As the boy and I ventured north for a double date, we were quite excited to finally dine at Cook’s Garden as it had been on our ‘to-eat’ list for some time. The boy was equally excited about the fact that as a Citibank card holder, they were running a deal for a free bottle of wine if you paid with the card (which turned out tonight to be a crowd pleasing First Creek Chardonnay; slightly fruity and not too dry to the palate; ps. this post is not endorsed by Citibank).
After being seated in the enclosed outdoor area with multiple heaters to keep away the winter chill, we decided to share two entrees. The Caramelised Scallops duly arrived and I thought the toasted black and white sesame seeds on top with the side of sea lettuce, miso puree and radish made it a very attractive dish. We quickly divvied up the morsels and dug into the succulent entrée. The freshness of the scallop was slightly sweetened with the teriyaki dressing for a delicious combination.
Caramelised Scallops, $22
Next was the Saffron Pappardelle with vongole clams and prawns. The pappardelle was smooth and silky, whilst also managing to soak in the delectable seafood sauce which was slightly thickened with vanilla bisque. We quickly devoured the dish and proceeded to mop up the sauces with some of the bread on the table.
Saffron Pappardelle with vongole and prawns, $22
The boy ordered the 200gm Grain Fed Eye Fillet of beef and it came with potato puree, sautéed eschalots, snake beans and mushroom pate. The medium-rare fillet came with a dollop of Bearnaise and we found it to be soft and lip-smacking good. In fact, the surprise on the dish was the mushroom pate – well seasoned with a truffle-like after taste, we thought it provided another dimension to an already good dish.
Grain Fed Eye Fillet, $39
I ordered the Pan fried Pork Loin medallion which came with a side of sweet corn salsa and puree, brick pastry parcel of pulled pork shoulder, refried beans and chipotle. Unfortunately, I found the dish slightly underwhelming. The pork loin was well seasoned, but it was a bit tougher than I would have liked. The salsa was good, but it didn’t quite blow me away like the mushroom pate nor did it particularly enhance the flavour of the pork.
Pan fried Pork Loin Medallion, $34
Our friends both ordered the Wood Fire Roasted Spatchcock. This came with some Persian fetta, toasted pistachios, spiced carrot and currant salad. I tried some of the spatchcock and found it to be really moist and tender. The crisp skin had a great smoky flavour to it and I really liked the fetta which came with it.
Wood Fire Roasted Spatchcock, $35
At the end of the mains, we could not resist sharing the tasting trio of the night. When they came on a wooden serving board, they were oh-so-cute! Miniature desserts are definitely a winner in my book and luckily they tasted even better than they looked. The soufflé was soft and the berry filling was lovely. The honeycomb gave the ricotta cheese cake a good crunch and the poached quince was also a good mix. My favourite was definitely the apple and calvados crème brulee which came under a tangy and sweet green apple sorbet.
Tasting Trio, $20
All in all, a great night out for a catch-up with friends over a wonderful (albeit pricey) meal in a location that’s off the beaten track. I would also recommend popping by the bar next door, the Far North, for a nightcap.