The first time I visited Cream restaurant was about a couple of years ago for a dinner with a couple of girlfriends. I was quite amazed with the restaurant because I had never been to such a cool restaurant before. Let’s just say at that time I was only 21 and it was my first dining experience with friends ^_^ Since then nothing much has changed apart from the food and the chef. The decor is pretty much the same with a couple of booths at the back to make it seem more private and shaggy carpet on the walls. I’m sure it’s not really shaggy carpet, but it felt like purple shaggy carpet to me hehehe UPDATE: it isn’t purple shaggy carpet, but black and red faux fur. Dim lighting really does play with your eyes!
The decor isn’t too bad, the down side is it’s a dimly lit restaurant. I don’t mind dimly restaurants if it’s not too dark. But this restaurant was dimly lit and the lighting was red as well, so most of my photos were taken with flash. If it was without flash, everything would look red >_<. The lighting reminded me of a restaurant I went to a couple weeks ago. It was so dimly lit that you relied of the candle that was in front of you to see your menu! The table next to me was worse, they actually asked the waitress for a torch, which she did provide, in order to read their menus!!
So we ordered our drinks and I ordered a Berrioska ($16) which was ultimately a caprioska with a berry twist. Let’s just say by the end of the night I was drinking more vodka than berry. Maybe I should have stuck to my safe mojito, but then again I might have been drinking more rum than mint! It was a nice drink, but maybe a bit too heavy on the vodka.
We ordered some warm New Norcia French sticks ($10.50) to start off with. This was accompanied with the classic olive oil and balsamic vinegar, marinated olives, homemade cognac pâté and onion confit ($5.50). I like my pâté in small doses. This pâté was creamy and smooth and just downright wonderful. I could have finished the whole bowl, but I had to share with 2 other people. The onion confit was like an onion jam, sweet and soft and full of flavor. The bread was Delish. It felt like it was just out of the oven. The outside was crusty but the inside was warm ands soft, just the way I like my bread.
If you haven’t noticed, the pâté has a layer of butter on top. This is to keep the pâté from oxidizing and discoloring when it is kept in the fridge.
While we were waiting for our mains to arrive there was a dinner party happening in front of us. It was quite fascinating to watch as it was hosted by one person for his many friends and they looked like they were having such a jolly time. One funny thing I noticed that after each course the person that had originally sat on a chair with a yellow post it note had to move 2 spaces to their left. I think it was to keep conversation flowing and to let everyone mingle with each other, which was quite ingenious of the host. I must remember that when I host a dinner party haha
So our mains had arrived. My mum ordered the Slow Roasted Breast of Free Range Chicken, Pan Fried Mushroom Risotto & Truffle Jus ($36.50). It was nice, nothing overly special. The chicken was tender and the risotto was just nice, not on the gluggy side which you can sometimes get. What I was left wondering was if there was any truffle jus. There was definitely some jus there but I couldn’t taste any truffles. It was an ok dish, although rather bland in presentation. Everything was a shade of white or brown :S
My dad’s dish was the Barbecued Cutlets of Arabic Spiced Lamb, Roast Vegetable Couscous, Crispy Eggplant & Wild Fig Jus ($38.50). I managed to try a slice and the lamb was quite succulent. Being a fan of lamb I think my dad quite enjoyed his dish.
My dish was Crispy Roasted Lean Pork Belly, Strudel of Pan Caramelised Apple, Leek & Goat’s Feta, & Green Apple Balsamic ($37.50). I was surprised with my dish. My pork came out as a triangle! The skin looked crispy, but when I did tuck into it, was I utterly devastated. It was the opposite of crispy, and it was chewy as well :(. The pork was cooked nicely, but the skin let it down. I was also left wondering where the leek and goat’s feta was. I could taste the balsamic vinegar, but to say that it was a green apple balsamic may be a bit of an overstatement.
The strudel of pan caramelized apples was ok. It tasted like a strudel without the sugar and cream. The apples were a bit tad on the sour side but it was ok. The skin though…sigh…if only it was crispy.
So far, the evening was like a roller coaster. The high was the New Norcia bread and pâté, the low was the not-so-crispy pork skin. We decided to stay for dessert as if was heavily raining outside so we thought we would wait it out. We ordered a Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch sauce and Vanilla Chantilly cream ($16.50) to share. The sticky date was moist and warm with the not too sweet butterscotch sauce to accompany it. I have unsuccessfully tried to make vanilla Chantilly cream before. But this was just right. It wasn’t too heavy on the mascapone cream and it was light. It suited well to the dish. Some light to balance out the heaviness of the dessert.
I must say that at the end of the night it was a mixed bag of emotion. Unfortunately for me, by the time we were to leave the vodka was not reacting nicely with my food and causing all sorts of distress. I will be visiting Cream again, but maybe not for another year or so.
Highs: New Norcia bread, the homemade cognac pâté and the sticky date pudding dessert
Lows: not so crispy pork skin, the too much vodka berrioska
Decor: 3/5, it could use a bit of updating and lighting
Service: 4/5, prompt and efficient despite having to serve the dinner party as well. There was only one waitress on that night and she was pretty good considering the circumstances
Food: 3/5 the highs gave it an extra point
Price: $$$$$, it’s not a place you would go every week, it’s like a “special occasions” kind of restaurant
Overall experience: 3/5, it wasn’t terribly good, but it was terribly bad either, just average
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