Friday, July 26, 2013

WTC Wharf Progressive Dinner

Last year, I went on a progressive dinner of WTC Wharf with my fellow food bloggers and we had a great time. This year, the progressive dinner at WTC Wharf is back on. Below are the details.

When: Every Wednesday night (beginning 1st March 2013)
Time: 6.30pm & 7.30pm sittings
Tickets: $55 per person
Bookings: (03) 9629 9228

For your ticket, you get to have one course each at Kobe Jones, The Wharf Hotel and Byblos. For the July lineup that I tried, entree was at Kobe Jones, mains at The Wharf Hotel and dessert at Byblos. This lineup changes each month so ask for details.

We started our meal at Kobe Jones and were seated at the teppanyaki tables. Our chef introduced himself and proceeded to flame up some mushroom salad. It must be deeply ingrained into our genome that fire is important as seeing the food flare up in flames was really impressive. The mushrooms were really good and had a nice charred flavour. The chef then cooked up some salmon in a foil bag, which puffed up more than your eyes when you accidentally get chili into them. I thought the bag was ready to explode, but amazingly it didn't. He then opened the bag to reveal some perfectly cooked salmon in a simple soy based sauce. I really liked the pepper in this dish and it really came through. I'm not a pepper fan in general but somehow the pepper in the fish worked for me.

Mains at The Wharf Hotel included a choice of dishes from a one page list. Most of the mains did not seem that exciting, with the majority of them being salads of some form. I choose a lamb salad, while my dining partner chose a caramelised onion and cheese tart. I had imagined my lamb salad to be beautifully pink pieces of seared lamb on a fresh bed of salad leaves. Instead I got a massive bowl of gyros type shredded lamb with so much rocket you could feed two supermodels for a week. There was also pumpkin and chickpeas in the salad. I liked the soft pumpkin and chickpeas but the cold lamb wasn't very good. The onion tart was far nicer, rich and creamy. However, it was a bit too salty for both our liking.

For dessert at Byblos, we got served a chocolate fondant with yoghurt ice cream and a cocktail each. I loved my lychee cocktail and the fondant had great flavour. It was a tiny bit undercooked so the centre was quite runny, but it was huge so we didn't finish it anyway.

In terms of atmosphere, I love Kobe Jone and Byblos. There's a good vibe in both those places and I really enjoy dining there. However, I don't like The Wharf Hotel's environment at all. It's dark, super loud and just uncomfortable in the way the tables are wedged between the bar and corridor. I can see how it will be nice to sit in the alfresco bar in Summer, but the inside dining room is all wrong for me. The service at all three places were quite varied. Kobe Jones had the best service, followed by The Wharf Hotel and finally the staff at Byblos were extremely busy as everyone ended up there for dessert at the end of the meal. I like the concept of a progressive meal and with all three restaurants so close, it works well. The food styles are very different and I like that. If you're like me, I would recommend giving the progressive meal a try.

My guest and I dined courtesy of WTC Wharf

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