Dinner with friends @ Epicurean

This is posted late, but I wanted to tell you about a delicious dinner we had at Epicurean (official restaurant of Inchcolm Hotel) back on September 17, 2013 πŸ™‚

Thanks to a weekly Dimmi Special, we were able to enjoy this restaurant for the first time at 50% off the food bill, drinks not included.

With dinner reservations for 7pm, we were greeted by the friendly staff and shown to our table. It was a quiet Tuesday night with not many other patrons except for a few I presume were staying at Incholm Hotel.

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Service was really great throughout the night, thank you especially to Richard for explaining the dishes and continuously checking in on us!

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We started off with wine and warm delicious bread.

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Next came the entrees which we shared between us.

Lamb Tenderloin, Pistachio Dukkah, Smoked Eggplant, Sumac Yoghurt, Lemon. Lamb was extremely tender and I especially loved it combined with the dukkah and yoghurt!

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Β½ Shell Hervey Bay Scallops, Salt Baked Apple & Onion Puree, Radish, Dill Oil. The scallops were sweet but I wish they had been seared (had absolutely no colour) and were accompanied by ingredients with a stronger flavour profile.

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Hot Smoked NZ King Salmon Salad, Charred Potatoes, Candied Spec, Green Beans, 62˚C Egg. Smoked salmon was delicious and an interesting combination with the egg as well.

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White Rabbit & Mustard Fruit Rillettes, Moreton Bay Prawn Salad, Herb Brioche. I was worried, but the rabbit was tender and moist! The brioche, however, was too dry!

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Onto the lovely mains

I got the East Coast Gold Band Snapper, Roasted Peach, Sorrel & Green Peppercorn Cream which was absolutely lovely. The peach and peppercorn cream was a fantastic combination with the fish, which was perfectly cooked.

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Mike got the Pork Sirloin, Red Cabbage, Ricotta & Jamon Dumpling, Pear & Sage Emulsion which he said was, “deeelicious.”

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Kageen chose the Free Range Chicken (Breast & Leg), Pickled Ratatouille, Sweet & Sour Tomato Coulis, Fried Capers that she quite enjoyed.

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And finally, Xuan got King Reef Barramundi, Sand Crab, Tomato & Chive Mash, Sauce Nero with an additional side of Dutch Cream Potato Mash,Truffle Oil to share. The dish was good and it was interesting to try a squid ink sauce for the first time!

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Fortunately, with all of that, we still had room to try some of the desserts!

Mike and I shared the Belgian Milk Chocolate Mousse, Gin & Strawberry Gelee, Vanilla Crumble, Seasonal Berries. Beautifully decadent! The only thing we would point out is that the mousse was quite thick, more air would’ve been perfect but still delicious!

Kageen chose the Fruit Salad Compression, Crème de Framboise, Granita, Hazelnut Gelato as she had not compressed fruit before and found it quite refreshing. Her gelato had slipped off the starfruit in this picture.

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Xuan decided on the Classic Lemon Tart, Spiced Marmalade, Lime Crème that looked delicious!

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Thank you Epicurean for a great dinner with delicious food and wonderful service! We will definitely try to come back and visit again soon!

Group photo!

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Epicurean on Urbanspoon

Breakfast Date @ Gunshop Cafe

After a lovely breakfast with Fiona, Kristen and Christine at Gunshop Cafe a number of weeks back, I promised that I would take Michael on my return πŸ™‚

Earlier this year, we had dinner at the Gunshop Cafe with Mike’s sister, Meaghan, that ended as a so-so experience. Because they are well known for breakfast, we vowed to come back and try and we both finally did!

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Friendly, attentive service and delicious food!

Mike tried the Tasmanian smoked salmon, poached eggs, traditional kettle boiled bagel, hollandaise with greens – $18.50. What a treat to have a bagel again since being in Canada! Delicious and very satisfying!

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A pleased customer!

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I struggled with choosing between either a sweet or savoury dish, our server convinced to go sweet and decadent and I did not regret! Canadian brioche French toast, double smoked bacon, caramelised banana, candied pecans, maple syrup – $18.50. Uh-mazing. Fluffy brioche drowned in maple syrup and pecans… I love pecans! The crispy bacon really did the trick, whole combination was so tasty!

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Good to the last bite!

