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Eating Out: Eighty One


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Today Iron Chef Rob and myself had lunch with my Grandma. We were going to go to our usual haunt, but Grandma suggested we try a new place in down that just opened up, Eighty One.

We didn't realize they class themselves as "Fine Food & Wine". After scrolling down the menu, I decided to try the duck risotto with snow peas, Grandma joined me and ordered the same, whilst Iron Chef Rob had the pork belly with wasabi potato mash.

Being one of the only tables in the restaurant to have ordered at 12pm on a Saturday, we expected the food to come out a little quicker than it did.

When our dishes arrived this was put in front of me:

Duck risotto with snow peas

I must have been watching too much Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares because I could just hear Gordon Ramsay saying "this looks like what I'd find in a baby's nappy". What a god awful colour for a risotto.
The initial reaction was, it was very rich and quite nice. But after a few mouthfuls I found it was too rich or salty and was making me extremely thirsty. There were massive chunks of garlic which I ended up fishing out so I didn't have to eat them. The crunch of the snow peas was also not welcome in a risotto. The dishes' saving grace was the caramelized pears that helped to break down the rich/salty flavour.

Iron Chef Rob's pork belly arrived at the same time, presented beautifully:

Roast pork belly with wasabi mash potato

Whilst the presentation was impressive, we agreed that this was not worth the $24.90 it was priced at. Rob said the mash was in a word "interesting".

So, whilst the decor was quite nice, the food was a massive let down for all of us involved. We won't be going back for those prices and the food. Sorry Eighty One, if you are going to do "fine food" you might want to actually make it fine and not look like a dog's dinner.


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