Friday, May 3, 2013

escarpment, Blackheath

There's something so satisfying about a prix fixe lunch. It's a win-win situation. Restaurants that find themselves with empty tables at lunch times are instead bombarded with bargain hunters, and a place that is often considered too expensive for regular occasions is suddenly within reach.

Escarpment is one of those places that I would have to think two or three times about patronising. With mains usually priced between $30-$38.50, it was easy to pass escarpment by until the words 'prix fixe' gained my attention. Give me a prix fixe two course lunch with a price point of $33, and all concerns about my savings subside.

Tartlet with marinated artichokes, gruyere cheese, eschallots and thyme
Beef, garlic, and shiraz sausages, served with paris mash
Spring Bay mussels with white wine, fennel, tarragon, and leek cream sauce
Catalonian baked eggs with basil, tomato and chorizo
Eton Mess
Espresso infused creme brûlée 

I'm a big fan of choosing two courses from a three course menu. Between three of us, we managed to share an entree, have a main each, and have two satisfyingly large desserts to share. Service staff were sensible enough to ask when we wanted the entree to come (with or before mains), and we settled in for our two-and-a-third-course meal. 

Settle in we did, as the kitchen took a reasonable amount of time to produce each course. Despite this, had we not had a bus to catch, we would have happily taken no notice of the clock and enjoyed the calming atmosphere and enjoyable music. 

While all the food was enjoyable, of the dishes we ate there were three that I thought were head and shoulders above the rest. The tartlet entree was divine. Fabulous pastry, melty artichokes and eschallots smothered in gruyere cheese made for a swoon-worthy start to our meal. I usually find gruyere to be overpowering, but in this dish it was perfect. 

Of the mains we tried, the Catelonian baked eggs had the best flavour combination. The mussels with fries, and sausages with mash were both tasty, but without the wow-factor of the eggs. However, my one gripe with the mains was the difference in temperature between the dishes. The eggs, and mash came out far too hot to eat, while all the other dishes came out at an edible temperature.
Perhaps not so noticeable if you ordered the eggs by themselves, but for me, with super-hot mash and right-temperature sausages, there was no way I could enjoy them together without making some kind of compromise.

The third standout was the brulee. Happy days. Happy, happy days. Coffee lovers and non-coffee drinkers alike devoured this coffee-infused dish, and had us all licking our lips for more. 

246 Great Western Hwy

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