fried Fish in a delicious seafood broth.P7150029As much as it look great, it tasted great.  The broth was to die for and the overall flavors that constituted this dish was spectacular.  Fish was really fresh and it had a  skin that still packed that bit of crunchiness.  It was yums!  I am still really trying to find a way to describe the broth.   I know the seafood flavors in there were what some people would call bursty.  It was really flavorful.  But I want to say something else.  Maybe it had a very pronounce shellfish taste?  Whatever =.=!  More importantly, a big change is needed here.  The clams.  They were horrible ='/  Jordan found them bearable but definitely not fresh.  But the rest were good :)!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Our next main was the onion tart.  In terms of flavors, these one did not lack onions.  The sweetness of the onions were there but other than that it needed an extra touch of salt.  Having a slow cooked egg was nice especially when the egg is runny and gives the tart moisture.  But one needs to be mindful that a tart which is already so delicate and subtle in flavors does not need a bland element anymore.  Unfortunately the slow-cooked egg was that “bland element”.  Having said that though, the tart still has it merits especially its delicious crust and as mentioned before, the beautifully cooked onions!


Our side of Cajun Spiced Crispy PotatoesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA While the Duck Parfait at Cantina 663 definitely did better than the parfait here, the potatoes at the Old Crow trashed Cantina’s buttermilk fried potatoes hands down.  These were literally crispy and the lovely cajun spice gave it a beautiful flavor that turned these blend carbohydrates into something magnificent.  Homemade dressing was highly commendable and we just loved every bit of this.  No wonder the waitress said that these were absolutely gorgeous.  I agree!



My friends love their dessert and there was no way we were going to walk out from here without some.  Especially after I have read the Queen of Bad Timing’s post on the chocolate and peanut butter lava cake served here!  See her post here P7150045Seriously.  This was the BOMB.  If anything at all, I felt like this dish by itself makes the whole trip to the Old Crow worth it.  Not like the rest of our meal was not good but this was seriously yums!  I am not a big fan of chocolate but do a peanut butter-runny chocolate combo and I am officially a convert.   The cake was cooked just right at the top and it was super runny on the inside!  I have always  loved the combination of peanut butter and chocolate.  It always feel as if the saltiness and nuttiness of the peanut butter tend to help the chocolate shine.  This works almost all the time!  Maybe that is why top chefs tend to put a pinch of salt into their chocolate cakes and sort!  On the side was the Old Crow’s homemade three milk ice cream.  The three milk consisted of condensed milk, full cream milk and coconut milk.  The perfect combination for a heart attack lol.  The flavors were good! But in terms of consistency, it did not feel as silky as an ice cream should be.  Still, it was not too bad!


We also shared another dessert which was the Old Crow’s Apple Pie with Nutmeg Ice cream.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This looked just simply wonderful.  If you love spice, you my friend are going to be a big fan.  I like spices but only to the extent where the fragrance gently tease the sense of my nose.  This though was on a whole new level.  Layer after layer, I felt as if my taste buds were being suffocated.  I think they were way too generous with the cinnamon dusting.  It was too intense but to some, it might be a new found heaven.  For me, I needed water.  A lot of water to wash it all down.  This was clear as Jordan clearly did not mind this although between Bel and I, we were dying @@!  Putting spices aside, one other thing that could be improved was the filling IMHO.  I think the caramelized apple cubes on the inside needed a little more moisture to give it that lovely slightly runny sticky consistency.   As it stands, it was a tad too dry!  Other than that, I could not fault with anything as the pastry became slightly soft thanks to us being too engrossed with the peanut butter and molten chocolate cake!


So how do I sum up my experience?  Really good.  I have been to a few places in Northbridge that has a similar vibe in terms of ambience but none really took off the way the Old Crow did with their food.  The food here was good and nothing here felt too obliging.  Considering they have only been opened for three weeks now, I am hell impressed!  At the Old Crow, it was a mix of cultures which makes dining an amazing experience.  Oh and considering I am a non-alcoholic, I felt right at home with their large choices of mocktails, juices and soda.   Not to mention decent prices too! Juices were $4 while sodas were around $3!  Service without a doubt was friendly on a relatively peaceful Monday night.  Like most have commented, the Old Crow felt like something Northbridge needed for a long time now.  So to the geniuses behind this new establishment, I thank you!



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