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Anniversary at Restaurant Ember

Restaurant Ember is a chic restaurant located in the equally chic and quaint boutique hotel - Hotel 1929. It is run by a husband (executive chef) and wife (marketing & front-end) team and received quite a fare bit of publicity after chef Sebastian Ng won the World Gourmet Summit Awards last year for "Meat & Livestock: Australia Rising Chef of the Year' title. I reckon the restaurant will be in the limelight again as Sebastian wins the same award again this year. Anyhow, J and I chose Ember to celebrate our 9th month anniversary dinner after reading various reviews that were not bad.

Looking through the full-length transparent glass panels, the retro 70s decor was in full view. The setting was cosy and not very intimate. But surprisingly, the noise level never got annoying.
For starters, I had the green house salad (not pictured), which had quite a tangy sesame-based dressing. Nothing too extraordinary but went well with the greens. J had the pan seared foie gras with apples and jus, which he thought was very good, creamy and smooth and not overcooked. Apologies for the dark picture; we hesitated using the flash in the dark setting.

We also got a side of spiced potatoes, which was basically thickly sliced potato, sauteed with dried shrimp chili paste until they were just cooked and retained their shapes. I thought the idea for the side dish was unusual but nothing specatuclar.

Onto the mains, I got the oven-baked potato crusted chilean sea bass, served with snap peas and crab broth. The broth was extremely flavourful, but just a tad too salty. I do hope it was intentional. It was not too bad as I dipped each forkful of fresh and just a bit spring-y and very succulent cod into the broth. While each was good on its own, I thought two flavours of the sea combined together was an overkill. The crab flavour overpowered the simplicity of the cod and confused my tastebuds.

J was feeling like seafood too, and chose to go with the pan-seared chilean seabass with mushroom and bacon ragout. The ragout was also too salty and although I personally liked the combination of fish and mushroom better, both J & I agreed mine was the better tasting of the two mains.

For dessert, we split a apple strudel with lavender honey and cinnamon icecream. The apple filling was at most warm and the ice cream lacked cinnamon flavour. Perhaps it was just vanilla ice cream? Somehow, the filo failed to be as crispy as I thought it should be and the addition of lavendar in the honey, was again in my opinion, an unneccessary extra flavour to confuse the tastebuds again.

Overall, the food was not bad, just not the best we have had. Still, we had a good time and that was more important. The quest for good food is never-ending anyways.


Stephanie said…
Now I'm embarassed about where I went to eat yesterday... Red Lobster. LOL

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