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We had a great time and even got some studying and discussion done. Having breakfast at the Gunshop Cafe is definitely a treat (read: expensive!) and we look forward to visiting again soon! πŸ™‚

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Gunshop Cafe on Urbanspoon

High Tea at Coffee & Chocolate

Christine Q invited me out for a high tea and study date at Coffee & Chocolate, how could I say no? πŸ˜‰

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We met last Sunday at Queens Plaza with reservations for 12pm and were told we could each select any of the hot or cold beverages.

Christine chose a Callebaut Strawberry Hot Chocolate, which was served on a stylish dish with some marshmallows.

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I got a refreshing Mango, Guava & Lychee Frappe.

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We chose seats by the window and didn’t have to wait long for our high tea, which came out on 2 tiers – savoury on the bottom, sweets on the top.

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Pretty Christine with the goodies!

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Started off with the savoury goodies – chicken salad finger sandwiches, puff pastry triangles with a meat filling, mini quiche tarts, and bread rusks with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Quality of food was good, everything was tasty but presentation could use a bit of work!

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On to the sweets! Warm soft scones with jam, butter and whipped cream, chocolate cake, strawberry bar, macarons and mini muffins (blueberry and chocolate). The desserts were all average, nothing that wowed us but they were all enjoyed. The macarons were unfortunately undercooked and the turquoise one, despite the lovely colour, had no flavour.

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For $12 a person, we had a good time and left with happy bellies to get some studying done πŸ˜‰

I have to say, I was a little concerned after seeing so many bad reviews on Urbanspoon, but I was glad to have been overall proven wrong. Decent food with prompt service, hurray! Would I come back? Well, I would like to give their chocolates a try, so maybe if I’m ever in the area?

Coffee & Chocolate on Urbanspoon

Egg Bistro – A great find

The first thing we liked about finding our way to Egg Bistro: super easy to get to from our house via public transportation. Lovely, because it means we may have found a new favourite spot.

Warmly greeted by the friendly waitress as soon as we walked in, we were given the choice of either sitting in the air conditioned dining room or in the secluded and shaded courtyard. It was a lovely day, so we opted to sit outside.

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Service was prompt as we were immediately brought menus and water. Mike and I had a discount voucher – $19 for a value of $39, simply pay the difference if we order more. We were told that even though our voucher was for breakfast and brunch, we were more than welcomed to order from the lunch menu. A nice option as it was nearly lunch time and the lunch menu items were enticing as well.

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For drinks, Mike ordered a flat white ($4) and I got a Tea Drop Mint Strawberry Iced Tea ($4). Coffee was awesome and my iced tea was very light and refreshing – definitely good choices.

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Loved the fancy-design matching cutlery

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After a bit of deliberation, we both ended up choosing items off the brunch menu. Didn’t have to wait long, food came out quickly!

Mike ordered the smoked salmon on rye with cream cheese, spinach, coddled egg & caper hollandaise. Yummy hollandaise sauce, a nicely poached egg and generous amounts of smoked salmon – Michael was a pleased man.

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I got the spiced lamb sausages with quince, radicchio, cauliflower, kipfler & thyme dressing. Lots of components but loved the combination of flavours! The sweetness of the quince (my first time trying, not disappointed), the bitterness of the radicchio, the creaminess of the cauliflower, the poached egg, and of course, the lamb sausage – so yummy! Also a very generous portion, especially with the potatoes, I shared quite a bit with Mike and was still completely stuffed!

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Despite sitting outside in the back of the restaurant, we were checked on during the meal to make sure everything was good, and it was!

After eating, we stayed for a while and got some studying done! (Looking at lectures of skin conditions may be awkward in public spaces, haha). Never felt any pressure to leave, which was great and when we went to pay, our waitress even suggested next time grabbing the couches so we could spread out and be more comfortable.

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Home made soda syrups and jams for customers to buy. Mike and I plan to pick up something next time we’re back.

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Come back you say? Yes, most definitely. We didn’t have expectations when we read the mixed reviews online, but we could not fault a single thing during our visit. Great service and great food. We went on a weekday in between breakfast and lunch – perhaps that’s the trick to avoiding the long wait times we read about. πŸ˜‰

What could make a really enjoyable experience even better? Our waitress (forgot to get her name :() had packed up 2 pear and buttermilk muffins for us to take away. She didn’t want them going to waste and figured we would be peckish later – so nice! And they were delicious πŸ˜‰

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Egg Bistro on Urbanspoon