Sunday, 14 April 2013

Taste Test - The Cabin Small Bar

Triple date night! Tonight, hubby finally gets to meet my friend LY, who moved over to Brisbane after university and her partner JO.  JL organised dinner as usual so we gave her the important job of choosing a restaurant, well even if she didn't organise dinner we would have still given her the job.

I've wanted to try The Cabin Small Bar for years because my colleague's sister used to be the head chef there but since she left it wasn't on my priority list although I have been there for drinks.  They have a good selection of tapas style dishes and as we were all indecisive, we asked the waiter for recommendations.  The waiter was helpful and gave us a brief rundown of the most popular dishes; we ordered most of his recommendations to share.

Our order
Tapas 
  • 'Broome' little snapper, cashew and spice crust, lemon tahini yoghurt, mizuna, pomme granite, shallot $24.50
  • Roasted baby eggplants, chermoula, quinoa tabhoule, pulled cheese curds, grilled lemon $13.50
  • 'Margaret River' venison spare ribs, oriental glaze, ponzu mayonnaise, sesame $19
  • Sweet potato fries, rosemary salt, mustard mayonnaise $10
  • Kalbi braised beef shin tacos, pickled vegetables, horseradish crema, jalapenos x 3 $42 ($14 each)
  • Crisp pork belly croquettes, cuttlefish ribbons, tomato, saffron, black olive, smokey aioli $17.50
  • 'Esperance' lucky bay scallops, grilled goat pepperoni, chimmi churri x 2 $45 ($22.50 each)
Dessert
  • Brule 'banana split' dulce de leche, vanilla ice cream, cardamom chocolate sauce, walnut praline $15
  • Olive oil citron cake, lime curd, burnt marshmallow, passion fruit pearls, popping candy $16 
On a side note, they do $10 cocktails between 3pm and 7pm on Friday and Sunday so of course the girls had a cocktail each while the boys all downed a beer.

Food and presentation - 4/5
The food at The Cabin was yummy although it was not anything special, you can get similar dishes and/or flavours at other restaurants.  Saying that, I had no complaints about the quality and taste of the food.  My stand out dishes were the 'Broome' little snapper and the 'Margaret River' venison spare ribs.  Dishes were well presented in general, however we all agreed that they could have jazzed up the presentation of their banana split.


'Broome' little snapper, cashew and spice crust, lemon tahini yoghurt, mizuna, pomme granite, shallot $24.50

Roasted baby eggplants, chermoula, quinoa, tabhoule, pulled cheese curds, grilled lemon $13.50

'Margaret River' venison spare ribs, oriental glaze, ponzu mayonnaise, sesame $19

Sweet potato fries, rosemary salt, mustard mayonnaise $10

Kalbi braised beef shin tacos, pickled vegetables, horseradish crema, jalapenos $14

Crisp pork belly croquettes, cuttlefish ribbons, tomato, saffron, black olive, smokey aioli $17.50

'Esperance' lucky bay scallops, grilled goat pepperoni, chimmi churi $22.50

Olive oil citron cake, lime curd, burnt marshmallow, passion fruit pearls, popping candy $16

Brule 'banana split' dulce de leche, vanilla ice cream, cardamom chocolate sauce, walnut praline $15

Service - 2.5/5
Unfortunately, the service was a bit of a let down tonight.  Not actually sure what the reason was as they were not particularly busy at 6pm on Sunday.  (1) It was hard to get the attention of wait staff, they just didn't look our way, (2) we only ordered one serving of the croquette but received two, (3) they forgot about our spare ribs - the waitress asked us if we wanted to order any more dishes and we had to tell her that we were still waiting for the spare ribs, then she came and told us it wasn't ordered but not long after the spare ribs came out...,(4) JL was playing wait staff by clearing our plates and putting it on the next table, (5) it took a while before we got a wait staff to take our dessert order and (6) it was forever before our dessert arrived, we had to ask where it was after 30 minutes.  An early Sunday night dinner ended up finishing a lot later than expected, luckily I had good company.  I gave them a pass for service because the wait staff were helpful and friendly (when we got one) and they apologised for the hiccups when I went to pay the bill.

Atmosphere - 4/5
Love the d├ęcor and general feel of The Cabin.  The music wasn't blasting so it is great place to catch up with friends, as you're not limited to shouting in the ear of the person next to you.

Value for money - 3.5/5
Not the cheapest tapas but similar pricing to restaurants of this calibre.  You are paying for the quality and atmosphere.

Will be back for more tapas and drinks once I get over the service.

Taste Test Total Score 14/20

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