Konoba at Hotel Realm in Barton looks pretty schmick. The photos are a bit dark (iphone cameras are not great with dim settings) but the inside of the restaurant had nice sleek and sophisticated furnishings as it should for a 5 star restaurant.

I was pretty pleased that our group of 10 were able to order off the a la carte menu. Most restaurants require that many people to order a set menu or banquet. The butter, olive oil/balsamic and sea salt flakes were placed on the table first. It took about 20 minutes for the bread to arrive.

Entree – Poached smoked ham hock, cheeks and leek terrine ($19). Quite a strong smokey flavour. Glad this was shared between friends as I don’t think I could’ve finished it off on my own.

It took about 1.5hrs for all the mains to come out so I was glad I’d ordered an entree. I was starving!

I ordered the slow cooked duck breast and confit stuffed neck, braised witlof and cocoa nibs jus ($35). This was beautifully cooked – tender duck breast and the confit stuffed neck was so full of flavour, superb! I was ravenous by the time this came out and given the small portion, still hungry afterwards.

My partner’s scotch fillet with mash ($39)

A friend’s main – the Wagyu beef blade pie, this was pretty big for a pie and looked great!

Dessert – Apple tarte tatin with green apple sorbet ($16). I thought the apple was a bit too tart for me along with the tartness of the green apple sorbet and slices of granny smith apples. The caramel sauce didn’t do much to cut through the tartness. I found there wasn’t enough pastry for the apple to sit on. It was literally a little bit of flaky pastry. I think it needed a bit more substance, something a bit denser to hold the apple on top.

Cheese platter – my friends seemed to enjoy their selection of cheeses and quince paste.

In summary, it took quite a long time from when we ordered to when the (small) main dishes were served. Especially when there were only 6 occupied tables in the restaurant including ours. Everyone was famished. I really enjoyed the duck breast main (a bit disappointed there wasn’t more of it). The dessert was a let down but kudos for trying to make it look presentable. The service was polite and professional though my friends found it hard getting someone’s attention for drinks service. Some even went out of the restaurant to the bar to get drinks. If I do go back to this place, I’d have to try the wagyu beef pie!

Foodgasm 6/10

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