05 June 2011
An outside table was booked earlier in the week, but by the time Friday rolled around, Miss Morag's dinner date was feeling a bit sniffly, and so the call was placed to change the reservation for two to an inside table. "No problem, that's been done" was the reply over the telephone.
MM arrived first to be ushered to an outside table, and apologetically explained that an inside table had been requested and confirmed. "I'm afraid they've all been reserved," the waitress replied.
"Yes, I called this morning and reserved one of them." MM once again apologetically explained the sniffle issue, but this seemed to fall on deaf ears.
"We only have outside tables available right now," was the response.
After a bit of a to-do, MM was shown to an inside table. Food menus and water were provided, and a napkin placed in MM's lap. But a wine list was nowhere to be seen, and despite numerous attempts to catch the attention of several passing waiters, it took precisely 15 minutes to receive the wine list.
At this point it was going to take a big improvement in service if the dining experience was to be deemed a success, no matter how good the food.
And it seems the restaurant gods were smiling on MM after all. A different waitress appeared, apologised for the oversight with the wine menu and promptly saved the day with her charming and efficient service.
There were no such hurdles to overcome with the food. It was impressive from the word go.
The 'numus' (pictured above) was without question the favourite dish of the meal. And it was pretty as a picture, served in a glass with little edible flowers. We were instructed to pour the contents of the glass onto the plate and squeeze some lime juice onto it. It consisted of beautifully fresh King Fish pieces that had been pickled in a fragrant mixture of citrus juice and coconut milk, and served with a little salad of finely shredded vegetables and flowers. The kind of dish you keep thinking about for days afterwards. The kind of dish you wish you weren't sharing, no matter how much you love your dinner date!
The pasta itself was cooked beautifully, and while the sauce appeared to look like many other sauces, it was no run-of-the mill sauce. It was a tomato and olive oil-based affair with some garlic and chilli, and tasted quite unlike any other marinara MM has sampled.
Verjuice added a sweetness that offset the tomato creating a sweet-savoury sensation.
Fried breadcrumbs introduced some unexpected texture to the dish.
The whole baked chilli-crusted flounder is served with wasabi mayonnaise. The fish was juicy, moist and fresh and crusted in quite-hot chilli that MM loved, but would be considered very hot by many people's standards. It also came with a soy-based sauce that went well with the chilli.
The mayo didn't go well with the chilli and soy - a tad confused in both flavour and texture with the other elements on the plate.
It did work very well teamed with the side of potatoes with lemon and cavalo nero.
It might've gotten off to a rocky start, but by the end of the meal it was all smiles, and MM can't wait to go back for more numus in particular.
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