***No need to read on folks….sadly, this glorious restaurant closed for business on Tuesday 29th May, 2012.***
On a busy Highway, opposite a car yard and amongst streams of car yards…lies unsuspecting to the busy city commuter- The Silver Spoon Food and Wine Restaurant.
Previously Ray’s Steak & Seafood many moons ago…this jaunt had a lot to compete with, if I was to pay patronage instead of homage. You see- I used to waitress at Ray’s…when I was 19 and a sprightly hot blooded Italian with an eye for an interesting table, a good story, a spot of history and a great bottle of red. I’d walk to work from home, and sprint back well after midnight (back in the days when alcohol was measured by a good guesstimate, and the streets were safe to sprint).
But I stand before the big black doors of The Silver Spoon, and I’m ready to return to the venue that once opened the doors…to the beginning of the rest of my life. I think of Ray and Anne, the previous owners- my surrogate Vietnamese Food Parents…and I wonder what they’re doing now. Oh wait. I know what they’re doing now. They own and run ‘Cafe Central’ …a stop-for-a-quick-bite cafe, at the Park Centre in Victoria Park:
The Silver Spoon Food and Wine, Victoria Park.
Service al pronto, with impeccably groomed waiters and such beautifully bound menu’s that were (unfortunately) replaced with a printed paper menu with individual meal prices beside each dish. But…don’t let this disappoint or confuse you people. It’s THE menu, and you can select 2 courses from this menu for $35, choose 3 courses for $45 or just go A La Carte… if you prefer.
And if value excites you, it gets better. Both set lunches include a glass of red wine, white wine, or beer.
$45 baby, and I’m yours.
You know- nothing upsets me more than reading a menu, and sighing “blaa, blaaa…blaaaaaaa…had that. Had that. Not that. Can make that myself at home.” And…if I catch a sticky date pudding and a pannacotta on the same dessert menu, Lydia gets plain ol’ upset. Show me a menu with Bread and Butter Pudding on it?….and I want a word with the chef.
But not here. No no no no noooo. I was left undecided. A painful agony that turned to frustration as the undeniable reality set in that I couldn’t. In fact. Eat. Everything.
So I started with the dish that carries my most quintessential ingredient to life itself- the ink of squid. Now that’s just Absolutely Georgeous.
How can you not think of this as the epitome of visual paradise? The vivacious colours and contrast of shapes and textures tell me that eating this will be a beautiful experience. The pork belly with micro herbs were crisp and fresh. The squid ink was slippery and exciting to combine with the pork that whilst flavourful, resembled more like roast pork, than the unctuous, slow roasted, decadently oiled morsel I was anticipating.
The Pappardelle, tomato,shallot & black pig chorizo ragout, chilli ($22) for the main was a delight. The pasta was al dente, the chilli had the right amount of heat sitting under what I can only call a deep, woody smoked flavour of the chorizo, paprika and fresh parsley.
You’ll come to know me as a sauce lover. So give me a bowl of Italy, entwined in deep surprises of flavour, in the right amount of wetness…and I’m smiling.
Love the idea of this dish and the attention to the deeper layers of flavour but if you’re like me- ask for a little extra sauce. Mine was brought to me in a separate pourer and I got to drizzle it allll overrrrr my pastaaaa….
You’ll learn quickly that I love my pasta. I make my own and I’m a gruelling judge when a plate slides before me, which is why I rarely order it out. Unless of course, the menu seduces me with visions of cream, garlic and seafood. I mean who can resist that?
This dish brought me TO MY KNEES. The creamy pools of garlic and dill enveloping perfectly cooked pasta had me looking lovingly towards the kitchen. Who was behind this? The snapper flaked away from my fork with perfect tenderness, the generous oversized scallops-3 of them…with additional prawns burst with freshness and transparency in what can only be described as culinary perfection. This is a pasta dish made by a chef superstar that I now wanted to kiss. I listened to my soul and what makes me tick, and ordered extra sauce and for that, I died and went to heaven. If you want to join me in Nirvana, I suggest you do the same.
