Cantina 663

I feel that perhaps my expectations were too high for

Cantina 663
663 Beaufort Street
Phone: 9370 4883

It has been on my ‘go to’ list for quite some time and I must admit that in the week leading up to dinner, I browsed their online menu more than once… Which normally I am very against because when you get there, you have to wait for everybody else to decide what they want and run the risk of the menu having changed and they’re not serving what you planned to order. Disaster!!! So, lets just call it what it is and admit that I set myself up for a fall on this one.

We got there quite early and had to wait a while for the rest of the party to arrive, so the girls ordered a bottle of red which they said was absolutely delicious! The waitress offered me a mocktail (as I was driving) and I thoroughly enjoyed my Apple Snaffle! Really fresh, lots of mint, delightful!

For starters we shared the Duck Liver Parfait and the Chorizo with house pickles. The Parfait was absolutely divine! Smooth, rich and creamy and the caramelised onions really finished it off. Great start! The Chorizo was only warm, and quite dry. Felt like it had been sitting for a while.

There was seven of us for tea and between us, we managed to only order two of their main dishes! Three of us tried the Braised Goat with dried fruits, carrots, fregola and apple salad and the other four had the Cannelloni with chicken, kale, sugo, panagrattato and grana padano.

This is where the night went wrong. The goat was different across all three plates. J had a hard time getting the meat off her bones and seemed to have far more bone than meat. I think I was the luckiest as mine did fall off the bone and I had a reasonable amount. The problem was that the dish was incredibly sweet and each mouthful was exactly the same. It didn’t seem to matter what you put on the fork or even if it was a bit of everything it all just melded together in a sweet thick glaze. The only thing that cut through it was the parsley and I don’t think that parsley is the type of herb you can palette in big chunks, though this is only a personal thing. No balance of flavour to the dish.

The cannelloni looked fantastic, huge portion size. The girls did amazingly well to get through what they did! Unfortunately, on closer inspection and taste (there was plenty of extra to go around) it was a bit the same as the Goat. The only flavour you seemed to get was cheese. It had a mountain of white sauce on top and not enough tomato sauce. Every mouthful, again, tasted the same. One of the girls also said it lacked salt. It was cheesey and bland. The best bit was the pannagrattato.

We did decide, against our better judgement (both dishes were very filling despite not getting through it all), to order dessert. I just shouldn’t ask for the dessert menu then I would have been fine! But, who am I to say no when they present a chocolate peanut butter tart with mascarpone and peanuts?! So, on we forged – besides, I’ve heard there is a separate stomach for desserts anyway.

The tart was quite gelatinous and almost jelly like. The pastry was great, light and crunchy.  The ‘peanuts’ probably amounted to a single peanut smashed to smithereens around the edge.

I should have gone with the meringue (orange curd, meringue, citrus sorbet and shortbread crumbs) – it looked and tasted spectacular! Z actually (semi) joked about licking the plate. It was pretty amazing. Highlight for sure. Two of the girls ordered the quince pudding with rosemary anglaise and granola crumble. Didn’t try the pudding, apparently it was good but rich.

To wrap it up; parfait, meringue and apple snaffle – great. The rest very disappointing. I won’t be hurrying back, it was quite an expensive meal, which, had the food been great I would have been happy to pay but I always find it hard to hand over hard earned cash for something I only semi enjoyed. Luckily, the company was wonderful, as always!

Duck Liver Parfait
Braised Goat
Quince Pudding
Orange curd and Meringue
Chocolate, Peanut Butter Tart
Cantina 663 on Urbanspoon

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