Stokehouse

I have wanted to go to Stokehouse ever since it opened two years ago. I had even done work experience there twice before my family decided to have a leisurely lunch on a Sunday, which happened to be Australia Day and a long weekend. Well, in my view, the wait was sure worth it!

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Once my parents had committed to going, I had put off booking for so long there was a possibility they might have been booked out. Luckily, that was not the case.

As we walked in I spotted my friend and chef mentor during my work experiences, Liam, who works on the grill. After a quick chat, I found my way to our table, which sported a great view of the river. We all agreed to have a few appetizers, skip entrees, have a main each and share dessert.

Our waiter brought out complementary bread, both fresh and toasted, and some good quality olive oil from Mudgee, a special blend chosen by the chef. I loved the warm fresh bread studded with olive pieces.  A great start.

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For appetisers, we ordered ½ dozen of freshly shucked oysters with fresh lemon ($20). Mum hadn’t heard the waiter and unsuspectingly ordered them ‘al natural’ rather than with a mignonette dressing. We didn’t really mind, as they were Moreton Bay oysters and we enjoyed the flavour of the sea.

We also ordered breaded Spanish olives, three cheeses, almond, aioli ($10). It was the first time for me trying crumbed olives and I absolutely loved them. They were crispy on the outside, warm inside and complemented perfectly by the smooth aioli.

Our last appetizer was a crudo of fresh seafood which today was cobia and flathead ($16). The plate that the crude was served on was actually made by head chef Richard Ousby. In case you are interested, the plates are made out of white raku clay and glazed with Rockingham Brown and Oyster White Speckle. Also on the plate was a tomatillo pickle, which went very well with the firm fresh fish. However, I would have liked to have more of it on the plate.

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For my main, I couldn’t decide which steak to order out of the O’Conners 350g Pasture Fed Scotch Fillet ($52) or the Mayura Full Blood 250g Wagyu Rump Cap ($55). Luckily Dad didn’t know either so we agreed to order one each and split the steak in two and swap.

The steaks were served with a cauliflower puree, bacon, peas and roast onion. Out of the two, I preferred the rump cap which was cooked medium-rare to medium which Liam had suggested and it was perfect. The meat just melted in my mouth. The Scotch fillet, cooked medium rare was great and the fat, which can be chewy, was hot and soft, oozing bucket loads of meatiness. The additional puree was silky smooth although I could have done with some more. The peas, bacon and roast onions provided some extra textures contrasts to the distinctive wagyu beef.

Here’s the Rump cap :

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And here’s the Scotch Fillet:

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Today, we were joined by my Nan who always likes to order fish. Earlier, I assured her that Stokehouse would have a great fish dish on the menu and sure enough they did. She opted for the Diamond Scale, crushed potato, heirloom tomato, black olive, mojama, sorrel ($38). We all hadn’t heard of the Diamond Scale before but were told it was similar to barramundi. The dish was presented spectacularly and Nan thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Mum also had a fish dish; Coral coast barramundi, hand picked sand crab, zucchini flower, tomato fondue ($39). From my taste of her dish, the fish was moist and the crab gave some additional sweetness. Mum enjoyed her dish very much.

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After nearly polishing off my veal tortellini at Pane E Vino, we entrusted The Princess with a dish from the normal menu; Braised Wagyu tortellini, cave-aged taleggio, preserved mushroom consommé ($26 – entrée size). While she loved the pasta she wasn’t as keen on the earthy mushroom flavours which I more than happily slurped up. Delish!

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I have always wanted to try Stokehouse’s signature “Bombe” and have seen it being made but never tasted it. Now was my chance. The Bombe was layered with a frozen white chocolate parfait, strawberry sorbet, toasted meringue and topped with a few fresh strawberries ($20). WOW! It lived up to my high expectations. The combination of the smooth meringue with the fruity sorbet, creamy chocolate parfait and cake sponge was pure bliss. One of my favourite desserts ever!

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Mum and The Princess shared the Peanut butter parfait, candied popcorn, raspberry sorbet, salted caramel ($19). The dessert looked so pretty on the plate and looked too good to disturb. It was so good the Princess declared that she wants to come back time and time again just for that dessert!

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Stokehouse serves delicious Modern Australian food that is uncomplicated, well considered and executed perfectly. I sure hope I don’t have to wait another two years before returning!

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