Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pier 24, Again!

As I have previously confessed, after my first visit, I concocted a cunning, selfish plan to use S's birthday as an excuse for another indulgence at Pier 24. Even though I have made my birthday present to her sound purely selfish, I did in fact want her to share my latest, exciting dining discovery - so that we can enthuse and gush about the food together.


Roasted tomato & fennel puree soup, with monk fish and smoked prawns, mint & lemon mascarpone & parmesan crackers: S's comments - The soup had a smooth tomato flavour, with just a hint of fennel. Was pleasantly surprised at the flavour of fish and smoked prawns, which had good firm texture which made them nice to bite into.

Crisp, slow cooked pork belly pickled ginger & red cabbage slaw with toasted cashews, sweet tomato chilli jam: This was amazing! The pork was succulent, tender, juicy and bursting with flavour and the skin was crispy and savoury. I loved the way that the refreshing, acidic, sweetish-sourish pickled ginger and red cabbage slaw complemented the savoury unctuousness of the pork belly and just elevated the dish to another level. I have had cravings for this ever since! The only, not necessarily critical, thing that came to mind was that, though probably the best executed Western style pork belly that I've had, the skin was still a tiny bit sturdier than what would have made it perfect. I don't know how they do it, but the skin on good Chinese style roast pork back home is very light and crispy and is the highlight of the roast pork eating experience.


Braised Cadrona merino shank croquette, grilled double lamb cutlet, tomato braised fondant potato, caper & port jus: S's comments - Oh so yummy!!! Well cooked and so flavourful. The best (and most surprising) part of the dish was the lamb shank croquette, which I was aware of because I read it on the menu but totally forgot about until I cut into the croquette. The softest and juiciest lamb shanks I've ever tasted.

Roasted mahi-mahi fillet with crisp potato scales, sautéed green beans & asparagus with rocket aioli dressing: They didn't have mahi-mahi so it was actually kingfish and the potatoes were different too, but I can't recall what they were. This is what happens when you write about something you had two months ago. I really enjoyed this boldly flavoured fish. As soon as I tasted the savoury crusted fish, I felt that the flavours were very familiar but I didn't realise what it was until S pointed it out - it tasted like the southern Indian fried fish that we get back home when we have 'banana leaf rice'. When I order this again next time, I won't start with the pork belly because both dishes have intense flavours and are quite savoury. If I had started with something sweetish and more subtle like the 'prawns in wasabi mayonnaise', I would probably not have noticed the savouriness of the fish quite so much (I only 'noticed' the savouriness of the fish halfway through the dish).

[Edit 8th August 2010: The kingfish is now on the menu with the following description - Roasted King Fish fillet with masala spice dust, sautéed green beans & fennel crisp potato scales with horseradish & lemon cream sauce.]

Mixed leaf salad, parmesan & basil dressing: Loved the taste of the delicious, mellow basil dressing, interspersed with the occasional nutty, fuller flavour of the parmesan shards.


Warm dark Belgian chocolate cake served with a tart plum puree, vanilla mascarpone: S's comments - MMmmmmmm :) The cake was so soft, moist, and chocolatey.

Bitter chocolate ganache tartlet, strawberries in burnt honey & raspberry syrup, vanilla bean ice cream: Oh. My. God. This was beyond divine. I don't know why I keep thinking of this but if a gold bar tasted like chocolate, this is what it should taste like. Luscious, silken smooth, soft but solid, decadently rich, seductively shiny and potently chocolate(y?) - this is one of those things that tastes so amazing your brain switches off, you go stupid for a while as you do nothing but savour it and groan with pleasure. A chocolate lover's kryptonite. I don't know what else I can say except, try it.

Verdict: The second visit surpassed the first so I am looking forward to a third visit. Hopefully I won't have to wait too long. I already have a few things in mind that I would like to order.

Pier 24
24 Esplanade
St Clair Beach

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