To finish the meal, were White chocolate & burnt honey tart, saffron poached pears ($13.50) and Strawberry, hibiscus & rose geranium trifle, fairy floss ($13.50).
Let me tell you something about Lydia. In a world where menus are comprised of words, I have a simple request: That the description of the dish, and the plated reality are somewhat highly correlated. I think most people simply want to know that what they’re ordering will be pretty much, what will arrive at their table…and when I see ‘tart’…I envision a pastry crust with shallow sides and a filling. So when I read ‘White chocolate and burnt honey tart’….I was hoping to delve into a biting pastry base with the perfect amount of crumble, housing a white chocolate filling, and probably a burnt honey glaze or a surprising twisted and tall honey tuile to wow me into food ecstasy. So I was slightly cautious when the plate arrived.
Look, I love the idea of this dish…but I couldn’t distinguish where the white chocolate ended and the burnt honey started. The slick gelatinous honey layer looked inviting but ended up peeled back, decorating the side of the plate. There was enough succulent honey flavour in the filling to not need much more. I would love to try this dish again with the spicy-sweet aroma of ginger…and a crunch factor to the dish. Maybe even a gingered caramel hoo-ha tower climbing high off the plate, or drizzled over a lined tube back and forth so it sets like a half wave of crispy, glass like caramel lace over the length of my white chocolate slice. Something green perhaps? Frosted mint leaves to finish and this for me would have made me wink at the kitchen.
But all is redeemed and then some, because whilst not beautifully photographed (due to battery compromised equipment!) I must say, this dessert was a WINNER and I urge you to try it for yourselves.
Whilst I intend dishes to be as tempting to the eyes, as they allure you on paper…I’m always equally submissively coy, when a dish comes out rising above all expectations and leaves me nodding to all at the table.
Enjoy the layers of strawberry jelly, rose scented pannacotta and geranium mousse as light as a cool nights air. You’ll be surprised by the pockets of hidden hibiscus flower (dark diced cubes, richly sweet and perfect) mounted by a pinnacle of pink fairy floss and jewelled with bright green pistachio…giving it the textural storyline of a Turkish fairy tale.
Coffee was strong, and brewed to perfection with good crema. I was happy.
I copied the menu that was offered today. (Call the restaurant if it’s important what’s on offer as their menu online has a few more dishes than what was available today).
Cured venison, preparations of beet root, goat’s curd & sherry vinegar ($18)
Confit Linley Valley pork belly, squid ink purée, onion mousse ($not listed)
Pappardelle, tomato,shallot & black pig chorizo ragout, chilli ($22)
Linguine, garlic, cream, snapper, prawn & scallop ($25)
White chocolate & burnt honey tart, saffron poached pears ($13.50)
Strawberry, hibiscus & rose geranium trifle, fairy floss ($13.50)
The Silver Spoon Food and Wine Restaurant is a stylish and intimate restaurant offering guests a casual dining experience in a sophisticated environment. For a comprehensive list of their cocktail, wine by the glass or bottle menu, click here.
THE SILVER SPOON
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HOURS: Monday-Friday & Sunday, 11am – 11pm Saturday 5pm-11pm
ENTERTAINMENT BOOK? Yes. Buy 1 get one free up to $50 value, or $20 the set menu. Page No: A33 Card No: 93
DECOR & ATMOSPHERE: A touch of Hollywood glam without the intimidation factor.
LINEN? Yes, but with paper on top.
TABLE SERVICE?: Yes and it was thoughtful and attentive.
FOOD: Impeccably presented with a Creative flair I love
RATING: Stamp of Approval: They’ll see me again, and for $45 for a 3 course business lunch or a get together with the girls…with a glass of wine or beer? It’s a no-brainer. Tell them Lydia sent you.