There’s nothing like a bad day to make you want to eat some good food. Truth be told I’d had a pretty forgettable week, so a visit to Australasia to check out the their menu for the summer season sounded just the ticket.
Everything we tried on the evening was either new to the menu or had been tweaked since my last visit. That included the cocktails we enjoyed at the bar – an earthquakes, thunder, fire & fathers which had a savoury tang from the addition of ketjap manis, or Japanese ketchup, and for plums sake, which incorporated plum infused sake and rum.
First up we went for a couple of seafood dishes with Prawn tartar with avocado salsa and chilli jam and grilled black tiger prawns. The tartar was made with sashimi grade prawn that can be eaten raw, it’s something that I’ve not seen on a menu before but was delicious and well worth hunting down if raw fish is your thing. The grilled rendition was a bit more by the book, but every bit as succulent.
Barbecue lamb cutlets had a sort of satay flavour and arranged rather ornately around some soured cabbage coldslaw. It was another really well executed nicely balanced dish. Many of the small plates at Australasia would serve well enough as a main, both from a portion size perspective and there holding enough to pique your interest. Similarly tasty were the ginger and lemongrass chicken skewers which came encrusted with sesame and peanut. We took the chance to try another couple of drinks in the form of the hoppy little creatures pale ale and a Lucky beer, in its iconic buddha shaped bottle.
The final dish we opted from came from the big plates, barramundi with baby carrots, ginger and clams, with a cream sauce and carrot puree. The fish was meaty, flaky and adorned with its crispy caramelised skin, my only regret was not ordering some chips to go with it.
On the plus side that saved a bit more room for pudding, and it was all required as we shared a couple of crackers. Firstly toasted coconut panna cotta with citrus was served in a wooden box, perhaps not one for the plate loving purists amongst us, but you couldn’t argue with the flavours. Zesty fruits atop that creamy dessert with a sorbet on the side and a sprinkling of popping candy for good measure. The chocolate dome is melted with salted caramel before your eyes to reveal its ice cream centre and there’s an arrangement of blackberries and basil that finish the dish nicely.
Having enjoyed myself on my previous trip to Australasia I didn’t think the menu needed much work but everything we tried sat well with the ethos. The dishes offer plenty to please the less adventurous diner, as well as more than enough to keep the more culinary well travelled interested too, it’ll certainly keep me coming back for more.