The Orient Hotel was probably not the best option for a family dinner, being situated above a (quite noisy) bar, but I couldn’t resist buying a voucher for a 3 course meal as it was quite cheap at $99 for four. Luckily, the soundproofing in the restaurant was done pretty well, so despite the large party just outside the restaurant, we managed to enjoy a relatively peaceful meal!
Crumbed lamb’s brains, speck, sauce gribiche
I rarely ever eat Modern Australian, so I wanted to try pretty much everything on the menu, but ended up deciding on the lamb’s brains as I’d never tried them before. Their soft squishy texture was quite similar (to me at least!) to tofu, and they were cooked beautifully with a golden crispy crumbed exterior. The small pork cubes were also deep fried until incredibly crispy and were amazingly addictive, although it didn’t feel all too healthy as there were a lot more pork fat cubes than meat ones!
Smoked salmon, toasted brioche, celeriac remoulade
The salmon and toast was much less exciting, with the brioche tasting rather much like normal bread than what we’d expect of brioche. The smoked salmon was quite enjoyable, with a deep, rich smoky flavour whilst not being too salty. We prefer our smoked salmon a little more on the colder side, though that might be just us.
Seared scallops, black pudding, cauliflower purée
The scallops are also cooked and presented beautifully- which got me pretty excited as I could finally take one of these typical scallop shots everyone has 😉 The insides of the scallops were quite soft, so we weren’t sure if they were a little undercooked but we liked the polenta, which was nice and soft and fluffy like mashed potatoes
The oysters come in a generous serving of 8 and are quite cute, sitting on a bed of salt. We do find them rather salty, though we couldn’t really point out the reason.
Lamb rump, caponata, broccolini, rosemary jus
The orders must have gotten mixed up at some point, as my lamb, which was supposed to be done medium, came out medium-rare- I don’t mind raw(ish) beef, but raw lamb isn’t exactly my thing, so tasty as it was (and it was pretty good!), I did feel a little uneasy eating it. The serving was quite substantial, as I really enjoyed the caponata- a tasty, soft cooked vegetable salad, though it was a lot more tomatoey than I’d expected.
Eye fillet steak (220g), broccolini, potato and bacon croquettes
Because of the mix-up, the steak came out much more cooked that we’d prefer, though we loved the tastiness of the meat and the contrasting textures of the cripsy grilled exterior and the meaty, chewier interior. The croquettes were delicious also, tasty enough to be eaten without sauce. We found the overall proportions for this dish to be rather small though, not quite enough to fill one person up.
Wagyu corned beef, carrot, kipfler, white onion sauce
We’re not quite sure what exactly corned beef is, as we’d thought it was that stuff in cans that we’ve always had but the ‘wagyu’ part of the name sounded too good to resist so we ordered it anyway. Turns out that corned beef isn’t really our thing, as we thought it tasted rather much like ham, just less salty.The potatoes and carrots were tasty and cooked nicely though!
John Dory fillet, burnt butter, capers, lemon, mash potato
And because we love our seafood, we couldn’t go past the grilled dory fillet which unfortunately was a bit of a let down as it was rather plain and bland though we loved the mashed potatoes, which are incredibly light and fluffy.
Chocolate fondant pudding with Brnady Anglaise
We’re not too fond of the wait for desserts, which take over half an hour to come out- it’s not that we’re in a rush or anything, but once we’ve started eating, we don’t really like stopping until we’ve reached the end……if you know what I’m talking about?The chocolate fondant is great though, cooked beautifully with a crispy exterior and warm melting interior- definitely our favourite dessert of the night and we’re glad we ordered two!
Passion fruit panna cotta, strawberry coulis
The panna cotta was smooth and creamy, and we finished it in no time as the flavours were very light and refreshing.
Affogato – espresso coffee, ice cream and Frangelico
A quick google search after the meal reveals that affogato is a drink, and I wish I’d known earlier as I was a little perplexed as to how to ‘eat’ this ‘dessert’. I did eventually figure out that it was probably easiest to pour everything onto the vanilla ice cream, though I found the espresso to be much to strong and bitter for me (as I’m not a coffee drinker) so I ended up having to fish out the remaining bits of vanilla ice cream……yes I’m a bit of a noob 😉 I really enjoyed the ice cream though, with specks of vanilla which misled us to thinking that it was cookies and cream for a second or two. Interestingly, the flavour didn’t really taste much like vanilla, though that might have been because I’ve never had ‘real’ vanilla ice cream before-but it was nice and really creamy!Upon leaving, the strange stares by the bouncers (which pretty much say ‘how on earth did they get in?’) make us realise that it’s probably a good thing we came relatively early as my sister probably would not have been allowed in had there been bouncers when we arrived!