Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Papa Goose, CBD

Simple yet inviting decor

I love my uni life. As much as there are days when I simply cannot stand the amount and difficulty of my uni workload, there are also aspects of it, which I love. And No.1 for me has got to be the amazing group of friends that I've made. They make uni life so damn fun for me and the only reason why I was able to maintain my sanity to complete an Engineering degree. We work hard, but play much, much harder.

For the last 2 years of our undergrad, we've also sort of developed a tradition which we carry out every time we finish the last paper of our exams:

- Head STRAIGHT to Queensberry Hotel to completely let loose and just drank and drank and drank
- Go home, sober up and get dressed for a long, relaxed dinner at a nice-ish restaurant
- Play Counter Strike till really late. And if it's at someone's house, we'd do that while drinking cheap wine and listen to depressing music.

It's totally weird. But that's just us and oh, so much fun. Judge away... Lol

So when we just ended our LAST ever exam of our undergrad (Nov last year), we carried out our favourite tradition together one last time. For dinner, we decided to head to Papa Goose.

A few of my friends and I opted for the 5-Course Degustation for $85 but the other bigger eaters preferred to order a range of dishes off the menu instead.

Here's a recap of our degustation dinner:

Amuse bouche of Pea Gazpacho with Peppermint Oil

Well, a lot of people are neither fans of peas or gazpacho (raw, cold soup). NOT EVEN CLOSE. But I am, so this worked for me.

Dressed spanner crab, soft-shelled crab, avocado, free-range egg, cucumber, avruga and parsley

This dish was really pretty.

Australia is really lucky to have abundance of fresh and delicious crabs. The spanner crab was umami-sweet and fried soft-shelled crabs never fail to make me happy. I always enjoy eating avruga a lot too (as I find real caviar too salty), so this dish was a win.

Scallop of the Day:
Seared scallops, scallops rolled in fish (?), celeriac remoulade, apple and cauliflower puree

Couldn't remember the exact name of the dish (cause it wasn't on the menu) but it was pretty pleasant and delicious. Very ready (and excited) to enter the mains, now...

Twice cooked quails, puy lentils, radicchio, pear, pomegranate dressing

Quails were cooked well. Though, I wasn't entirely sure if all the elements worked well together on the plate in terms of flavour for this one.

This dish reminded me of the UNFORGETTABLE spatchcock dish I had at Marque (in Sydney), last year. Oh, how I've missed that so.

Aylesbury duck, roasted carrot puree, fennel, fig, mandarin marmalade

I enjoyed this a bit more than the previous dish. Though, I've had some sort of puree on two of my dishes before this already so I was a bit like, "huh... again??" when I saw the roasted carrot puree in this. Granted, it was delicious but a tad repetitive. That aside, duck was nicely pink and moist and dish was tasty overall.

Deconstructed Banoffee Pie

This dish was not on the menu that day but the waiter told us that the chef was experimenting with this dessert and kindly asked if we wanted to give it a go. Of course, we said, "YES!!!". Since most of us are fans of Banoffee Pie, so this was intriguing.

Plating was impeccable and elegant. Very interactive dish as we found ourselves going from one element to another comprising of the flavours of banana and toffee but in various forms and textures. I complimented the chef's successful efforts on this dish, which the waiter happily passed on.

Seeing as this was a British restaurant, this dessert bode really well with the overall theme. Personally, I think they should put this on their regular menu from now on.

Lemon gin cake, lemon curd ice cream, sloe gin syrup, candied violets

I decided to order this dessert because the waiter briefly explained the origins of sloe gin in the UK and how it was made, which I found very intriguing. To put it simply, it's gin soaked in a special kind of berry for months before it turns ruby red.

Cake was well-soaked and moist and the alcohol was definitely present (but not overpowering). I quite enjoyed this dessert as a whole. Good experience.

Ending our very long and relaxed dinner together
There's always that "one person" who has their eyes closed in group photos, isn't there? Haha
Thankfully, I doubt by friend S reads my blog otherwise she'd definitely scold me for putting up this photo LOL

To cap it off, I think our meal here was quite enjoyable. It wasn't too busy (despite being a Friday night) and as for me, I found the presentation of the dishes here quite intricate and beautiful.

Besides that, the specific waiter that attended to our table was seriously exceptional. At the start, I wasn't too happy with the choice of dishes for the degustation so he really went out of his way, back and forth from the kitchen to help negotiate with the chef until we decided on the exact dishes we wanted for every course. This was quite unheard of and I'm sure it caused the kitchen a certain amount of inconvenience to accommodate, so I appreciated the waiter's help really, really much.

The service we received from the waiter was very relaxed and friendly as well, so there was a lot of pleasant conversations with the table throughout the dinner. Love it when that happens. At the end of the night, the waiter even shook my hand to thank us for a good evening, when I feel honestly like it should've been the other way around. I don't know about you, but I was quite surprised by this. Let's just say that this was one of those times that good service does go a long way. Good stuff, Papa Goose and Team. And thank YOU for being so kind to us that night.

Papa Goose on Urbanspoon

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