After a hectic morning looking after a sick cat, and attending a rally, I was excited to have been invited to lunch at The Beaufort Street Merchant. I’ve been to the Merchant several times for breakfast and they have never failed to impress, it is on my cards to do a proper review on the Breakfast.
Anyway, so a group of roughly 7 of us met (I have to admit I was running rather late) at lunch time and were seated at the back of the café. The café was filled to capacity and was rather loud, but I enjoyed the atmosphere, it was warm on quite a chilly day and quite inviting. We ordered a bottle of wine and were given the specials, the vegetarian special was a cauliflower and blue cheese soup served with crusty bread. After a quick look at the menu I decided that I was going to have the soup, I can never go past Blue cheese, much to Mr. X’s disgust. Mr. X ordered the Moroccan Tagine and Mrs K ordered the Israeli Couscous Salad and Goats Curd.
There was a bit of a wait with the food, but considering how busy the café was they did well. All of the meals came out together for the exception of one fish dish which I think was missed when the order was placed.
The cauliflower soup was beautiful, I loved that they served it in a little saucepan. The bread was fresh, I would have loved some butter, but that was just my preference. The soup was warm, and only a hint of Blue Cheese, which was perfect, the soup needed a lot of seasoning, but it was a consensus at the table that all of the food needed seasoning. The texture of the soup was different, I thought it had blended white beans or cannellini beans, but all in all a delicious soup.
Mr. X’s tagine was served in a little tagine with a small side of Israeli Couscous, lots of well cooked, crunchy vegetables, in a beautiful sauce. However, the meal was very very spicy, now Mr. X can handle quite a bit of heat, he actually enjoys it, but even he struggled to finish it. It was a shame really because the heat completely overtook the flavours of the dish.
Last but not least, the Israeli couscous salad with Goats curd. Now I did not taste this particular dish but Mrs. K enjoyed it, it was again served beautifully and was light.
All in all The Merchant was impressive, three vegetarians at the table and we could all order different meals, this is a first, atleast for me. There was great care taken with the presentation of the meals and the service was fantastic. I will definitely go back to review the breakfasts, I have my eye on the French Toast, but that is for another day.
From our little group to you Merchant…Thank You for a wonderful meal.
Lotus is located on James Street, a very modest little restaurant, plastic chairs and table covers. On arriving we were quickly seated were brought menus and served Chinese Tea and Water, we had wine. The menu was huge and consisted of every meat (mock) under the sun, every Chinese dish you could think of was on there from Mongolian Lamb to Chicken to Offal. On the lady’s suggestion we agreed on the banquet (even though it was a minimum of 6 and we were only 4). The Entrees consisted of a platter of satay chicken sticks, spring rolls and deep fried wontons. The satay sauce that accompanied the chicken was to die for and had everyone uuuuummmmming. Following the entree was Mongolian Lamb, Prawn and Vege Stirfry, Fish Curry and Crispy fried Duck with Steamed rice. The Mongolian lamb came out sizzling and the sauce was beautiful with little black beans and vegetables, the texture was a bit too real for me but I ate it. The Prawn Stirfy…I have to admit I did not touch. From the accounts at the table it was a bit bland and too fishy. Next came the fish curry, now this I was truly dubious about but I had some anyway. This was the best dish of the night, it was spicy, coconuty and with alot of sauce. The fish again was a bit too real, I only had one piece and ate the curry. Just as we thought that we could not eat anymore out came the duck. Now this I knew was going to be the real challenge, skin on and a plum sauce on the top I told myself there was no way I was going to eat it. But I tried it and to my surprise I liked it, it was crispy the sauce was beautiful and the only thing that stopped me from devouring it was my tummy, I was so stuffed from all the food, I could only eat was a couple of pieces. Dessert was a fruit platter…which was a good thing. All in all it was an ok dinner, the meat eaters didn’t mind it but said they wouldn’t go back. The banquet was $19.95 with $1 corkage, I would suggest going on an empty stomach, the food was very filling. I don’t think I will be going back to this restaurant, I didn’t mind the food, but it was very heavy and all that mock meat just did not sit right. Mr. X swore he would never return, but he was never a fan of mock meat. Food 3 Service 3 Ambiance 2