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Please enjoy my life journey filled with memories of business, pleasure, family, friends and of course food.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Absynthe Restaurant Review

Finally it was the 16th of July on the calendar, which meant it was our long awaited date night. We had made the reservation for Absynthe over 2 months ago and we were very excited to be having a culinary night to remember.

Apart from the fact that weather was crappy and we were still recovering from our trip physically and finically, we pepped each other up by getting all dolled up, having a sneak peek at the menu online (so we could chat about the menu options on the way) and then we hopped in the car to go to our long awaited reservation.

We arrived at Q1, our original plan was to use our annual passes and go up to the Sky Deck and have a drink and watch the sunset however we decided against that as the sun had been setting at like 5pm. Luckily we didn't go as when we were waiting for the lift in the basement there was a sign saying it was closed for a private function, so my advise if you are planning on a trip up to the Sky Deck ring in advance.

Walking through the doors we waited to be seated, scoping the joint out i noticed it was fairly modern and sterile with some artwork on the walls, no candles  or white table cloths. Once we were seated i knew we had a problem already, we were seated in between to other tables maybe 45cm each side of us which is MY PET HATE. Why your thinking??? Well i am the biggest eaves dropper in the world, i cannot concentrate on my own conversation and i feel the need to whisper.

We were handed the Menu and Wine List. Reading Meyjittes Boughenout story we were very excited to being eating at the restaurant of a two Michelin star chef. First our beverages for the evening Sparkling Water $8.00 and Maven Sauvignon Blanc $70.00 (it was the only Sav Blanc from NZ we could find).  Returning with our vino they waiter asked for our order, now we love a little bit of a chit chat with the waiter so we asked him for any recommendations- very surprisingly he didn't have any. Our puzzled faces must have prompted him to continue talking and he then elaborated by asking us what we like to eat. We said we are happy to try anything once and he then replied with the Lamb Cutlets are good, Horn was very pleased to hear that as he loves Lamb, however there were no Lamb Cutlets on the menu only Lamb Shanks. After some thought we decided on the below.

Now at one of the most expensive fine dining restaurants on the Gold Coast would you expect the full silver service? When our meals where placed in front of us that was it, no "tonight you have ordered the blah blah with blah blah, try eating it in this order blah blah, enjoy your meal." Is it to much to ask for the waiter who's job it is to explain these foriegn dishes to us?

Dinner Roll Complimentary 
The roll was warm, yummy and probably the highlight of my meal- WHOOPIE!!!

Cauliflower Veloute, Vanilla Croutons, Olive Bubbles &
Pan Fried Scallops $32.00
I ordered the Scallops, as i have explained in past posts i love Scallops and normally always order them however after this experince i may rethink that. The Scallops were as small as a ten cent piece and there was only 4. The roe had been removed but the connector duct was still on- so as small as the Scallop was i had to cut a 1/4 off so i didn't eat the chewy bit. There were two Olive bubbles and they were amazing and exciting, i could have eaten a whole plate of just them (they were very similar to the Corn Puree Bubbles at Room81) Vanilla Croutons were OK nothing special and the Cauliflower Veloute was mediocre a little oily and way to much poured into the bowl it ruined the presentation of the dish, if the Scallops had of been big and juicy it probably would have been fine.

Lightly Cured Ocean Trout, White Chocolate
Cannelloni, Shellfish Broth to Drink,
Pomegranate Reduction & Wasabi Ice-Cream  $28.50
Horn had the Trout, he said it was fine nothing to write home about. The presentation was lovely with great colours however all the ingredients that were on the menu did not come out on the plate.
Crispy Skin Pan Fried Barramundi, Lobster Bisque,
Sliced Potatoes & Baby Carrot $45.00
Now i don't normally order Fish when i am out but since i have never tried Lobster Bisque before and we were at a french restaurant i thought what better place to try it. BOY WAS I WRONG!!! This was by far they worst meal i have ever eaten in my life. The Barramundi skin was so thick and chewy it was making me sick and i am not sure because i have never eaten scales before but that i swear it still had scales on it, it was so bad that i actually had to remove the skin from my mouth. The Lobster Bisque was oily, transparent and tasteless and to top it off Baby Carrot was stone cold.

Twice Cooked Maryland Duck Breast, Orange &
Spice Glaze with Artichoke and Sweet Potato $43.00
Horn liked his Duck, he said it was juicy, cooked well but very small, the glaze didn't have any punch and looked bland the plate. Now I don't believe in sending food back to the kitchen because i am too scared of what they may do to it but I will (if asked) explain what was wrong (which is hardly ever). I didn't even eat a 1/4 of my mini meal and the waiter simply asked if i was done and took the plate away.

After that we were asked if we would like dessert (we had previously decided not to stay) we politely declined. Once we declined we were basically invisible, we had to ask for our glasses to be filled (we pretty much sculled so we could get the hell out of there.) I was dying to have a dessert from this place, i had been drooling over the photos for days but because of the horrible experience we wanted to leave A-SAP and refused to give them an extra $25 for a dessert that would be small and possibly not worth it.
The Bill
Not only was this the biggest disappointment ever, it also cost and arm and maybe half a leg to experience it. It only adds to my theory that food needs to look as good as it tastes and taste even better than it looks! We ended up having dessert somewhere else and it saved our night.

Every ones experiences are different maybe they were having an off night? Who knows....
Score 4/10