Saturday, July 28, 2012

Breezes, Southbank by Bureaucrat

For a celebration, I took a while to think of the place to take my family. The temptation is to go to a buffet - either Conservatory (see my review back in Oct 2011) or Collins Kitchen (read Nov 2011). It's a safe bet - everyone likes it, as everyone gets to pig out on a wide range of food in a nice surrounding.

However, I wanted to go somewhere new. After cogitating, I decided to go to Breezes. The only think I knew about it is seeing its ad in the Entertainment Book. But after seeing its 2 or 3 course lunch menu on line, this was a place I wanted to try.

Breezes is one of Crown Casino's restaurants, and is located next to the Crown spa. Inside it's light and airy, with sunshine streaming through the French windows. From our table, you get a nice view of the Yarra and Southbank. The staff are in smart green uniforms.

The prix fixe menu is pretty impressive. It has about eight dishes for each course - which is a rarity for most restaurants that offer prix fixe dining. After placing our orders, we were served the complementary bread and glass of bubbly. Delicious, textured bready goodness which was served with good quality EVOO and proper balsamic vinegar.

For starters, we ordered...

...seared scallops with summer heirloom tomato and thyme compote, olive tapenade and apple honey. The scallops were perfectly cooked and very fresh. The sweetness of the hone and the tartness of the tapenade gave a nice flavour balance to the dish.

...grilled calamari, smoked eggplant puree w chorizo, tomato and parlsey salad.

...seared king prawns, garlic butter, parsley, lemon and croutons. I loved the presentation of this dish.

...Tasmanian oysters au naturel. Fresh, plump and succulent.

For mains, we ordered... fish and chips for Bubba Chuck, which I assumed she liked, as she wolfed the whole plate.

...pan-roasted kingfish, cauliflower skordalia, grapes and pinenut dressing. I ordered this dish. The fish was perfectly cooked. I really liked the grape and pinenut dressing. As with the seared scallops, the grapes added a nice sweetness (without being cloying) to the dish that enhanced the seafood.

...Victorian rib-eye served with sauteed spinach w veal jus.

...I can't remember what this was. Beaker ordered it, and I liked the look of the bubbly sauce.

...honey-glazed duck breast, autumn baby vegs, kataifi wafer basket (filo pastry) and red wine glaze. Mother Hen liked the duck breast as it was cooked to her liking (well done) and was still quite tender and juicy.

The side dishes were...

...rocket, parmesan and toasted pinenuts salad. Fresh leaves dressed in quality olive oil. salad.

...chips, chunky cut wedges, string beans.

A few of us had planned on going for 3 courses, but we were so full from the entrees and main dishes. So we opted for tea and coffee to go with the complementry birthday cake - a chocolate and hazlenut mousse. Velvety cake, but a smidge too sweet for me (not that it stopped me from eating it).

Great menu, food, service and ambiance. For about $45pp, I think two courses (which includes a side dish each) is very good value. I'm glad we ventured beyond our usual buffets - this is a new place where we can still indulge in fine dining without having to unbuckle our belts when we leave. Breezes has made it onto my family's select list of favourite fine dining restaurants. Two thumbs up!

Food - 10
Service - 10
Ambience - 10
Price - 10

Crown Casino
Southbank 3006
Telephone: 9292 6896

Breezes on Urbanspoon

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