Tuesday, 26 June 2012

It's good manners to share

Growing up my Mum and Dad always told me that I had to share, to share with my sister, to share with the family and to share with my friends. Not that I'm complaining, it's a great chance to socialise and to also see what your friends may have had in their lunch box's that's better than yours and possibly share that too.

After all this sharing, the cuisine of Tapas came into my life and it was the new found love. It's a great opportunity to gather your friends and or family, and get into multiple dishes and have a relaxing evening or afternoon whilst you graze you time away.

I have recently stumbled across a new unique and quirky Tapas restaurant in South Wharf, Melbourne that is sure to be a hit with you all. The Sharing house has an amazing modern European cuisine and of course their name says it all, Sharing! With a layout that signifies its individuality with its Lego bar, a blocked wooden wall and a semi open kitchen with it's blocked white walls signifying a Lego building look. It's casual but modern with low hanging lights and something quirky around the waiter stations along with great staff, makes for a warm and welcoming environment.

There are two ways where you can graze and share whether you are just a table of two or a gathering at the Sharing House, and your waiters are happy to walk tyou through it all. There are small sharing options averaging about $15.00 a dish and are a great way to start your evening or just a quick graze over a vino or beer in the afternoon.

A dish of steak tartare or as they like to call it "Raw meat " a new spin on the traditional steak tartare where the egg sits on top and you enjoy it straight or spiced and usually served with some bread. Here they place egg yolk on the outside of the meat of which has a beautiful creamy light texture that just melts in your mouth. Not served with bread but with chips, although unusual the golden crispy blocks of potato can be cut into baton sized pieces and goes great with the dish.

Not feeling so adventurous then head for the fun and rather tasty "Rabbit and Cauliflower popcorn". Served with a creamy aioli this bag full of light crispy mixture is a fun way to get into your dishes. Neither of the two are over powering but are a perfect match together and seasoned with goodness. I think this dish was the one I was most excited about. It set a great theme to the restaurant and a great conversation starter on the presentation! Served it a paper bag with a dish of aioli is far different from the norm.

Another couple of small dishes that got us started was their "Surf and Turf" which was interesting with a combination of spanner crab and sweetbreads on a light gnocchi. We would have proffered a touch more surf on the dish but the combination was rather tasty. Advised by our waiter to eat a piece of gnocchi with a bit of surf and a bit of turf all together will really enhance the full experience. It was a well balanced and full flavour combination and if you are a fan of rich tastes this could be the dish for you to try. The marinated olives are always a dish that could either be a yay or a nay and usually I'm the one who says nay. Not a fan on the salty fruit but the Sharing House has turned me. Marinated beautifully and a combination of black and green these were actually small and sweet, and a winner.

Our starters were not forced upon us all in one go which was great, it gave us an opportunity to value each dish on there own and not have our mouths confused in all the flavour combinations.

After a small break we head towards the larger sharing dishes which are enough for two people to share and a main meal or a smaller/ medium size portion for four and averaging about $48.00 (remember it shares for 2). The Beef Wellington was a great choice for a winter warmer served with hearty roasted artichoke and heirloom carrots this perfectly cooked medium rare Wellington was amazing. For those who don't know a Wellington or know it as a gumboot and nothing else, it's a beautiful top cut steak usually an eye fillet with mushroom and spinach then rolled in a pastry and baked, sometimes also a touch of pâté for extra richness.

A bouillabaisse was a dish for Kings, served in a stunning large bowl with warm bread, gruyere cheese and saffron aioli to accompany. Serve and dig in yourselves with an ocean filled bowl of mussels, red mullet, prawns the works. It could have been slightly hotter but this dish is an eye catcher and looks and tastes magnificent.

Another couple of dishes to go for are the 6 inch pizzas and the salads. The porcini mushroom was as my friend puts it was  "one sexy pizza". It's a stunner with all focus on the mushroom having the porcini and some brown mushrooms finished with goats cheese and lemon and thyme, it's delicate and intense. A thin crust that I think was either char grilled or done at least over an open flame gave it a further earthy tone that took you to heaven and back. The Mâché salad was a nice touch too with mâché lettuce and watercress with a simple hazelnut dressing went perfectly with everything. Light and nutty we couldn't believe how something so simple could be so amazing. Paul and I know we are returning for the raw meat, the porcini pizza and the mâché salad for sure.

But what is missing to make this the most glorious evening? The dessert of course, I knew you all knew me by now not to go missing on the sweets (I'm sure to be needing a check up at the dentist sometime soon).

A mini cornetto bar selection was my sweet ender to the night, something light and not intense. It is a gentle finisher and palate cleanser of assorted ice creams for you to devour and enjoy, my favourite was the wild strawberry and lemoncello. The other choices by others was the sticky date that was modernised into a style of a Swiss roll, and a very sticky sauce to pour over til your hearts content. It was stunning in presentation and was also a nice light meal ender with its mild caramel flavours. For those who like to intensify the completion of their meals, maybe go for the chocolate delice. A rich chocolate mousse and salty caramel with a hidden surprise of popping candy for you to enjoy. It just adds into the entire experience of this gem of a restaurant.

It was an exciting night out with great dishes and fantastic service. I love the syle and the stand alone quirky design. Who would have known that a restaurant would encorporate Lego as the feature.

The Sharing House
35 Dukes Walk
South Wharf, VIC
The Sharing House on Urbanspoon

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