Met up with a couple of British friends for dinner and drinks on Saturday night… straight after the eBay fun day @ Gongqing Forest Park. So after 8 hours(!) of running around in the sun, we rushed back to have showers and make ourselves presentable for dinner. To say we were beyond exhausted is putting it lightly. I think it’s a bit ambitious to be up at 7am on a Saturday, run round in the sun all day, then go out for a looong night of dinner and drinks. I was SO tired at the end of it I was a bit of a zombie and appeared mildly retarded to everyone because I just couldn’t get any of the jokes – my brain just wasn’t working 😉
The restaurant of choice was Kakadu, an Australian restaurant and pub. I heard it served up great Aussie food as well as Aussie beers and wine, so was really keen to check it out and convinced everyone else on the idea 😛 The ambience is fantastic – divided into Australian-style areas, the big fish tank and pale blue walls is the “lagoon”, another with ochre seating and an airy, glass roof is the “desert”, and a third with a view of a small garden is the “rainforest”. Pretty cute! It’s actually quite a posh looking place, I’d expected more of a dingy pub for some reason. But it was pretty fancy dining, with SKY HIGH PRICES to match.
Service was fantastic though. Impeccably attentive and they all spoke fluent English. We had Aussie beers and Aussie wine to drink, which brought back lovely memories of home. I also opted for the Riberry gin & tonic which was a refreshingly light fruity alcoholic drink, perfect for summer! We got some warm bread with butter which I was surprised that we were charged for – usually fancy restaurants give complimentary bread, so I thought it was rather greedy to try and charge for it.
The appetisers were SUPERB. A stunning 5 dishes of prawns, salads, pork belly, etc etc. No photos because we all dug in so quickly that I forgot 😉 Every single appetiser was spot-on perfect, no questions. They were also really sizable and pretty much as the size of a main meal – impressive!
The main meals themselves, however, left much to be desired. Every single dish got the thumbs down from every single person. Those that had the steak said that it was mediocre-to-tough with almost no sauce, a disappointment especially considering the huge price tag it comes with. The duck breast was also given a massive thumbs down, “too dry and too tough” came the verdict. I had the Wattleseed crusted grilled barramundi with Israeli couscous and herb salad, curry oil and crisp capers which I was told was the best dish, but it was only average at best. The barramundi fish was thin and slightly dry (no gravy either) with not much flavour – a far cry from the barramundi I’ve had in Australia. The Israeli couscous it came with was lovely though. Chris’ Red wine braised lamb shanks with garlic potato puree, wilted spinach and parmesan crisp looked so promising – 2 huge shanks sitting proudly on the plate. However, I expect lamb shank to absolutely melt and fall apart with the mere poke of your fork, and in this case it need a knife to cut it. Not so tough that it was inedible, but it certainly required chewing.
My Honey yogurt pannacotta with caramelised ginger, and coriander vanilla ice cream seemed really exciting, but somehow, the flavours just didn’t quite mesh together well. The pannacotta was entirely the wrong texture – instead of a rich creamy texture, it was jello-like.. with an “off” flavour (probably thanks to the yoghurt). The coriander vanilla ice cream sounded intruiging but was just too weird on the palate. The Affogatto was nice, I assume, since it’s hard to get vanilla ice cream and coffee wrong 😉 One of the guys drank/swallowed the ENTIRE thing, on a whim. Errrr! Wish I got a video of that 😉
The dinner was almost 2,600? (US$380). I was pretty appalled at the price. Their appetizers and cocktails are definitely top-notch, but the main dishes? I’ll pass.
Aboriginal art – how Australian!
Dark interior with cozy chairs
Some wine (forgot name) and awesome Riberry Gin & Tonic
Warm bread with butter
Wattleseed crusted grilled barramundi with Israeli couscous and herb salad, curry oil and crisp capers
Red wine braised lamb shanks with garlic potato puree, wilted spinach and parmesan crisp
Honey yogurt pannacotta with caramelised ginger, and coriander vanilla ice cream
Affogatto-ing is serious business
Chris does his, looking ultra sexy… mmm…
Me with ruddy cheeks after 8 hours of running around in the sun, with no sunblock! OUCH.