It was the last work day of the year – wohoo! What’s not to celebrate?!
We strolled down to James Street hand in hand, savouring this moment of freedom and all the hope of some relaxation time. Picking a venue for dinner proved to be a little tricky – there were so many new establishments on James Street and I had several of them on my to-visit list. Gerard’s Bistro is definitely up there near the top of the list, so after a quick discussion, the SO made the executive decision we should dine there to celebrate the end of the work year.
Being a Friday and having not made any reservations, we were seated up at a bar-like table, facing the walkway of Gerard’s Bistro alfresco area and offered their southern Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa inspired menu. It is built around sharing, so the idea is to order several dishes dependent on the number of your dining company and how hungry they are.
We were not offered any specials, but everything on the menu inspired a sliver of excitement. With little idea how big the portions were since we arrived early and there were no other patrons’ meals to eyeball, we started with four selections and would go from there.
The SO and I took a moment of silence before whispering ‘wow’ when the mackeral “pastrami” was placed on the table space between us. The dish is served slightly chilled and got our appetites going, easing us into the rest of the meal.
Not a fan of the aerated rice, but everything else (particularly the clams) was a big thumbs-up.
The SO and I have become a recent convert to the roasted beetroot, so we really enjoyed this. The curd was not particularly strong in flavour and the chilli was just enough to tingle the tongue.
The chilli in the warm octopus was not as strong as the roasted beetroot, but this was definitely my favorite dish of the meal. The fattest part of the tentacle was plump and tender enough to be sliced, while the very tips were crunchy. Fantastic textures.
While we were comfortably filled with the meal, we agreed to finish off with the bitter and sweet chocolate mousse. I half expected a ramekin half filled with chocolate mousse and liberally topped with the trimmings. Instead we were delightfully surprised by this little beauty. The bitterness of the bitter chocolate wasn’t too bitter and the sweetness not too sweet, my nirvana of chocolate. The rest added texture and interest.
The service at Gerard’s Bistro was warm without being claustrophobic, leaving the SO and I to enjoy each other’s company for most of the meal.