Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Flute's, Margaret River, WA

We initially intended to go to Vasse Felix for lunch but were unfortunate enough to be turned away because they were too full and we didn't have the foresight to make a booking. (We did buy a case of their cane-cut riesling though.) Not knowing where to go next, we decided to head to nearby Flutes. This was supposedly the restaurant that inspired the Flutes Restaurant at Fort Canning in Singapore.

For starters we ordered the mixed game platter, which consisted of a variety of cold (some cured) cuts from game animals such as ostrich, kangeroo, emu and whatnot. It was a good start to the meal because the taste was good (salty and greasy) and the serve was rather substantial . The fresh bread that came along with it was made from a nice tangy sourdough which helped whet the appetite.

A popular meatdish to serve in Australia during winter is lambshanks. I remembered when lambshanks used to only cost AUD1.90 a kg, now some the prices have escalated to a whooping AUD7.00 to AUD8.00! Anyway, being such a popular dish, many variants of it have been spawned because I think after awhile people do get bored with just your typical roasted lambshank. This variant was called "middle-eastern" lambshanks and despite the initial fear that this was probably a pseudo-dish, we decided to give it a shot. It didn't turn out too bad actually, there was quite a lot of use of spices, the roasted nuts and dried fruit in the rice was a nice touch, if there was only one thing to fault it, it would be that the meat was just slightly too soft but still forgiveable. I've cooked lambshanks before and sometimes it's hard to gauge when it's done just right because it's quite a tough cut to start off with.

Creamy prawn risotto was next. Normally, I wouldn't order risotto as a second main if I were dining alone because it can get too damn filling but I had quite a few others today and we could share it out. This was a nice side (it's actually a main by itself) and the freshly grated parmasean cheese on top added a sharper distinctive flavor to the milder cream used.

I've made a funny conversion this time round when I went back to Perth. I've developed a growing affinity towards beetroot. I've never liked beetroot much (which explains why I've never tried the Aussie burger at Hungry Jacks/ Burger King) but its sourish, sweetish taste started to grow on me this time round. I think it depends on what other food is complementing it, abit like sauerkraut is to bratwurst. This dish featured lamb medallions, grilled sausage and beetroot on a potato pancake and although it could have more meat in it, I was already quite satisfied from the starters and sides that I found this serve just nice.

Their dessert range was quite limited compounded by the fact that their homemade pudding had also sold out. We decided to try the scones and the chocolate tart. The scones were huge and were done well. Crusty on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside, perfect for spreading the cream and strawberry jelly on. The chocolate tart looked impressive but tasted only ok. It tasted as though it had been made a week before and had been sitting in the fridge, it was only just saved by the raspberry mousse that was served with it.


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