Sunday, 1 September 2013

E Cucina Wine Bar and Restaurant

It's been a while since I last reviewed a restaurant listed in the Entertainment Book so this Saturday date night took us to E Cucina Wine Bar and Restaurant which is listed in the fine and contemporary dining section of the Entertainment Book. 

Hubby rang E Cucina at 6:45pm to book a table for 7:30pm (yes, a bit last minute) and luckily, we were able to get a table.  It was quite a chilly night and the streets were quite bare and so was E Cucina when we arrived.  We were attended to quickly and were asked to choose where we wanted to sit.

Our order
  • Charcuterie plate (duck liver parfait, pressed chicken terrine, house cured prosciutto) $22
  • Homemade chorizo with lemon $8
  • Crisp masterstock braised pork belly with spanner crab, apple and Szechuan salad and apple & 5 spice puree $35
  • Braised black Angus beef cheeks with shiraz glaze, potato puree, peas and parsnip chips $36
  • Deconstructed lemon meringue pie with lemon gelato $15

Food and service - 3.5/5
The charcuterie plate wasn't the best I've had, the prosciutto although tasty, was sliced too thickly and I didn't like the chicken terrine.  However, I did like the warm bread and the duck liver parfait.  When we finished our charcuterie plate, we eyed off the chorizo that just arrived on our neighbour's table and decided to get some too.  The chorizo was yummy and we could definitely tell that it was homemade.  If you do order it, I suggest you also order some bread with it because it did get a bit salty after a few slices.
Charcuterie plate $22
Homemade chorizo $8

Our mains were nicely presented, the beef cheeks were flavoursome and beautifully prepared.  The pork belly on the other hand, although cooked to perfection with the meat nice and tender, was a bit tasteless for me.  The pork crackling that accompanied the dish was nice and crunchy but again it was tasteless.  I like my pork crackling crunchy and saltier.  The Szechuan salad was nice but the apple puree was a bit overpowering.  It was actually not bad, just not balanced.  
Braised black Angus beef cheeks $36
Crisp masterstock braised pork belly $35
I really wanted dessert tonight and ordered the deconstructed lemon meringue pie which tasted nice but became a tad sour after a few mouthfuls.
Deconstructed lemon meringue pie $15
Service - 4/5
We were really happy with the service at E Cucina because our waitress was very professional and polite.  She gave us menus and water as soon as we sat down, she topped up our water automatically (bonus points!) and she checked in on us regularly without being intrusive.  

Atmosphere - 3.5/5
It was actually quite quiet at E Cucina tonight. I was a bit surprised considering it's a Saturday night and in the city (although not in the middle of the action), I wonder if they're like that every Saturday?Although quiet, I liked the relaxed atmosphere.  Hubby liked where we were sitting because the view of the city was really pretty at that angle.

Value for money - 3/5
Prices are comparable to similar restaurants although I did find their charcuterie plate a bit expensive for what you get. 

Not bad, but I'm not rushing back for another meal.  It's one of those restaurants that I'm happy to try once and move on.

Taste Test Total Score 14/20

É Cucina Wine Bar and Restaurant on UrbanspoonEntertainment Book 2013/2014 Information
Section A - Fine and Contemporary Dining
Page - A35
Offer - 25% off the total bill up to $45 value