Oh awesome richness at Capri Cafe Bar

Another 50% flash deal, this time for an amazing dinner at Capri Cafe/Bar – Mediterranean styled dining at Fortitude Valley’s Emporium.

IMG_4144

We had reservations for 6pm and were immediately shown to our table. Very happy with the tentative and friendly service!

IMG_4139

IMG_4140

We ordered some drinks and after a lot more pondering, finally decided on food.

IMG_4142

We got three entrees/sides to share:

1) Oven baked chips and aioli – don’t really know why we ordered this. Chips were really plain and could not taste the garlic in the aioli. An unnecessary addition to such good food!

IMG_4145

2) Arancini – Home made beetroot and walnut risotto cakes served with a fetta and rocket salad. A really good sized portion and quite delicious! The salad was nicely dressed which was a pleasant surprise because I’ve had many undressed “decorative” salads in the past at other restaurants.

IMG_4148

3) Scallop canneloni – Pan fried sea scallops with cherry tomatoes, garlic, fresh herbs, salsa verde and Grana Padano cheese. Generous serving of scallops and super fragrant tomatoes – yummy!

IMG_4149

Onto our mains!

I got the Prawn risotto – Local garlic prawns with roasted pumpkin and fresh basil in a creamy risotto. Don’t be fooled by the size of the plate, it’s a deep dish, could barely finish my serving! Huge, super fresh, well marinated prawns – I was very surprised at how many prawns I received, at least 6! Risotto was creamy and delicious with the roasted pumpkin – mmm!

IMG_4151

Meaghan chose the Pumpkin Gnocchi – Roasted pumpkin in a creamy sun dried tomato pesto sauce with fresh
spinach and Grana Padano cheese. I tasted some – it was amazing! The only thing that would’ve made this dish more awesome is filling in the gnocchi 😉

IMG_4153

Mike got the Sand Crab & Scallop Risotto – Fresh Australian sand crab and sea scallop meat in a seafood bisque risotto topped with fresh rocket and Grana Padano cheese. Nicely flavoured with generous amounts of seafood – he was definitely pleased with his food!

IMG_4155

Service was great throughout the night, thank you to the wonderful staff at Capri Cafe/Bar for a delicious night out! With 5 drinks and 50% off all our food, our bill for 3 people came to $95 – a steal! Would definitely recommend giving this place a try!

Capri Cafe Bar on Urbanspoon

Halifax Day 7: A Date with Michael @ Salty’s

December 10, 2012

So… our last day in Halifax! So sad that time has gone by so quickly!

Michael and I spent the morning running errands in terrible weather but also had the chance to relax before our lunch date.

We had reservations for 1pm at Upstairs at Salty’s. Salty’s is a 2 level restaurant, where downstairs is casual and upstairs is more formal.

Michael had specifically asked for window seats, which was a treat! It’s too bad the weather wasn’t nicer but it’s the company that matters right? 😉 You look tired!

We were the only diners (Again! It seems to happen to us quite a bit) so service couldn’t have been any better.

Apparently, Upstairs at Salty’s uses the same lunch menu as their downstairs restaurant, which was fine with us.

We started with a glass of white before making our decisions.

Love good bread at a restaurant. Our food came quite quickly, which is always a treat.

Mike ordered the Maple Ginger Salmon ($17.95)
(roasted fillet of salmon with Nova Scotia maple syrup & ginger glaze, mashed potato, and seasonal vegetable)

Seasonal vegetable was indeed singular! Haha. Mike said his dish was tasty, but personally, I think his dish was lacking. Come on… you couldn’t add in some other veggies? And a little bit of effort on plating would have made such a difference. I also really don’t know what the sprig of parsley is trying to achieve…

I got the Beer Battered Shrimp ($15.95)
(served with fries, lemon mayo, and coleslaw) – I substituted sweet potato fries with curry mayonnaise (+$2)

The shrimp was good but the best part of my dish were those sweet potato fries. I will gladly exchange anything for those fries any day. So nice and crispy on the outside and light on the inside. However, the plating was once again disappointing. This is a nice restaurant… Why are my sauces coming out in plastic containers? You were able to get my coleslaw into a little dish, couldn’t you go all the way with the sauces?

Overall, we had a good time, especially with the restaurant to ourselves. The service was great and I wish the sky cleared so we could enjoy the view even more but perhaps next time.

Next time you say? Well the food was pricey… tasted good but nothing great. However, the good service and location warrants another visit – but we’ll try dinner next time, that menu is much more enticing.

