Saturday, 9 February 2013

Nine Fine Food

 It's Friday afternoon and CP, HS, LD and I were all frocked up and ready to go out for a nice dinner at Nine Fine Food to celebrate CP's birthday.  The last time I went there was four years ago, and it wasn't great but it was finally time to give them a second chance.

We decided to go with the omakase menu or trust the chef menu which consists of 8 courses at $95 per head.

Our menu
Amuse
Sashimi
Steamed scallop
Toothfish osumashi
Salmon & chasoba noodle
Wagyu beef sirloin
Duck breast & pork belly
Dessert

Food & presentation - 4/5
As soon as the amuse-bouche came out I was excited, the dish was beautifully presented with well matched flavours - my taste buds were dancing and that hasn't happened for a while.  The rest of the dishes were all pretty good but not comparable to the amuse-bouche.  The Wagyu beef sirloin was cooked to perfection, that is, if you like your steak medium-rare.  My stand out dishes were the amuse-bouche, the steamed scallops and the duck breast and pork belly.  The servings at Nine Fine Food were large for a degustation style menu and we were all very full by the time we finished the salmon & chasoba noodle.  Unfortunately, their dessert was a bit of a let down, I didn't like their take on tiramisu both in presentation and taste but I have to give them credit for creativity.

Amuse
Sashimi
Steamed scallop
Toothfish osumashi
Salmon & chasoba noodle
Wagyu beef sirloin
Duck breast & pork belly
Dessert
Service - 3.5/5
For a fine dining restaurant, their service wasn't fantastic.  The wait staff were polite, our water was refilled at regular intervals but the staff didn't seem to be professionally trained.  A handy tip for those of you who like to have a glass (or two) of wine with dinner, Nine Fine Food is B.Y.O and they charged us corkage at $3.50 per head.

 
Atmosphere - 4/5
The decor is simple and sophisticated but lacked that Japanese "feel".  It was really noisy when the restaurant was full and it wasn't because people were speaking loudly, the noise just seemed to bounce off the walls.

Value for money - 4/5
For a fine dining restaurant, the quality and quantity of the food you get, I thought, was value for money.  $95 for a 8 course degustation style menu is pretty awesome.

Will gladly return for another round of the omakase menu but I'll need to fast during the day.

Taste Test Total Score 15.5/20

Nine Fine Food on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 3 February 2013

La Cholita

Yay! The Fringe World Festival is back!  Tonight, hubby and I decided to see a show but before we do that we needed to eat! 
At 5:30pm it was easy to get a table virtually anywhere, even at La Cholita which is usually super duper busy with queues outside the door.  We were attended to quickly but were asked to sit at the bar as there were only the two of us.  Hubby had not been to La Cholita before so I took charge of ordering the food (well, I usually do that anyway...).

Our order
Guacamole, crispy flour tortilla $6.50
Wood grilled octopus, smokey potato $12
Crab meat, avocado tostadas $6
Beef cheek, pico de gallo taco $5
Chorizo, queso corelo quesadilla $15

Drinks
Margarita x 2 $30 ($15 each)

Sitting at the bar has it's benefits, we were able to watch the bar tender make our margaritas - he was pretty cool!  I love margaritas and La Cholita definitely serves a mean margarita!  Mmmmm....
Food and presentation - 3.5/5
The food at La Cholita is pretty good overall.  Their guacamole was delicious but we found the tortilla a bit oily.  The choice of toppings for the tostadas and tacos were not the usual combinations you would expect to find at your typical Mexican restaurant - our tostadas and taco were quite yummy.  The quesadilla and the octopus were a bit average.



Guacamole, crispy flour tortilla $6.50


Wood grilled octopus, smokey potato $12


Crab meat, avocado tostadas $6


Beef cheek, pico de gallo taco $5


Chorizo, queso corelo quesadilla $15
Service - 3/5
Service is a bit hit and miss here, tonight was no exception.  The wait staff are all fairly friendly and polite but in terms of service it was slightly poor.  It wasn't at all busy whilst we were there but they still managed to (1) forget our order - we were wondering why the tables that came in long after us were getting their food but we weren't and (2) made us two margaritas when we only ordered one - they misunderstood us and when we told the bar tender we only ordered one, the manager and the bar tender became a bit pushy (not rude though) and told us they make the best margaritas in town, etc, etc.  They do, but still I only ordered one margarita!  I wasn't in the mood to get grouchy so we took the second margarita and enjoyed it.

Atmosphere - 4/5
Love the atmosphere, it's usually buzzing with activity but at 5:30pm it's a different feel.  You have time to soak in the surroundings and notice the layout, d├ęcor and the funky staff.

Value for money - 3.5/5
Not too expensive for a Saturday date night, discounting the margaritas.  For under $25 per person you get a pretty decent meal which was quite yummy, at a pretty cool restaurant served by fairly friendly staff. 

No doubt I will be back for more margaritas.  Hubby is already planning to bring his workmates here next week.

Taste Test Total Score 14/20

La Cholita on Urbanspoon