362-366 Military Rd
Wooden Spoon is the classy venture of Livia Wang (front of house) and Noel Phear (Chef - formerly of Telstra Tower on Canberra's Black Mountain). It impresses as soon as you walk in the door with nice decor and a long bar stretching the length of the front room. Behind this area is the dining room for those that want more than light nibbles with their cocktails.
As Mlady was indisposed this evening I was there with the Princess, as part of an exclusive food bloggers invitation only event to launch their new menu. Many thanks to our fantastic hosts Livia and Noel as well as Taylor from Foggo Gourmet who arranged this event brilliantly. As we all found out, its a great place!
We were greeted with cocktails of our choice - and they have a great list here. I chose the Amazing Margarita and the Princess chose Strawberries and Cream. Both were substantial, impressive to look at and tasted wonderful.
I've had plenty of margarita's in my time and this was extremely crisp and tangy with a good kick to it. The strawberries and cream tasted just like - strawberries and cream.
We started with polenta chips that came in a stack with a creamy dipping sauce. The crisp outside and soft textured inside combined well. They were light and ideal for a pre-dinner nibble with a cocktail.
After our starter drink and nibble we then moved in to a lovely dining are at the back of Wooden Spoon (behind the bar area and kitchen).
Our five course meal started with zucchini flowers with goats cheese and basil, tomato and beans. I love zucchini flowers and I love goats cheese. This combined so well with the soft goats cheese oozing out of the tender flower as you cut in to it. The crisp freshness of the salad combination offset the warm indulgence of the flower.
Presentation was excellent as well with the dish looking as appealing as it tasted.
We then moved on to seared scallops with green pea and lemon crush and bacon brittle. Clearly a lot of time and effort has gone in to establishing good combinations here, and it shows.
The pea and lemon crush went so well with the scallops. It looked like avocado - which may have also been a good mix - but it actually tasted better than this.
The bacon brittle added a salty crunch to the treats which only added to the whole effect. This was a nice dish - if you get a chance try it.
As the Princess isn't a big seafood eater I even got to savour four of these amazing scallops instead of two!
The dumplings were beautifully done. There were four per serving with two varieties. we had two Peking duck and bamboo with ponzu sauce and two prawn, scallop and chive with roast chilli and palm sugar syrup. My favourite of these two would normally have been the duck but I thought the sauce and meat combination of the prawn dumplings went together just a little bit better. The sauce for that one was amazing. The dumplings were perfectly cooked and, as always, well presented.
Our last two dishes arrived simultaneously for a bit of a meatfest. The mini beef mignon with wild mushroom salad and shiraz emulsion sauce was faultless. The meat was extremely tender and cooked to perfection. The sauce went perfectly with it. The meat was wrapped in what I'm presuming was pancetta (but it meat have been something else) and the whole combination was a taste sensation. Everyone there seemed very impressed with this dish.
Our other final dish was crisp skin pork belly with celeriac puree and candy apple jus. Pork and apple is always a winner - and crispy pork is even better. This pork belly had real crunch to it as well. I've had some supposedly crisp pork from time to time that was - well limp. This pork shattered on the outside but was oh so tender inside. Although I'm not normally a fan of celery foodstuffs the puree went very well as did the sauce. I even got a bit extra!
The evening ended with a very nice touch. We were each given a lovely note of appreciation and two macarons - a sweet way to finish the night (pun intended).
Wooden Spoon is a classy place with great atmosphere and decor, an impressive array of very tasty cocktails and other drinks and some amazing food. Service is friendly and efficient making the whole place seem to flow effortlessly. All you need to do is sit back and enjoy the experience.