Being awarded 1 hat by the Sydney Morning Herald last year, I was more than thrilled when I discovered that dinner had been booked at the Lanterne Rooms. This restaurant especialises in Nyonya Cuisine but it also has some Chinese, Indian and Western influences. The restaurant's design cleverly incorporates dark wood beams, bamboo shutters and beautiful detailed lamps to create an elegant Asian-influeced dining venue. The menu is not very extensive but enough to keep you excited. We ordered a few entrees to share starting with Cured Ocean Trout on Fennel and Carrot Confit. The trout was fresh, nicely cured and it blended well with the sourness from the fennel and carron confit.
Next up was a hot entree, the Tom Yum infused crispy Prawns with Rock Melon and Apple slaw. The Tom Yum prawns were crispy and cooked to perfection. The subtle hints of spiciness from the prawn went deliciously well with the rock melon, and the apple slaw added a refreshing lift to the dish. *thumbs up!
The last entree, and the one that i was most excited about, was the Winter Garden. It was a beautifully presented mushroom entree comprised of sous vide shimeji mushroom on a bed of steamed porcini cake with truffle crumbs and micro herbs. The shimeji mushroom was perfectly cooked and bursting with flavours. The truffle added an earthy taste to the dish and the micro herbs were added for that 'garden' look. On the other hand, i couldn't really taste much of the porcini in the steamed cake.
After our delightful round of entrees we eagerly awaited for the arrival of our mains (which were served with rice): Braised Beef Cheek with Chinese ‘red cheese’ and Slow cooked David Blackmore Wagyu +9 Beef Curry “Kampung Style”.
The braised beef cheeks were so nice and soft that they just melted in your mouth, and the lotus root chips on top added a nice crunchy texture to the dish. The sauce was a bit of a let down as it was a bit salty to my liking and the dish as a whole was a bit too rich (i couldn't even take on the second beef cheek)!
Slow cooked David Blackmore Wagyu +9 Beef Curry “Kampung Style” was much lighter compared to the beef cheeks and the curry sauce had a nice balance flavours. I was, however, a bit disappointed with this dish as the wagyu itself was quite dry. If the wagyu was as soft and tender as the beef cheeks, it would have been perfect!
Lastly, we decided to end the meal by ordering a Chocolate and Coconut Panna Cotta served with Pandan Pearls. Lovely presentation, I must say! All I could mainly taste was the chocolate and occasionally some hints of coconut. Sadly the pandan pearls didn't add much flavour (but just looks) to the panna cotta because the chocolate flavour, as i said before, was quite dominant. The peppered pineapple sorbet was alright but was easily overcome by the chocolate panna cotta too.
Overall, the highlights of this meal were definitely the entrees. All of them were delicious and well executed. The mains were alright but didn't really stand out for me and the dessert, unfortunately, didn't impress me either. I thought it was a bit generic and not interesting enough for a restaurant that had superb entrees which played with visual components and textures. Apart from that, the meal was very enjoyable as the atmosphere was great and the staff was attentive and friendly.
Cute water bottle =)