08 January 2013

Bistro Bruno: Lobsta-Palooza seafood platter, Balmain (4 Feb 2012)

3 Beattie Street, Balmain NSW 2041


Lobster lovers platter

“Sydney Rock oysters, king prawns, tiger prawns, harbour shrimp, black lip mussels, razor clams, scallops in the half shell, scampi, blue swimmer crab and lobster, reclining on beds of ice, accompanied by tasty and intriguing condiments. ”

I'm a huge lover of quality seafood but that makes me very particular. Its sadly taken me nearly a year to post this review about Bistro Bruno's Lobsta-Palooza seafood platter deal ($55 per person) but thankfully they've launched it again for January 2013 ($59 per person) if you're keen to try. Lobster alone is expensive and this is the main drawcard for trying this seafood platter. It was a decent size and fresh so gets the tick of approval. Lobster legs where fairly easy to extract which is always a good sign. Tiger prawns were pretty large, shelled and deveined ready to eat. King prawns were decent size however flesh and shell was softer than preferred which made the flesh less firm and more mushy after peeling. Scampi had nice flavour although don't provide much meat. The Sydney Rock oysters (Pambula) were freshly shucked and had good flavour although was hoping for more brine. Black lipped mussels were fresh and fairly decent size but a little bit of beard left on some. Blue swimmer crab had nice sweet meat but a challenge to open leaving fingers smelly. Razor clams had a unique texture and flavour although I wasn't a fan to appreciate and would have preferred extra prawns instead. Scallops in half shell seemed to have suffered being a little squashed as shell markings were visible. The Harbour shrimp was my least favourite item and would have preferred without or having them crispy flash fried instead like they do at District Dining. The greenish looking ones didn't look appetising at all and more like fishing bait.

Hand cut chips, saffron aioli ($8.5) were good. Chunky with a nice outer crisp. For dessert we tried the Caramelised Banana parfait, praline, puff pastry ($15) with nice flavours although parfait seemed a little icy so not sure if it was supposed to be. Cappuccino ($4) was decent and Affogato ($8) had nice flavour although hardly any ice cream. Would have preferred at least two scoops served in the large cup to start with. Toilets were clean and functional although no baby change facilities but perhaps it's not the kind of place you might want to bring a baby along as it's a nice dining place. Erez Gordon the owner was friendly and welcoming and sure knows a thing or two about hospitality. There's limited free street parking but check out the free council car park on Beattie Street first for availability. My 10 week old baby daughter was in tow for this visit. We sat on the verandah and thankfully she slept all the way through our dining experience to our amazement — and actually for 12 hours straight for the first time that night. I'm glad I visited because looking at the a la carte menu has made me want to come back and try other things but perhaps without the baby next time.

SNAPSHOT REVIEW:
PROS: Friendly and accommodating service, Nice decor, Platter deal seems fairly reasonably priced considering it includes lobster although would tweak a few things to make it even better value
CONS: Could do without the harbour prawns or have them crispy fried, Limited free street parking in the area, Deal only available if seated before 7 pm, Seafood platter sadly doesn't include chips
MUST TRY: Checking out other meal events they have and trying the a la carte menu
VERDICT: I wish Bistro Bruno was closer to home because it seems like a really nice restaurant for a nice meal with friendly service
Simon meets Blue Swimmer Crab

Complimentary bread and butter — good

Sydney Rock oysters, king prawns, tiger prawns, harbour shrimp, black lip mussels, razor clams, scallops in the half shell, scampi, blue swimmer crab and lobster ($55 per person, seated between 6-7 pm, minimum two people)

Salt and pepper

Negroni: Campari, Gordons Dry Gin, Cinzano Rosso, soda & ice ($17) — nicely made and didn't skimp on the alcohol
SIMON FAVOURITE :-)

Dal Zotto Prosecco Pucino NV King Valley Victoria ($8)

Hand cut chips, saffron aioli ($8.5) — cooked well, chunky, decent crisp outer
WORTH TRYING :-) 

Sartori Soave 2010 Veneto Italy ($10), O’Leary Walker Watervale Riesling 2011 Clare Valley South Australia ($9)

Red wine vinaigrette, seafood sauce, chilli mash sauce — needed to ask for small serving spoons

Lobster — decent size and freshness

Lobster legs where fairly easy to keep flesh intact showing evidence of freshness

Tiger prawns — pretty large, shelled and deveined

Sydney Rock oysters (Pambula) — freshly shucked with good flavour although was hoping for more brine

Black lipped mussels — fresh and fairly decent size, a little bit of beard left on some though

Blue swimmer crab — nice sweet meat but a challenge to open and crack leaving fingers smelly

Razor clams — unique texture and flavour although I wasn't a fan to appreciate and would have preferred extra prawns instead or Omega Seafood clams

Scampi — nice flavour although doesn't provide much meat

Harbour shrimp — least favourite and would have preferred crispy flash fried instead like District Dining. The greenish ones didn't look appetising to me.


Scallops in half shell — perhaps a little squashed, could see shell marks indented so they've been stacked

King prawns — decent size although flesh and shell was softer than preferred which made the flesh less firm and more mushy, flavour OK

Caramelised Banana parfait, praline, puff pastry ($15) — nice flavours, parfait was a little icy though

Cappuccino ($4)

Affogato ($8) — nice flavour although hardly any ice cream. Would have preferred at least two scoops already served in large cup and just pour coffee into this


Lobster-palooza menu

10 week old Isabelle thankfully slept through the whole dinner

Bill $189.50 for two

Woolworths and air conditioning unit view on verandah. Air con unit had a bit of a hum so perhaps opt for the other side if you can although it'll be more in direct sunlight.

Verandah seating

Upstairs dining inside

Downstairs dining

Clean and functional toilets although not suited for baby changing

Erez Gordon owner restaurateur
Free council car park on Beattie Street — pity about the graffiti




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Bistro Bruno on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

ChopinandMysaucepan said...

Dear Simon,

I love seafood but I rarely order cooked seafood at restaurants since there is hardly any cooking skills, with due respect to the chef.

If you like more brine in your oysters, my tip is to shuck it yourself at home. Once you've done it, you'll never buy open oysters again. Here's one recipe and shucking oysters at home. Happy seafooding!

http://chopinandmysaucepan.com/grilled-scampi-with-herb-garlic-butter

Toumi said...

I love your blog its amazing

Please check mine out and if you like it follow me back, id really appreciate the support!

http://toumii.blogspot.com.au/

Simon Leong said...

hi ChopinandMysaucepan, i definitely want to try and shuck my own oysters at home. thanks for the link and tips. excellent stuff.

hi toumi, thanks for the positive feedback :-)

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