So because this was the taste test, there were more dishes than the actual night.
Baby beetroot salad, goats cheese, caramelized walnuts, baby spinach and red wine vinaigrette.I'm not a big fan of beetroot, but this was actually quite nice. Goats cheese was strong, but the beetroot and the dressing help dial it down a bit so it's not too overpowering. Walnuts add the crunchy bites to the otherwise pretty 'soft' dish. So I really like this, but we didn't pick this because visually it's not as inviting as the others.
Goats cheese & caramelized onion tart, balsamic reduction & baby herb salad. This is 1 of the entree that we picked. It looks pretty and it tastes good :) Initially we were a bit doubtful of the kitchen on the boat. We thought they probably had to prepare most stuff earlier and there's limited space and resources to cook anything properly. So I thought the pastry is going to be soggy. After we tried it, we knew straight away this is 1 of the entree that we will get. The pastry was crispy, the goats cheese not as strong as the salad, and the whole thing just goes really well with the balsamic reduction and the salad!
Pumpkin & pistachio ravioli with burnt butter sage and shaved parmesan. This is also very nice plus not so 'adventurous'. The ravioli was like palm size with plenty of stuffing inside. It was so nice that we got greedy at the taste test and had extra servings of this (which we regretted afterwards because it was very rich and we got very full).
There were more entrees for us to choose, but didn't get good photos for the rest, so I'm not showing all of them here.
Now, to the choices for main. Aged porter house steak with rosemary potatoes and espagnole. This is 1 of our choices for main. Something that will suit most people and surprisingly the steak was cooked perfectly. Juicy inside, very tender, it's actually better than some restaurants I've been that's got proper kitchen.
For those guests of ours who don't eat beef for religious reason or preference, this is what we picked for our other main - Crisp skinned chicken with mushroom & zucchini potato bake and green peppercorn veloute. Again, the chef has surprised us with the crispy skin on the chicken and more importantly the moist chicken breast meat. When we saw the menu, we weren't going for chicken because they tend to become too dry very easily. However, this is not the case at all. So with our only concern with having chicken on the menu dissolve, this is the best option for our second main.
Other option that we had for main - Tender veal scaloppini on fried polenta with gorgonzola and topped with field mushrooms. This dish is also quite nice. We were contemplating between this and the steak. However, the only let down is the fried polenta. We find that the polenta is a bit bland.
Another option for main - Twice cooked lamb shank on creamed potato and jus gremolato. We eliminated this as our main for 2 reasons. There were quite a few guests who probably won't like having lamb and also, it might get a bit messy with the big bone.
Option for main - Pan seared blue eye cod with chinese greens and ponzu. Initially when we thought if we weren't going for chicken we would go for fish, but this fish is a disappointment. The fillet is way overcooked. It was also smelling 'fishy'. So we were guessing the fillet probably wasn't the freshest.
When we went taste testing, instead of getting a full serve of each dish, we were presented with trays of these little pieces :) So instead of totally stuffed ourselves with 5 full servings of entrees, 5 full servings of mains and 4 servings of dessert, we just take a bite size/mini version of each dish. So we actually get to try everything and decide what we want. And of course they put the full size version on the table to show how the actual dish would look like (which I took photos of). These are the trays of steak and the lamb shank.
For dessert we had 4 things to choose from - clockwise from top 1. Honey panacotta 2. Creme brulee 3. Tiramisu 4. Pavlova. We picked the honey panacotta and the pavlova. I have never had a honey flavoured panacotta, so straight away I picked that. Then creme brulee and tiramisu were too 'ordinary' we thought. So only 1 other choice left, which is the pavlova. I quite like the pavlova too. Crumbly outside, soft and fluffy inside.
Overall, we were very very happy with the food served on the Pontoon. It was much better than expected. Nice food and great view for our guests. It's probably more expensive than some other venue, but it was exactly what I really wanted :)
Location: The Pontoon, King Street Wharf.
Price: Free of charge for taste testing if wedding is booked.
Telephone: +61 2 9719 1338