Monday, July 4, 2011

The Provincial - Got game?

It was a Thursday arvo, and I've just made my first big sale (at least I consider it big as a new starter) when I received Eddie's text.

He asked if I was interested to join both Jenna and himself to The Provincial Hotel that night for the Winter Games dinner event, consisting of 4 courses with matching wines from Quealy

Paul Cooper celebrates the winter season by creating this menu using some of his favourites, offering diners the chance to sample local game meats - namely the guinea fowl, hare and venison.

I hesitated for a bit because I was skeptical if I was game for the unusual type of meats used but I still found myself sitting there with a bunch of food enthusiast that night.

Poached pheasant breast, braised leg croquette, blue cheese cream, pear and candied walnut crumb served with Musk Creek Pinot Gris 2010
The dinner kicked start with the poached pheasant. The breast meat was tender, moist, and goes well with the pear and walnut crumbs. Didn't scream 'wow' for me, but it was still convincingly good.

Of course, there's no way the crispy crumbed croquette can go any wrong really - it was crunchy and contained some braised guinea fowl leg goodness.

And may I add that although I don't usually like blue cheese, Paul Cooper's blue cheese cream was an exception? ;)

Steamed and roasted saddle of hare, leg cottage pie, parsnip, pinot poached quince, cavolo nero and quince wine served with the Mush Creek Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 and Seventeen Rows Old Vine Pinot Noir 2009
The second course was the hare - it was very well-cooked and matches well with the intense flavours but the meat was a tad bit too gamey for my liking. I concluded right away that I prefer rabbit meat better.

But oh dear, the cottage pie you see on the top left corner... Man, that was one scrumptious beauty! The hare was so tender and juicy, I wished we had a bigger bowl of that rich creamy goodness!

Parsley crumbed Gippsland venison loin, beetroot, celeriac, cocoa crumb, and port jus served with the 'Rageous' Sangiovese Shiraz Pinot Noir 2009
The venison meat went so perfectly well with the port jus and yummy cocoa crumbs.

And although the meat was crumbed with parsley, I could barely taste any hint of it, which was uber great because me no like parsley - big thumbs up for me! *yay*

On another note, I can't believe I'm actually saying this because I never have been a fan of beetroot, in fact I kinda dislike beetroot, but it is a fact that this baby beetroot was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!!

Interpretation of a Black Forest cake served with the May-Harvest Botrytis Muscat 2010
My photo does not do this dessert enough justice, but the deconstructed black forest cake was magnificient, to say the least.

I polished all the little bits and pieces clean, and sat there wanting more. Easily my favourite course of the night, and oh yes, that Muscat that was served alongside it was simply perfect.

All in all, I had a wonderful evening - the food was good, the wines were very well matched but the best bit of it all, was company. (:

With low alcohol tolerance, I was needless to say a tad bit tipsy by the end of the night. But it felt good being able to let loose.

The Provincial Hotel / Cafe Provincial on Urbanspoon
We should never judge a book by its cover. Because although The Provincial Hotel appears to look very much like one dodgy local pub, but the truth is, there's the ever awesome Chef Paul Cooper rocking that kitchen within, serving tasty yet reasonably priced food.

I will return again, soon.


You might also be interested to read: The Provincial Hotel Funky Beet Dinner Event


Michelle Chin said...

Hey, we should have a posh meal together or something. :)

The Bakeanista said...

Sure thing - when you get back! :)

edward said...

Paul Cooper rocks my inner-food-jocks..

there's a 4 course with the notorious beetroot coming up on the 28th of july.. interested?

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