Sunday, May 06, 2007

Eating Out: Bear Brass

Gr3A On the River, Southgate

Ph: 03 9682 3799

So, how do you combine a 3-in-1 celebration? You book a nice room at the Pacific International Apartments and then wander along the river looking for something to tempt your taste-buds. We decided on Bear Brass.

A nice pub-type atmosphere, cheerful staff (although it did take a little while to get our meals... nothing extreme, but longer that I prefer). Not exceedingly expensive. Overall verdict quite nice. But what really impressed me was that, fussy eater that I am, there was still plenty of choice on the menu of things I'm happy to eat.

I ordered the steak. I have to admit - I've been somewhat spoiled by places that serve impressively large meals on equally large plates, so to dine somewhere that believes in putting smaller meals on those same large places was... well, a little odd. Even so, this was delightful and was enough to leave me feeling not quite full, but quite happy, which meant I had enough room, after a short walk along the river and through the casino, to have a treat from Trampoline next door. According to the menu you are looking at porterhouse steak with asparagus and bean bundle and bearnaise sauce. What the blurb doesn't mention is the smattering of freshly cracked pepper, the delightfully well-done onion rings under the steak, and the smashed potatoes under the asparagus and beans. It's been years since I had anything with bearnaise sauce on it, and one bite put me immediately in flavour country. I would have been quite content to be served up a bowl of the potatoes with the sauce! Even better, the steak was cooked to perfection - exactly the way I like it.

The Mister ordered the mushroom and prosciutto stuff chicken breast on coriander and rice pilaf with a herb cream sauce. It smelt darn nice. And the best I can work out, the strange orange thingies are shaved sweet potato cooked all nice and crispy with a sprinkling of... cumin...? Very nice, would love to have those as a bar snack!

Another thing that makes me want to go back to Bear Brass - I was drinking the house red of the night, and I'm still kicking myself that I didn't find out what it was. Whatever it was, it was goooood. A nice red bite on first taste, then a long and smooth mellowing over the tongue that continued well after you'd had your sip. Ah, bliss. VERY nice. Total bill, including two Asahi's and two glasses of red, was $75. Not too bad, really! I mean, this IS dining on the river.

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