Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bad Hair Day

We're all human, we have bad hair days, bad moods, lazy can't-be-bothered days. But when a much-loved restaurant has a bad night, it can be truly miserable. Such was my experience at the Choux Shop recently.

Usually Choux is a shining example of how everything can go right in restaurant-land.

Sadly on this occasion the usual gold-star service let them down. It began with a phone that wasn't answered and was followed by terribly slow drinks orders, a gin and tonic served with mostly melted ice, and waitresses who had lost their normal sparkling manner.

I love Choux, but the staff were clearly having a bad night. Perhaps something had gone wrong, as sometimes happens. Perhaps someone hadn't shown up for their shift. Perhaps someone was ill. Perhaps there'd been a blazing row in the kitchen. Or perhaps something terribly tragic that is none of our business had affected everyone's mood. Most likely we'll never know.

Choux. A great restaurant - but human after all.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day to those that have 'em.

GW xx

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Restaurant 373 - North Hobart

Not to be confused with Fish xyz ... Restaurant 373 is a newbie in North Hobart in the old Lickerish spot next to the State Cinema.

That's right. Black Pepper has gone.

Restaurant 373 opened last week and we managed to stumble in spontaneously (see, this is how being a last-minute-larry can work in your favour). Menu was enticing and not too pricey (pork bellies, scallop risotto, kangaroo, and so on). Mains were under $30. Wine list was well put together and reasonably priced. Decor: Dark and moody with splashes of deep red. Service was personal and attentive, if a little too on the "everything ok?" side of things - but they've just opened and are naturally keen to see that all is as it should be.

Best of all ... we were surprised by their very generous take on the 'amuse-bouche' so popular in New York (yeah, as if I'd know). We sat, we drank, we ordered entree and mains. Out came a little plate with skinny bread sticks and olives. How pleasant. We drank some more. Then came some little bread rolls with some white bean dip. Nice. Then came an outstanding consomme of roast tomato with a disc of minted jelly (best stirred through we were advised). THEN came our entree and then our main (nicely timed, good portions). We drank some more and contemplated dessert (I really do promise it's unusual for me to have dessert!). Anyway, to my surprise, out came a little shot glass of a delicious little white frangelico thingy that wasn't a pannacotta and wasn't a mousse, but somewhere in between. THEN came our desserts.

Oh my lord, when they say soft-centred chocolate pudding, they really mean SOFT-CENTRED DEATH BY CHOCOLATE!

Anyway, putting my tongue back in my head for a minute, Restaurant 373 is very keen to provide a wonderful dining experience in the North Hobart strip. Picking up where Lickerish left off, they are having a damn good stab at it. It's early days, but all indicators are that they are on the right track.