Valentines Day lunch
Posted by redracer on February 18, 2007
Today we went to lunch as a belated Valentines Day celebration, seeing we were too busy during the week.
We chose an nice sounding restaurant from the “Entertainment Book“, and even though it was in Campbelltown (across the other side of Sydney), it ony took about half an hour on the new M7 Motorway.
“The Barn Restaurant 1816” was built in 1816 (obviously !!) and was the stables for a local landowner who had graduated from being a convict arrival. As one of the oldest buildings in the area, this beautiful old sandstone building was restored in 1979, and a similar building nearby (which was actually the barn) is now part of a Motel.
It was a little hard to find, being just around the corner from a busy intersection, and back off the road with only a small sandwich board sign on the footpath showing where the driveway was. The place was very quiet for a Sunday lunch, with only around 4 other groups dining. There are 3 smallish rooms downstairs and a larger one upstairs, and also an outside courtyard.
After drinks were served, we chose our entrees. I selected the “Honey baked butternut pumpkin and carmelised onion tart with parmesan sail and tomato, coriander chutney” ($15.50). My partner chose the “Golden fried ricotta and blue brie wontons with a hoi sin and orange glaze” ($15.00). Other entries on the menu were salmon, pork belly, king prawns, salads and pastas (also available as a main).
The pumpkin tart was nice and warm, with a sweet flavour, and the wafer was nice and crisp. the chutney and surrounding sauce was nice and tangy. Several dishes also had a green sauce, which we could not identify.
The wontons were nice and crisp with a mild cheesy flavour inside, and the finely chopped vegetables were mixed nicely with the sweet dressing.
For the main course I chose the “Mild chilli, red pepper and sour cream sauteed prawns with avocado, lime and cilantro salsa with jasmine rice and vegetables” ($28.00). My partner selected the “Dill marinated salmon fillet on saffron corn frittata with pepper lime aoli and buttered vegetables” ($28.00). Other choices included chicken, kangaroo (which I would like to be able to say I have tried at least once!), risotto, lamb, duck, cod and beef.
I was surprised to see the prawns when they arrived as they were in a small bowl rather than on a plate. 8 large king prawns sat on top of a layer of vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, beans & carrots), and undeneath was a bed of rice. The chilli sauce was a little more than mild for my taste, but still not too hot. This sauce had soaked down through the whole bowl onto the vegetables and the rice, so everything had the same flavour. The prawns were very juicy and the vegetable fresh and crisp.
The salmon was impressively sitting high on top of the frittata on top of the vegetables, and was nice and juicy. The crispy frittata was a good contrast to the salmon.
The dessert list was impressive and we couldn’t decide which one to have, so fortunately they also have a “combination” entry for those like us that cannot make up their minds. This item (suitable for 2 or more people) contained the following 3 dishes …
“White chocolate & vanilla bean brulee with raspberry coulis, toffee swirl and vanilla icecream”
“Chilled lemon souffle with mint, orange and pineapple salsa and caramelised pineapple shard”
“Chocolate expresso tiramisu with cherry brandy compote & vanilla icecream and honey tuile”
As a combination ($30.00), this item came with just one serve of cream and one of ice cream. The coating on the top of the brulee was very hard (unlike a very disappointing one we sent back recently at the Outback Steakhouse), and had to be bitten into, but was very tasty, and the brulee inside was warm and very sweet. The toffee was very crunchy. The souffle was very tangy with lemon sorbet on top and the salsa added to the sharp tastes. The tiramusu was so rich and creamy without too much of a strong coffee taste, and was my favourite. As you can see, it was quite an impressive plateful, and even though it was delicious, we had a hard time finishing everything – when we got home, we had to lie down and have a sleep for a while 🙄
Overall, the atmosphere was very quiet and restful (it might be a little different on a busy Saturday night), the service was prompt and polite, and the presentation and taste of the food excellent. Judging the overall experience, for what we got (even without a discount), I would not say the prices were too expensive either, so my judgement is “highly recommended”. 😀