My fellow foodblogger friends and I dined at Eightysix in Braddon for their all you can eat feast. Yep that’s right, for $86 per person you can have whatever you want and order seconds or thirds! Foodblogger Tales of a Confectionist mentioned that there are usually two sittings on the weekend, so if you’re in an early sitting, your all you can eat experience may be limited by time. We dined on a Thursday evening with a 6pm reservation.
Printed menu slips and tap water was provided for the table. There were a few stand out dishes that we wanted to try including all the pastas and all the desserts. We started off with a fish bun each which had been crumbed and deep fried. I loved its crunchiness. The bao itself was also very soft and had a nice chewy consistency. Very easy to devour and a great start to the night.
The kingfish tartare came in medium sized diced chunks and had been mixed with pickled vegetables and capers to provide a tartness to the dish. I thought it could have been more zesty but I enjoyed it.
Our waitress recommended we try the organic hot dogs and provided two so that we could sample half each and not fill up our tummies. This was a great recommendation. The hot dog tasted just like a frankfurt – juicy and full of meaty goodness. The bun was super soft and it was all topped with some cheese.
The chicken liver parfait had been topped with some kind of berry relish to offset the rich liver flavour with some sweet berries. I found the flavour quite strong and stopped at one slice of bread. The char grilled bread was crispy and covered in either butter or olive oil as it was very greasy.
The pickled pork terrine didn’t have a sour kick like I thought it would (thankfully). The terrine didn’t have too much flavour other than of hammy pork and some herbs. We all loved the chargrilled bread more than what came out with the liver parfait as this was much softer and chewier.
The others tried the daffinois (cheese) with guava wafer. They liked it so much they ordered seconds later on during the dinner which I had a taste of.
The habanero steak tartare was only slightly spicy. It came served with large crackers (almost prawn cracker texture). I thought the steak was pretty average but I did like generous amount of onion and seasonings.
The figs with St Agur blue cheese and parma ham was ordered to break up the dinner with some fruit. This was a welcome new dish and something I would not normally have ordered. The figs were served still warm and had a lovely not-too-sweet sweetness to them. The prosciutto provided that little bit of saltiness while the blue cheese provided a lovely creamy texture, some richness and tang. Surprisingly good!
The lemon ricotta gnocchi looked like a margherita pizza. It came with fennel sugo and fresh basil leaves. The gnocchi were delicious little potato parcels. I loved the simplicity of the dish.
The saffron, parmesan and gold leaf risotto looked stunning. Each grain of risotto glistening under the light. And it tasted just as good! We all loved this dish and ordered seconds. The risotto was oh-so creamy, cheesy from the parmesan, and a little buttery. The saffron was very mild and there were a few threads scattered here and there. Also known as the risotto alla Milanese, this was another simple dish executed very well.
I was surprised when the pumpkin and mascarpone tortellini came out in a serve of four. I was expecting a little more than four pieces. (But we did glance back at the menu and it’s considered a small plate and usually priced at $16). Instant love with the first bite. The tortellini oozed hot creamy pumpkin in my mouth and it was delicious. The mascarpone didn’t make it too cheesy but blended a little bit of tartness and smooth silky creamy cheese into the pumpkin. The sage and burnt butter sauce also helped provide nuttiness to the dish. Yes, we ordered seconds!
The duck and juniper ragu with pappardelle had a bit of pepper in it and there was a decent portion of duck meat in the ragu. Simple and tasty. I could easily order any of the four pasta dishes again. We glanced over at the table next to us to compare portion sizes. We were glad to see that portion sizes off of the a la carte menu were considerably larger than what was given to us.
I wanted to try the bag salmon with house pickles. Assuming the salmon had been cooked via sous vide, it really was very tender and juicy. I remember thinking its fishiness was quite powerful too. The house pickles and mandarins were a fresh accompaniment to cut through the rich flavour of the salmon. As much as I love salmon, and juicy salmon at that, I’m not sure if I would order this dish again. I think it was just too fishy for me.
Onto the desserts! All five Eightysix desserts were ordered and came out at the same time.
Clockwise from the top – the banoffee pie. I had seen awesome photos of this banoffee pie but this was my first time trying it. Devilishly good! A delicious buttery yet slightly salty pastry crust in (what I thought was) the perfect thickness. The caramel filling was just to die for – sweet and so sinful. I loved that the fresh whipped cream on top had been mixed with some vanilla and wasn’t too rich or thick.
The long-standing signature Eightysix dessert – the caramel popcorn sundae is a must try. Delicious popcorn ice cream, peanut brittle and buttered popcorn. Everything works brilliantly together. The midnight munchies was really a bowl full of honeycomb, dark chocolate and maltesers giving me my chocolate fix. Yum. The frozen margarita was filled with frozen granita, mango and passionfruit, vanilla and meringue shards. Very refreshing and perfect for a hot summer’s night. The creamy raspberry cheesecake was hidden underneath powdered ‘snow’ made of I’m assuming a cheese/icing sugar blend.
Service was great from the beginning and our friendly waitress had no problems remembering our orders and recommending dishes. Although the whole eatery was packed out on that Thursday evening, it didn’t take too long for our dishes to arrive. We spent about 3 hours there until we were completely full.
Eightysix offers their all you can eat for $86 each night. Bookings essential!
Value for money 8/10
FPJ score 24.5/30
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