It is not very often that I am writing a restaurant review and even less often that I am reviewing a hotel restaurant. But I came across this amazing gem when I was invited to a 'foodie' evening in the Maryborough Hotel organised by AA.
I have to admit, I didn't expect much but since Avril Allshire Howe of Rosscarbery came as well, I thought it was a great way of catching up with this amazing food producer (and boy, did we catch up, talking til way after midnight).
But let's talk about the food - as I mentioned, my expectations weren't very high but I was extremely surprised. The photos don't do the food justice (plates were black and it was dark) - so you will have to trust my words. I missed the first course as traffic was terrible but it was Pan Fried Scallop, Cumin Roasted Pork Belly with Cauliflower Puree (feedback from others was fantastic). Then came:
Seared Pigeon, Golden Beetroot, Orange Veloute - gamey, fresh, perfect autumn/winter dish
Didn't take photo (was just arriving)
Salmon Mi Cuit, Whiskey & Soya Lacquer, Herb Créme Fraiche - the best salmon I have eaten EVER
Potato Espuma, Crispy Potato Skins & House Pancetta - Rich, warming, creative, simply wonderful
Forgot to take a photo (ups)
Seared Venison Loin, Braised Haunch, Swede Puree, Cassis Jus - PERFECTION
Pork Fillet, Apricot & chestnut stuffing, Butternut Squash, Sage Crisp - Beautiful cooking, perfect balance of flavours,
Roasted Monkfish, Parma Ham, Mussel Infusion - a simple description of a beautiful dish - a taste of the sea with a bit of earthiness
Chargrilled Vegetables, Cumin Yoghurt, Halloumi - a different take on Halloumi
Earl Grey Tea Créme Brulee, Cinnamon Crips & Flora Tea - Subtle flavours, excellent execution, beautiful tea
Mulled Wine & Pear Trifle - AMAZING
Gingerbread & Lemon Curd Cup with Hazelnut Meringue Cap - curd was too sweet for me but perfect for a sweet tooth
Chocolate Taster Plate - Dark Chocolate Mousse in a chocolate case, white chocolate & Whiskey parfait (next to the trifle my favourite dessert)
Just writing the dishes down, makes me want more. It was a balanced menu, created by chefs who care. Perfect execution and presentation (apart from the black plates) - I will be back for more.
Service was exceptional - waiters/waitresses are well trained and attentive without invading your space. Head Chef Brendan Brosnan and General Manager Justin McCarthy have a winning formula and I am looking forward to many visits in the future.