I found myself back at Gowings Bar and Grill yesterday for lunch to celebrate Mr FOB’s birthday. I had never tried lunch or dinner here so I was keen to see what the food was like and whether the standard was as good as the breakfast was the last time I visited this restaurant. I was not disappointed and everyone seemed to enjoy their meals. The food was beautifully presented and each plate that came out was full of flavour and each ingredient in each dish complemented each other well. There were light options if you weren’t feeling too hungry where you could opt for an entrée size salad or main size salad or if you were feeling a bit more peckish you could order various meats and seafood from chicken to steak to fish. And if you still have some room, there is always dessert and it’s always hard to say no to dessert especially with the various options available such as Profiteroles, Creme Brulee, Hot German Doughnuts, Cheesecake and plenty more.
So onto the food…
My brown bread roll accompanied with Pepe Saya Butter – was very crunchy and a little hard on the teeth but I still enjoyed eating it regardless of this factor
Hot Spanner Crab Cakes with a salad of Hearts of Palms, Aioli & Hot Sauce $19.00
Ms Pen & I were hinting in a not so subtle way for someone to order this starter so we could have a little taste to see what it was like. I really liked this dish as it reminded me of flavours and spices from my childhood growing up. When you broke the crab cake apart you could see all the crab meat inside along with other various seasoning and spices. Although it was fried, the filling was quite light and the salad accompanying the crab cakes gave a nice contrast in flavours and in textures. Definitely something you must order when you visit Gowings.
A shot of the innards of the crab cake…look at all that crab meat…
Raw Live Clams/Mussels/Vongole/Steamed Periwinkles served with a light dressing of Parsley, Coriander Stalks, Rice Wine Vinegar & Lemon $32.00
The birthday boy ordered the above starter to share with everyone. Although I didn’t have any of this I could hear that everyone at the table enjoyed this thoroughly. I liked that the seafood served was fresh and served with light dressing and simple herbs and seasoning to accompany it.
Mr M’s meal – Mahi Mahi cooked pink and rubbed with Fennel, Coriander Seeds & Rosemary served with a Chopped Salad of Grape Tomatoes, Fennel Confit, Young Coriander MP $34/$44
Mr M told me that he really enjoyed his fish. I loved the use of bright ingredients and fresh vegetables to accompany the grilled fish. It was really well presented and looked like it had been cooked nicely with a bit of char from the grilling. It’s nice to see that even something so simple as a fish can be presented so beautifully on a plate.
Mr Kecap Maniis Boy’s meal – 1/2 Crisp Spiced Duck served with Paris Mash Potatoes, Steamed Warrigal Greens & Salt Bush $44.00
Mr Muscles meal: 1/2 Organic Herbed Chicken served with Paris Mash Potatoes, Steamed Warrigal Greens & Salt Bush $33.00
Mr Kecap Maniis Boy and Mr Muscles both enjoyed their meals served from the wood rotisserie. They both decided to get something different even though they were served with the same sides to see the difference. Both of them finished their plates shortly after it was placed in front of them. Always a sign that it was a good meal.
Mr FOB’s meal – Whole Line Caught Rock Flathead served with Lemon and a Caper Butter Sauce $37.00
Mr FOB enjoyed his meal thoroughly however his only gripe was that since it was a whole fish he had to spend time picking out all the bones from the fish.
Ms Pen’s meal – White Cooked, Chilled Organic Chicken Salad served with Quail Eggs, Steamed Kipfler Potatoes, Asparagus, Chervil, Baby Cos & a Black Truffle Dill Mayonnaise $28.00
Ms Pen and I were feeling like something a bit lighter especially as the weather was quite hot yesterday so we both opted for salads. Ms Pen opted for the chicken salad and she really enjoyed her meal. The truffle mayonnaise was served separately to the salad so that you could dress your salad with however much sauce you wanted either with only a little of the mayonnaise or poured over the salad quite sparingly. The boys at the table were all eyeing her salad as it contained mini quail eggs. The salad looked light and fresh with simple ingredients. Ms Pen offered me a bit of her salad and indeed it was very light and refreshing with the flavours all complementing each other.
My Meal – Hand Picked Spanner Crab Salad served with Avocado Mousse, Pickled Asparagus, Mild Jalapeno, Coriander and Sliced Radish $35.00
I really enjoyed my salad and it was exactly what I was hoping for. The crab meat was soft and tender contrasting the crunchy radish slices, the mild heat from the jalapenos, the coriander and the soft and light avocado mousse. The salad was placed on top of sliced avocado pieces which gave it a different texture to the avocado mousse which was a lot smoother and soft once you took in each mouthful. This is a dish that I will definitely order again especially when I feel like something light and not too heavy.
And a meal cannot be complete without ordering some dessert. Mr Muscles knew I wanted some dessert so ordered a Mango Mousse for us to share. We ended up ordering another dessert as the birthday boy whilst not so much into dessert deserved to eat something special for his birthday so we ordered him an apple crumble to share with everyone.
Chilled Mango Mousse topped with Mango Jelly, Meringue Drops & Baby Basil Salad $15.00
I really enjoyed the mango mousse as it was really light and airy as a mousse should be. There was a nice contrast with the diced mango jelly and mango pieces on top of the mousse. Mr Muscles didn’t care for the basil garnish so he took that out and put it aside. This is a nice and refreshing dessert if you want something not too heavy and dense for dessert. It also wasn’t too sweet or rich which I liked.
Apple Crumble Flavours – Sweet & Sour Apple Empanada, Peanut Brittle, Salted Caramel Ice-Cream, Apple Pickle and Caramel Cider $19.00
I only tried the ice cream and a bit of the peanut brittle from this dish but everyone on the table seemed to really enjoy this dessert. It appeared as a deconstructed take on a classic apple crumble but twisted in a way to make it very modern. The ice cream was rich and decadent and usually I’m not a fan of salted caramel but this was really delicious. The brittle was very crispy and light and tore apart very easily. If you are wanting a dessert that is a bit more decadent, this is definitely the perfect dessert to order.
All in all, I was really happy with the lunch we had at Gowings. The restaurant really cares about its plating and presentation and each dish is packed with lots of flavour utilising fresh, organic ingredients. Although the food might be quite pricey, the food does not disappoint. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy their meals. I definitely will be back again most likely for breakfast and lunch to try out all their other menu items.
It was a great lunch with great food and even greater company! Happy birthday again Mr FOB (even though you probably won’t read this ;P)
For details of their breakfast items and restaurant details, please see previous post.
Until next time!