Sunday, 2 June 2013

Picture Perfect

Close your eyes and picture a wintery day with a nip in the air, sun light glistening on the icy waters while waves lap on the golden shores. You are relaxing in warmth as you gaze across the coast towards the city with a glass of vino in hand and good company beside you.

Now open your eyes and look around, are you now wishing you could be somewhere else rather than where you are? Perfect.

Well here I am once again telling you their is only one place you can get everything I just described and more and that's down on Half Moon Bay and inside the tranquil and elegant Cerberus Beach House.

With winter on the way, it's nothing but a perfect possie to settle in for an afternoon or on a chilli eve watching storms race towards the coast line, seeing the fog lifting or just gaze across the shores on a cool day knowing that you're a lot more warmer that the outside world.

A gorgeous Winter menu does nothing but entice you towards their delicate sharing dishes for a lunch time feed whilst enjoying a glass of wine and relax. Each dish is prepared with respect to ensure each element is highlighted naturally with out over powering one from the other.

Pan fried Saffron Paprika Calamari nests on a bed of greens with a smear of chive aioli, tenderly cooked and just has the slightest  flavours of paprika and sprigs of golden saffron. An invigorating beginning to our lunch, one to get your palate tingling for more.

Shortly to follow we moved towards some richer more wintery dishes such as the Crispy skin Pork Belly perfectly laid across a bed of warmed braided wombok (cabbage), peas and speck finished off with a delicious sticky quince jus.

If you love your Pork Belly and love crackling even more then this dish is for you. The belly is tender and melts in your mouth whilst the skin golden and crisp does nothing but shatter and crunch as you eat. The warm vegetable bedding highlights the richness of the pork and adds subtleness to the dish. A great  hearty dish for winter.

Something not to shy away from are the Wild Mushroom, Black Truffle and toasted Pine nut Croquettes. It's nothing but an element of surprise as you cut through the soft crisp coating and the essence of truffle escapes and heightens your senses. Delicious mouth watering flavours hidden away in these small gems were one of my favourite dishes of the day. Accompanied with some soft whipped goats cheese only adds to the depth of flavours. If your sharing you will need to get out that measuring tape to ensure that someone isn't getting a bigger half than you when you get the the third one.

A special of Saganaki is on the board today and led to being torn between the baked Camembert dish or the Saganaki. It has been quiet a long time since my last serve of Saganaki and I tend to go for something else as I find a lot of kitchens tend to just undercook it ever so slightly, but means for a less enjoyable experience. But we have out full belief in the kitchen at Cerberus and they have never failed us yet.

Saganaki needs to have a slightly golden crisp coating after it's been pan fried, warm through to the center, soft upon eating with burst of salt and no squeak against your teeth. Majority of the time we get that squeak  and everyone who's had Saganaki knows what I'm talking about, and if you don't well rub your finger across your teeth vigorously until they squeak and that's exactly what I am talking about.

Did you just try it????? Don't be ashamed I did it myself to make sure it did. But I'm at least here at my desk where you could be on a train or sitting next to someone who is now weirded out that you did what you just did.

Cerberus does deliver all the expectations of perfectly cooked Saganaki and was so greatful to have enjoyed it after such a long time. Served with Heirloom tomatoes, pickled onion and fresh lemon.

Now I always leave the best to last (well before I get in to the desserts), and I am not telling you fibs when I say this dish is magical.

Seared Scollops with herb farro salad, honey roasted pumpkin puree and crisp kale. I have died and gone to Heaven. There are bursts of flavour from fresh pomegranate, sweetness from the most smoothest pumpkin puree I have ever had, bitterness from the gorgeous crisp kale and texture from the farro. And that's just the base. The scollops are divine! Sweet and fresh with glistening sear tenderly melts away as you take your mouthful. The most impressive dish I have had in a long time. Remarkable! Hats off to the chefs at Cerberus, truly a breath taking dish.

Dessert and coffee is always a good wind down to any afternoon as you ponder away watching yachts go out and wind surfers in the distance.

An order of Double chocolate Bavarois served with caramelised banana and honey comb was my choice of decadence. Silky smooth bavarois and not too intense in richness was the perfect ending and those touches of honeycomb and banana were truly perfect. But if your looking something more Wintery to finish off your meal then I'd suggest to go for the oven baked Quince, Pear and Apple crumble served with gingerbread ice cream. That ice cream alone could even be better than that of Movenpick.

I can't ever fault Cerberus with it's attention to detail both Front and Back of house. It's always delivering the best whether it's a quiet or jam packed day. Sunday night sessions are still going strong and is my favourite time to get down there. Who wouldn't say no to some acoustic music while enjoying the serenity of Cerberus and Half Moon Bay.

Cerberus Beach House
Boat Shed 212
Half Moon Bay (off Beach Rd)

9533 4028

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