La Grillade, Crows Nest

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!

Prawns - sizzling in butter, olive oil and garlic

Prawns – sizzling in butter, olive oil and garlic

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.

Snails in the shell - marinated in red wine sizzled in garlic parsley butter

Snails in the shell – marinated in red wine sizzled in garlic parsley butter

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.

Duck breast - with sweet & sour cherries, twice cooked, pink flesh, thinly sliced

Duck breast – with sweet & sour cherries, twice cooked, pink flesh, thinly sliced

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.

Pork Belly, crispy skin -  served with a cumin infused veal reduction

Pork Belly, crispy skin – served with a cumin infused veal reduction

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.

Beef fillet grass fed - Grasslands MB2+ Premuim Beef, green peppercorn sauce (250gm+)

Beef fillet grass fed – Grasslands MB2+ Premuim Beef, green peppercorn sauce (250gm+)

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.

Créme brulee

Créme brulee

The poached pear was firmer than you would expect, however it was still sweet and tasty.

Poached pear - in red wine and served with ice cream

Poached pear – in red wine and served with ice cream

I also enjoyed the créme caramel which was very smooth and creamy, and not overly sweet.

Créme caramel

Créme caramel

TL;DR

  • 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.

La Grillade
118 Alexander Street
Crows Nest NSW 2065
T: (02) 9439 3707
W: La Grillade

La Grillade on Urbanspoon

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