Print Hall provided a complete dining experience for our first club review. A great dining experiencestarts at the very onset when you first pick up the phone and make that all exhilarating booking. Sometimes this can be an extremely daunting task especially of late when most restaurants seem to be imposing the 2 hour sitting “statute”. Thankfully, this was not the case with Print Hall as we were able to dine at our own leisure.
From our arrival to the moment we were escorted to our table the staff were very committed to service and this was an absolute highlight to the evening. As we arrived an hour early for our reservation, we were cordially ushered by the hostess to a table in the bar area and in spite of the chaos of the Friday afternoon rush hour, our drinks were timeously served. After an hour or so of basking in the high ceilings of the Print Hall bar we made our way to our table.
Once again service was remarkable – it’s all about the attention to the small details that tends to “make” an evening. The host seemed quite knowledgeable of the wines and made good recommendations that don’t quite break the bank. Another highlight (a small but notable service) was that we were handed bag holders so that our bags did not lie clumsily on the floor.
However, as this is a “Fine Dining Club”, the real treasure we pursue is the food, and Print Hall did not disappoint.
Print Hall – Average overall rating (based on food, service, atmosphere): 8.1/10
1. Rabbit and foie gras terrine with plum, celery, cider, hazelnut and frisée
Ordered by: Alex, Mel, Emer
Average rating: 7.7/10
Alex – Interesting fusion! Thoroughly enjoyed the terrine but considered the side salad to be a little less than desirable with a somewhat grass like taste to it.
Mel – Great flavour and the foie gras added a beautiful texture to the terrine. The portion size was surprisingly generous and I personally enjoyed the side salad as it added a bit of zest to the dish. A minor issue of finding a small rabbit bone in my dish was completely outweighed by the overwhelmingly great efforts of all staff to make amends.
Emer – Very enjoyable entrée, the meat was moist and tender in the terrine and the salad had a zest that balanced the rich terrine well.
2. Blue manna crab served with egg, avruga caviar, brioche and aioli
Ordered by: Miss Piggy, KL
Average rating: 7.5/10
Miss Piggy – Beautiful presentation with a fresh fabulous taste.
KL - Great texture with the deep fried croutons, the crab was well cooked with no shell or membrane, caviar was subtle and delicate and the egg yolk while usually prepared, added flavour to the overall dish.
3. Roasted pigeon breast juniper, with pickled beetroot and radicchio
Ordered by: Ms D, Joey
Average rating: 7.3/10
Ms D – found the pigeon breast beautifully cooked and the vegetables did a great job in balancing the strong flavour of the pigeon.
Joey - Although the dish presented well the breast was just a touch over cooked but fortunately the flavours transcended this minor indiscretion.
Main Course (ranked):
1. Pan roasted barramundi, wood grilled mussels and squid, samphire and lemon
Ordered by: Alex
Average rating: 9/10
Amazing!! The mussels were cooked perfectly and the barramundi was cooked to absolute perfection. The sweet onion was a nice compliment to the dish and the presentation was beautiful.
2. Duck cassoulet seared breast, confit cromesqui, sausage and white bean
Ordered by: KL, Mel, Emer
Average rating: 7.3/10
KL – The duck breast was well cooked though slightly dry if you don’t eat the fat with it. The duck rillettes were very tasty and added great texture to the dish. The duck sausage however, was the real highlight of the dish as it was moist and tasty without being over seasoned. The individual components tasted great on their own, but were slightly salty when eaten together.
Mel – The duck was beautifully cooked and melted in the mouth. For someone who generally avoids tomato, to me, this dish would not have been the same without the acidic sweetness of the cherry tomato. I didn’t enjoy the confit cromesqui. For me it just added oiliness to the dish that I could have done without, but a well presented and tasty dish overall.
Emer – This dish was full of flavour, the duck was cooked perfectly and the mix of textures on the plate worked well together – confit, sausage and white bean all balanced well. Quite a substantial main course.
3. Amelia park lamb, a roasted loin shank, courgette, pea, mint and green olive
Ordered by: Miss Piggy
Average rating: 7/10
Lamb was cooked medium which was perfectly cooked and succulent. The pea mash was delicate and sweet. Thoroughly enjoyed this dish!
4. Smoked ocean trout served with pumpernickel, lemon yoghurt, oyster and pickled shallot
Ordered by: Ms D, Joey
Average rating: 6.5/10
Ms D – One of the best smoked fish dish I’ve ever had – the flesh just melted in the mouth. The dish would have been perfect if it weren’t for the oyster on top – I felt that the oyster was completely wasted and detracted from the overall flavour of the dish.
Joey – The trout was an absolute delight as it just melted with heavenly flavour and the pumpernickel was a pleasant addition as it added a sweet yet slight acidity to the dish. HOWEVER, the slimly tasteless oyster that was unlovingly dropped on top of the delicate trout should not have made it onto the plate; it let the entire dish down and it added no value to what would have otherwise been a perfect dish!!!
1. Bittersweet chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream
Ordered by: Joey
Average rating: 10/10
This was in my opinion the best way to end a meal and was a climax to the evening; I will be going back if only to have this dessert again. Every chocoholics dream come true on a plate!
2. Bay leaf crème cigar, marinated cherries, blackberry and cherry stone ice cream
Ordered by: Miss Piggy, Alex
Average rating: 8.3/10
Miss Piggy – Fabulous flavours and textures, fresh and not overly sweet. Presentation was beautiful – bore a resemblance to a garden.
Alex – The cigar was melt-in-your-mouth with the perfect complement of berries and ice cream.
3. Lemon ‘spilled’ meringue, almond crumble with a ruby grapefruit sorbet
Ordered by: KL, Ms D, Mel, Emer
Average rating: 7.5/10
KL – While the dish was presented beautifully, it was a bit too sweet for my tastebuds. The crumble or curd would have tasted better with less sugar to balance out the sweetness of the meringue. The grapefruit sorbet was a misstep as the bitterness did not seem to complement the sweet and sour contrast this deconstructed lemon meringue pie was trying to create.
Ms D – This dessert definitely had the “wow” factor when it came to presentation. The mini meringues added a nice texture to the curd. The only negative of this dish was the grapefruit sorbet. I didn’t really enjoy the bitterness of the grapefruit against the tangy curd and sweet meringue. That said, I definitely would order this dessert again.
Mel – This dish was almost too pretty to eat, but was speedily and lovingly devoured. The only element that didn’t fully appeal to my tastebuds was the grapefruit sorbet; however I loved the concept of the cool sorbet on the plate so perhaps another flavour would have worked for me.
Emer – A beautifully-presented dessert that tasted as good as it looked – a fresh light zesty sorbet, flavoursome curd and beautiful meringue, overall a perfect end to a great meal.
One negative highlighted on the evening was the acoustics – the noise from the rowdy bar just meters away from the dining area travelled with malevolence into the dining area and made it near impossible to hold a decent conversation without having to raise one’s voice to high pitch.
Overall the evening was a memorable one and hopefully Print Hall continues to maintain the same high standard as they did on this particular evening.