Salty's on Urbanspoon

Review: L’Academie Hotel (A well needed and deserved break!)

L’Academie Hotel is a training restaurant located in Spring Hill, Brisbane. L’Academie provides students of the Shafston School of Hospitality the opportunity to work in a live service kitchen and on the restaurant floor, putting into practice the skills that they have acquired in theory classes.

A couple of months ago, I bought a Scoopon for this restaurant and only used it this past Saturday. 3 course meal for 2 people and a bottle of wine for $50. $25 dollars each for some good fine dining, who can resist? After days and days of studying, it was just great to relax for an evening.

The restaurant is nicely decorated and inviting. This is from the dining area looking out towards the front door. Food being put out from the kitchen on the right, bar on the left.

The dining area. The paintings work well for the restaurant although I can’t imagine having them in my home!

Even the chandelier matched the colour scheme

We were seated immediately and a waitress came to give us menus and take our orders.

Our table – a good size for 2. That bread. The both of us had to wonder how long had it been sitting there… completely dried out, hard and brittle. We could barely cut into it without making a mess everywhere. The butter had also been left out for too long and had the consistency of mousse.

L’Academie was definitely not giving us a very good first impression. But rather than start out the evening complaining and asking for replacements, we decided to see what else the restaurant had to offer.

The entrees came out shortly.

I ordered the special – don’t remember the exact name but it came with breaded calamari and a salad. Delicious! Calamari was perfectly cooked and just the right amount of accompanying salad and sauce.

What was not pretty to see, however, was oxidized lettuce. It’s entirely natural but should never appear on a plate served in a restaurant. I wouldn’t even want it seen in anything I would serve my family, just unappetizing. Would’ve taken only an extra second to rip it off, so more care needed!

Mike ordered the Marinated Sweet Chilli Scallop & Tiger Prawn Salad with Fresh Rocket & Ginger Dressing. A seafood fan, he claimed it was fantastic. “Simply good.”

We were able to choose a bottle of wine between Tyrrell’s merlot or chardonnay, we chose chardonnay. Good wine, although not nearly worth the quoted price of $80 on our Scoopon. This bottle can be bought in the range of $15-20.

Our dishes were cleared within a few minutes of finishing but it was never intrusive. Staff was really great the entire time.

Our mains arrived in only a few minutes.

I ordered the Tasmanian Rosemary Lamb Rump on Sweet Potato Mash with Tomato, Bulgarian Fetta & Mint Salsa. Yummy! The lamb was so nicely seasoned and it was my first time trying the lamb and mint combination – was definitely not disappointed. Gravy was also amazing! The serving of sweet potato was massive but definitely delicious.

Mike had the Cold Water Slipper Lobster with Brown Rice Pilaf, Braised Leek & Chive Beurre Blanc. It was the first time either of us had heard of the slipper lobster – it’s tiny! But in his words, “So succulent and satisfying.”

With such satisfying entrees and mains, we were really hoping dessert would take it home for us. Man, were we ever disappointed! We chose to share a chocolate brownie and gosh, even I can make better brownies… from instant mix!

The brownie was nice and chocolately, but unfortunately too hard and dry. 😦 L’Academie, please don’t plate your desserts ahead of time and have them refrigerated… that is so cafeteria! I’m sure the brownie would’ve tasted at least 3x better if it had even been slightly warmed up before serving. Such is the downfall of convenience!

One of the servers kindly took a picture for us. Even getting down on one knee and proclaiming, “I think I took a good one there!” (You be the judge ;))

Thank you L’Academie Hotel for a much needed good night.

We had a great time and overall good food. Would we come back again? Perhaps, if we can get a good deal like this time! Service was great… although we had at least 4 people serve us – would’ve preferred to be stuck with one person the entire time. We weren’t too happy about certain aspects of the food as mentioned above. And lastly, the atmosphere was a little too much like a family restaurant than fine dining (although we understand it’s a training restaurant). Some music to set the mood would be nice! And maybe a separate area for large (noisy) groups 😀

Score: 3.5/5

 
L'Acadamie on Urbanspoon

Cooking Update!

A few dishes over the last few weeks I was too lazy to put up:

Chicken tandoori masala with pappadums and rice

Sweet and sour chicken stir fry

Crispy lemon pepper pork (with red wine/soya sauce chicken stir fry in background)

Rustic baguette with homemade garlic butter and topped with cheese

Springrolls! I made them on my own! For the first time! From scratch! And they tasted good!

Seasoned seafood tempura with fish, mussles, calamari and shrimp