Me: Excuse me, how many desserts are included?
Waitress: Are you scared?
Me: uh...a little.
After devouring 16 scrumptious dishes at Pinbone, I was wondering how I could fit any more food into my stomach but as we all know, somehow with desserts, there is always a way :)
Pinbone has been on my restaurant wish list for a little while and what better occasion to go then for my birthday. My bf and I opted for the Chef's Section: Large menu ($85 pp), which includes 8-10 share plates, as well as snacks and desserts. The chefs were happy to tailor the menu if there were specific dishes that you wanted to include/ exclude. Given it was our first time here, we left it entirely up to the chefs and it was an AMAZING meal.
First to arrive on our tables were the snacks - all five of them. Where to start? The corn and miso gougere is essentially a profiterole with a cream corn filling and miso glaze on top. It was sweet, it was salty, it was delicious.
The Chicken poppers were wonderfully put together - succulent fried chicken served on a lettuce cup with jalapeno mayo and pickled carrot. I could have eaten a cupful of the chicken on its own but I did appreciate having the lettuce and carrot for the freshness.
The Cheesy, smoky, potato things were exactly as described - fried potato skins with a smoked gruyere sauce. I loved the smokiness of the melted cheese, it was so flavoursome - I can imagine this as a really good bar snack.
The Fairy bread was unlike any that I have seen before. The hundreds and thousands are replaced with caviar and fish roe; the white sandwich is now a brioche slice. It is held together wonderfully with a mascarpone cream. I much prefer this adult-version to regular fairy bread.
The lamb ribs were finger-lickin' good. They may be small in size, but these packed a punch in terms of flavour. The meat easily came off the bone and were coated in a sweet sticky glaze with toasted almond flakes.
Onto the share plates...
The guys at Pinbone certainly know how to cook their seafood. Poached in butter, the leatherjacket was amazingly tender, served on a bed of snow peas with a white wine, soy and sesame dressing. I especially liked the use of chopped up snow peas, which gave the dish an added texture.
The Grilled baby octopus with red pepper sauce and crispy chicken skin was very tasty, and the chicken skin was fried to perfection.
The squid was again perfectly cooked and soaked up all the tangy lemon and olive oil dressing. The buttery breadcrumbs reminded my bf of eating lemon squares - which I seemed to have skipped in my childhood.
The tofu, bacon and cucumber was a combination I was looking forward to trying. The deep fried silken tofu cubes were light and airy, and the perfect accompaniment to the smoky bacon and tomato sauce. There was no denying that irresistible smell of bacon - the sauce had incredible depths of flavour and it really felt like I was eating bacon even though there was none to be seen.
The Heirloom carrots with pickled mussels and cumin seeds was yet another highlight. The carrots were slow roasted giving them an incredible amount of sweetness. They went really well with the succulent pickled mussels and the mussel-infused cream.
The Kingfish wings were coated in a teriyaki glaze and accompanied by pickled cabbage, one of the more normal, but still delicious, dish.
The Flank steak with grilled wombok was juicy and tender, with a light soy based sauce.
The crispy skinned chicken was so tender and moist. It was accompanied by two sauces - the garlic dressing was the winner for me.
The roast pumpkin, silverbeet with pepita puree was the surprise hit of the night. Whilst it didn't look all that exciting on paper, the dish had many textural components and I fell in love with the pepita puree - creamy, nuty goodness.
The roast pork belly was utter deliciousness - the meat melted in your mouth. My bf and I desperately waned to finish it but at this stage, our minds were willing but our stomachs were not.
The raw, shredded zucchini salad with lemon, mint and pecorino was fresh and light - just what we needed to cleanse our palates before dessert.
Biting into the custard tart, the pastry was buttery and crumbly, just the way pastry should be. It came with a scoop of milk ice cream which we happily devoured.
The Blueberry granita with white pepper parfait and pinenut brittle was again, an exciting mix of flavours. Somehow, it all works together. The white pepper wasn't too strong but almost added a bit of heat to thedish. The pinenut brittle was sweet and crunchy and was a good contrast to the fruity and light granita.
For $85, it's insanely good value for the quality and amount of food you get. Pinbone managed to keep the standard exceptionally high throughout and invoked a sense of fun and experimentation in the menu. Would definitely be back!
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