Surfer's Paradise, day 9...

Somehow, writing Surfer's Paradise just doesn't seem to mesh well with haute cuisine. When you walk around town and really look at the people-it is what it is...a community mainly of those who perhaps sleep in their car, party and catch waves all day. A community with strong tourist activity in which it seems to rely on, yet a fair amount of apparent wealth that most certainly supports the stylish outlying areas. One of them, we stumbled upon, similar to that of Madison Park in Seattle, found us tasting bites of modern Aussie cuisine at a small, understated place called restaurant b. Clearly a strong supporter of local ingredients, producers and artisans, the menu, surprisingly, did not read much differently than those of Aqua, Gotham, Cyrus or a bounty of other fine establishments across the US and beyond, including "the club". As I continue to explore, research and taste my way into different locales, when partaking in menus of "modern this or that", we all tend to resemble an identifiable persona, and yet what is recognizably altered is the vision of the chef. Isn't life wonderful!?! We were welcomed with a seared Queensland Scallop(a little smaller than our East Coast harvest) which rested on a truffled celery root puree, chervil, micro black radish and a silky beurre blanc. Next came an elongated presentation of slow braised snails- a touch sharp with the aftertaste of uncooked liquor; in this case-brandy, but nice and rich anyway. It was served with sauteed spinach, tomato concassee, and a silky carrot emulsion and accompanied by a Port Wine Veal reduction. Tasty. Probably one of the most stunning and interesting thus far. What followed was a sleek and refined plate of seared Tasmanian Ocean Trout(think taz salmon) with a nice, crisp skin and sitting atop a warm pile of roasted mushrooms. This was paired with a clean salad of pink grapefruit, snow peas, ginger, daikon and micro lettuces and separated down the middle with a thin line of trout roe and roasted hazelnuts. A drizzle of evoo completed the composure. As a tasting menu was not available, we opted to move into the sweeter side of the menu, as we were getting quite full. The chocolate tasting was in our crosshairs. A dense, dark chocolate ganache-type filling inside a chocolate shell, tasting of quality "manjari-esque" label. A raspberry-white chocolate mousse was unfortunately too reminiscent of a horrid "factory produced filling". Along side of that, there was a subtle, yet welcomed white chocolate ice cream- smooth, delicate and enjoyable. The final component; an orange-milk chocolate frozen souffle, reminded me of a childhood treat...the creamsickle. It was a soothing finish to a nice experience one would not expect to come across in a "hey dude...let's catch a wave" sort of town. The service was relaxed(maybe a bit too much), polite and somewhat jovial. We were made to feel quite at home.


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