My friend’s hens night started at Parlour Wine Room in New Acton. I’d previously only dined at Parlour for lunch and was very keen to go back and try the sharing plate menu for dinner. We started off with drinks. I asked for a mojito mocktail (don’t remember the cost) while the others shared the carafe of Pimms & Dry ($25). I was happy with the portion size, served in a large glass, but found the drink was just tonic water with a splash of syrup. Consequently this was just too sour for me. I find that many places get this wrong.
The bride-to-be chose a variety of sharing plates for us to try. First out were the zucchini flowers with ricotta and mojo picon ($8 each). These were crispy from the batter and the ricotta oozed out as I sliced through it. The mojo picon wasn’t spicy at all so it’s perfect for those that prefer milder sauces. Although I did enjoy it, I thought this was pricey for just one small zucchini flower.
The dusted calamari with squid ink, black garlic romesco and almonds ($19) was impressive. Yummy crispy batter, juicy calamari rings and the squid ink tasted very subtle. Not overpowering at all as you might originally think after seeing all the ink on the plate. It was so subtle that I was coating my calamari in it a couple of times. The salty goodness of the calamari batter kind of overpowered the taste of the squid ink.
The confit tuna belly with heirloom tomatoes, Werrigal greens and mojo de cilantro ($18) was succulent and perfectly cooked. A great healthy combination of flavours. A fantastic example of a simple dish where the quality of the ingredients really shines through making this a winning dish.
The roast globe artichoke, cavolo nero, goats cheese, olives and almonds ($18) was a curious dish. Basically you peel off each artichoke leaf and need to suck on the ‘meaty’ end of the leaf. No need to bite anything off or chew anything. The mix of goats cheese, olives, and almonds was slightly sour from the diced olives and tart goats cheese. This dish wasn’t my favourite. The artichoke leaf was too troublesome for the tiny bit of artichoke you could eat. I’m not a huge fan of olives so I didn’t really like the ‘salad’ either. Very different but not for me. (Not the best photo either sorry).
The seared scallops with cauliflower puree, crispy sage, jamon and chives ($24) was delicious. Perfectly cooked juicy and sweet scallops that burst with flavour in my mouth. The cauliflower puree was a subtle creamy texture to the scallops while the crispy jamon added a nice salty contrast to balance the dish. I wanted more!
The mussels in escabeche ($15) were very small but so tasty. The escabeche was flavoursome with a good balance of citrus juices coming through. The fresh veggies are a plus. If only the mussels were bigger!
The twice cooked crispy pork belly, PX glaze, fried onions and hazelnuts ($19) came out in huge thickly cut pieces. The blissful union of the sherry in the molasses-like PX glaze and the pork belly was a match made in heaven. What a wonderful combination of savoury, sweet and slightly sour. The fried onion and hazelnuts were a nice touch. I’d order this again.
Overall, I enjoyed the sharing plates at Parlour Wine Room and am impressed with the quality of the fresh produce used. All of the dishes came out within the space of an hour. Service is okay however we weren’t asked for any drink refills. I love the layout here with luxurious couches and a mish mash of plush furniture. The little nooks allows you have a bit of privacy while enjoying the buzz from everyone around you. A good night, shame about the mocktail.
Value for money 8/10
FPJ score 21.5/30
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