Saturday, February 5, 2011

Claret House Wine Bar

We are real big fans of Cru Bar at James street but it is typically overcrowded on weekend nights. Claret House has been on our wishlist for sometime now and last evening, we finally made the decision to journey down Teneriffe. Driving past a busy looking Claret in search of a parking spot, we got a tad worried as we had no reservation but fortunately, we scored one of the two comfortable booth seatings indoors! YaY!

Service from start to finish was impeccable. Attentive but not intrusive. The menu was concise, consisting of nibbles, starters, share plates and mains. The wine list was interesting and it was good to see more uncommon varietals offered by the glass. This evening we started with a D'arenberg Chardonnay, Port Phillp Est. Quartier Arneis (simply love!) and completed our mains with a Durvillea Sauv Blanc (more herbaceous than passion fruit this Marlborough SB is) and a Casa Freschi Nebbiolo.

The Tassie Oysters arrived in no time after the wines were served and boy were they fresh, plump, sweet and creamy! The accompanying rasbperry and shallot vinaigrette provided good acid contrast without overpowering. Not sure whether there was any shallot though.

Indeed Freshly Shucked!

This ain't no Levain sourdough but had that good dense bite and spongey crumb nonetheless and toasted just right. Generous slices served here and we reserved the raspberry vinaigrette as a lil' dip.

Toasty Sourdough missing 1 slice-Mouth faster than Camera!

The Grilled King Salmon was the fish of the day and came with crushed new potatos and salsa verde. The presentation albeit the dim lighting was as good a delight to see as it is to eat. The salmon rich with essential omega-3 fatty acids, was so moist and the delicate texture was near that of a confit trout. All the components complemented the oily salmon to a tee- the salsa verde was different, it had somewhat of a gherkin taste and acidity, even the crushed potatos weren't simple, there were caper berries mixed in.

Pretty in Pink!

The South Burnett grain fed Eye Fillet sat atop kipfler potatoes, semi-dried tomatoes, asparagus and pickled onions.  The steak was delicious and everything cooked perfectly.  The jus had a very strong red wine taste which combined with the pickled onions can become a bit much, I think a bit more butter or cream in the jus would have made this a perfect dish for me.   

Impressed on this first visit and A+ on so many aspects that will most definitely guarantee our return visits!  We will have to balance this out with Cru ;)

Claret House Wine Bar
36 Vernon Terrace
Closed monday

Claret House Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

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