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Jurisdiction: American / Smoked Meats

Outcome: Majority Verdict

Ratio Decidendi: (Various) Protein. Smoked. A nearly awesome place which does some things really well, but there are others that I’d give a miss second time round. Ideally you should visit as a party of 4 so that you can sample a broader range of the menu. Personally I’d skip the cured & cold meats section and save the calorie and monetary budget for the smoked meats and dessert.

Salient Features: My picks are the beef short rib and the linguica sausage. All 3 desserts are decent too.

Scope of inquiry: duck liver pate ($14), wagyu bresaola ($14), lamb belly stuffed with merguez ($26), beef short rib ($38), linguica sausage ($14), porchetta ($24), pouding chomeur ($14), tropezienne ($12), coconut sorbet & watermelon granita ($10).

Case note: The beef short rib is what I’d come back for. Moist, smoky and wobbly-tender goodness with a charred outside crust – easily the pick of the lot and well worth the price premium. Not far behind it is the linguica sausage, which I didn’t expect given how hard it is (in my opinion) for a sausage to be particularly memorable. This was intense on flavour, with hits of chilli, garlic and paprika enhancing a smoky sausage rich on pork fat.

Despite (what I perceive to be) a technically more difficult dish, I wasn’t blown away by the the lamb belly on the flavour front. You’d probably still order it anyway for the novelty but I’d hazard against the porchetta which was very pedestrian relative to the others and poor value given the serving size.

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Desserts here are worth trying. The three offerings on the menu do well to cover most palates but I’d suggest trying them in the following order given the characteristics of each. Start with the tropezienne which is essentially a huge cream bun, and not all that different in concept from a profiterole (minus the chocolate). Don’t dally on this though, the ice cream on your next dessert is melting.

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The pouding chomeur comprises 3 main components: cake batter, caramel and vanilla ice cream. On a side note, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the irony of the ‘poor man’s pudding’ being the most expensive on the menu but think the humour was lost on everybody else. There’s little to not like about this – buttery cake batter bathed in warm caramel-esque (maple syrup and cream apparently) served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream – if you only had room for one dessert, this would be it. The coconut sorbet and watermelon granita makes for a refreshing end to the meal, and is especially welcome after you’re done with the sweetly rich and heavy pouding.

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Obiter dicta: Closed Monday and Sunday. Bookings can be made for groups of 4 or more. 6pm or 8pm sitting.

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