La Grillade has been an institution in Crows Nest for decades, however in recent years it has appeared to have gone through a few different owners and subsequently, there have been frequent menu changes. I’ve sampled the various renditions and have generally been happy with the experience, so I was looking forward to having dinner there on Saturday night.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I adore garlic prawns and will order them just about every time I see them on a menu. I really liked the flavourful garlic infused olive oil that the prawns were cooked in, however the prawns themselves were slightly over-cooked. The dish could have done with some slices of crusty bread on the side with which to mop up the lovely garlic oil; I ended up using the garlic bread we had ordered, which was also delicious and dripping with melted butter, for an extreme garlic hit!
My father has much the same sentiment towards garlic snails that I have towards garlic prawns, and true to form, he ordered it for his entree. He was very happy with the taste and found the snails to be cooked nicely.
The crisp, salty duck skin in my main worked wonderfully with the sweet cherry sauce, although I did find the duck meat itself rather chewy. I was also unsure what purpose the random lump of dough on the side served; it was tough, pasty and did not add anything to the dish.
My sister decided to only order a main of pork belly, which she found to be very tasty and tender, but overly fatty. The crackling, while crunchy, still retained a chewy texture and was somewhat difficult to cut.
My father’s steak was a touch over-cooked, closer to medium well than medium and there was also a charred taste in parts of it. He would also have liked more peppercorns in the peppercorn sauce.
We had ordered a number of desserts to share; my favourite was the créme brulee which had a silky, creamy texture and a golden brown sugar crust that shattered invitingly when tapped with the back of a spoon.
The poached pear was firmer than you would expect, however it was still sweet and tasty.
I also enjoyed the créme caramel which was very smooth and creamy, and not overly sweet.
- The food was good, without being outstanding and our waiter was friendly and jovial when you were able to actually catch his attention; however it was quite a busy Saturday night, so he may have just had too many tables to look after.
- A better exhaust system would have improved the ambience – the restaurant was filled with smoke from an unknown source, and the smouldering smell clung to our clothes unpleasantly even after we had left.
118 Alexander Street
Crows Nest NSW 2065
T: (02) 9439 3707
W: La Grillade