July 28, 2015
My fifth birthday away from home, how time flies! But also my fifth birthday with Michael, which is awesome!
We were still working in Gladstone on my birthday, but Michael made sure (as usual) that we celebrated with good food and wine – dinner at Rocksalt Bar & Restaurant!
Absolutely love my company on date nights!
I was rostered on a half day at work which meant not only did I have time to relax and read by the marina earlier that day, I finally got a hair cut! She even gave me a nice blow out for our special dinner
We decided on a number of tapas plates in order to experience a variety of dishes. Our dishes were served on a tiered serving tray, which we actually didn’t like because… well, it’s not high tea and this isn’t finger food! Takes away from the intimacy of a nice dinner experience.
Pork ballotine, quince paste, apple, seeded mustard ice cream & crackling ($14.90). The dish was unusual as ballotine is traditionally stuffed poultry. This meat was quite crumbly and also pan seared. We were concerned it would be dried out but it was surprisingly moist and tasty! The ice cream was subtle and complimented the dish well. However, please don’t be so stingy on the crackling! There was so little, can you even see it in the photo?
Chorizo & gruyere cheese arancini with smoked romesco sauce ($14.90). Two words: delicious and indulgent. The combination of chorizo and smoked romesco is delightful.
Crispy soft shell crab with spiced aioli, avocado salsa & lemon ($14.90). The soft shell crab itself was huge and one of the most generous portions I’ve ever seen in a Western restaurant. However, it was so incredibly salty, even the avocado salsa couldn’t cut it. Soft shell crab is definitely a dish where less seasoning is more.
Their signature dish: Bacon & 3 cheese stuffed button mushrooms ($14.90). Rich and super tasty. With a 3 cheese mixture, there was a concern that the stuffing would be too dense but it was incredibly light and airy! Would definitely have again and easily a dish that inspires you to create your own versions at home.
Duck & ginger spring rolls with palm sugar sauce ($14.90). Tasted great but what I appreciated more was the finesse of the rolls. As someone who grew up in a household that made hundreds of spring rolls in one sitting – consistency in the proportion of filling, shape and size of the rolls is just as important as the taste.
We also had a portion of Beer battered chips with spiced aioli ($9.90). They were decent, but nothing out of this world. Spiced aioli was also served across a number of dishes but the flavours of garlic and spice were very underwhelming.
The service was friendly, prompt, and occasionally haphazard. We had a number of different staff members attend to our table, and as a result, not everyone knew what was going on. For example, we were asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu after our first few dishes of tapas were cleared. “No, I’m sorry, we are still waiting for more food.”
The only aspect of this restaurant that was underwhelming was its ambiance. Sparse decor and red plastic chairs. This restaurant would benefit from a makeover with just a small number of changes like a few chandeliers and more sophisticated dining furniture. Would help them match the aesthetics of their restaurant to the quality of their service and food.
We were glad to have eaten from the tapas menu. Overall had a good experience and some extremely tasty food, would definitely recommend a visit to our friends!
We continued with dessert at home – a Belgian Chocolate Cake from the Cheesecake Shop. I laughed as soon as I saw this cake because I had specifically asked Michael for NOT a dense, rich chocolate cake. I wanted fluffy birthday cake with layers and icing – but no, not this time. Don’t get me wrong, I still love chocolate cake and this one lasted me for days!
I even got to blow out candles!
My present from Michael – a sailboat. Not!
More Pandora beads to add to my bracelet – thank you love!
An Australian charm – which surprisingly I don’t have yet! Only took 5 years ;)
And a nice ruby red charm to match my birthstone!
The most beautiful sapphire necklace from Amanda and Kon!
And finally, the weekend came! Got to go back to Rocky and sleep in our own house! And even more lucky, Michael organised a birthday dinner with all our friends!
Thank you everyone for coming out to Thai Tanee for dinner with us! It was unbelievable that most interns came out – we should do it more often! I wish I had taken photos :(
Back to our place for some drinks and hang out after dinner :) And to my surprise, another cake! A Zebra Torte… exactly the kind of birthday cake I wanted – thank you Michael, you are the best!
Wait… are there 2 Jins?
Haha, I changed into my PJs as soon as we got home… I’m sorry if I embarrass you guys!
And even more spoiled with some L’Occitane de Provence from Chuan & Angela, as well as a frame (in light of my Photo A Day) project from Farrah!
A really blessed birthday, thank you everyone who was a part of it!