Elwood has captured the ever enchanting and sleek 'Dandelion Restaurant' showcasing the true essence of Vietnamese with a modern swing to what was a very flavoursome evening.
Of course saying this when we do go full guns blazing we go crazy..... you know what I'm saying, you've read my blogs. We always end up ordering enough to feed a party of 6 or maybe 10. Food babies turn into octuplets and we always roll out the door. Well tonight is no different, it was a special occasion, it's Paul's Birthday.
So let us begin. Some gorgeous tartare enhanced with some great kicks of chilli made for a great starter and got those chilli sweats going. Just make sure that if you are needing to cool yourself down from the burn, maybe not do what I did and order a cocktail that has chilli through it too. It doesn't help you in this instance, that burn keeps on going.
I did however get to enjoy the cool down from the Snails that were filled with pork and prawn. A big spin from the usual french version where it is doused in garlic butter. These shells were jam packed with flavour and with the slight essence of spice from the sauce, it did make for a rather enjoyable dish.
A palate cleanser of Locus stem salad with Vietnamese squash, crisp tofu, herbs, snow pea sprouts and a mulberry vinegar dressing was quiet delightful. The salad towered on the plate and is a great accompaniment with any large dish if you were looking for a lighter option to rice. It's also a great add to your selection of dishes to remove the powerful spice flavours during the evening.
For something more solid you have to go for their curries and clay pots. There was nothing but amazement with the boldness of the two dishes we chose to enjoy.
A delicate Duck braised in mandarin juice and Star anise with chilli, ginger and basil was simply delectable and was well balanced with the combination of flavours. Although rich the duck was tender and soaked up every inch of the sauce making every mouthful as enjoyable as the first.
The winner dish for me though this evening has got to be the Western Plains pork belly. Simmered with a caramel wood ear mushrooms there is nothing more mouth watering and tender. The flavours were soft and sweet and only made you return time and time again. The pork belly fell apart and was so succulent you would not want to miss out on this one.
Bulging at the sides from what is being an enchanting evening, both company and food combined there is just one more thing to do that would make it complete....... Dessert!
It's without fail that when deep fried ice cream is available it's always the must have. But when you see it as a Black Sesame deep fried ice cream the excitement is lifted even further. How gorgeous is the flavour of black sesame or even sesame in general. I could eat them all day long if given to me.
A golden ball of heaven was brought to the table and all though I couldn't eat it all I was one very happy person that I had the pleasure in attempting to do so.
Banana spring rolls was a pleasant spin on the standard banana fritter. Served with a passionfruit sorbet it made for a quaint ending to the evening.
Dandelion is surly a stand out and slightly hidden gem in Bayside and people should really get there to have their mind blown away with the depth of flavours that is captured and the elegance that is delivered in each dish.
It was and enjoyable night and made for Birthday celebrations to be even more perfect.
133 Ormond Rd,