Yes, it’s been in the talk for a while, and yes, I did take a while. But at last here it is, The Little Snail restaurant down in Pyrmont, tasted and blogged by yours truly.
Located just shy of the Pyrmont bridge, a walk from Town Hall or public transport makes this place relatively accessible however, with a car park about 2 minutes away, driving is your best option! Taking a look at the menu, a few things came to mind. The fact that it only offered a 3 course dinner and you couldn’t really opt out of one without paying the $60 price tag and that the menu itself wasn’t extensively French (a bit odd!). With dishes like Kangaroo Fillet, Salt and Pepper Squid and Sticky Date Pudding, it sort of ruined the consistency of French cuisine to me. No biggy however, I was hungry and ready to dive in.
With the company I had I was able to get hands on with several different course combinations. To begin, we chose our entrees and what we had and I got to try was the Salmon Roulade, (of course) the Escargot, and Boulette de Fruits de Mer (explanation coming up shortly). For the mains I got to try the Tasmanian Salmon, Kangaroo Fillet and the Magret de Canard (duck). For dessert I tasted the Chocolate Mousse and the Creme Caramel.
Lets go from top to bottom, entrees:
The Salmon Roulade was quite nice as a starter. As we all probably know, cream cheese and salmon were a match made in heaven, but to just top it off, the cream cheese firstly was ridiculously creamy and fluffy and when matched up with the crunch of the potato nest, it was great! Also it comes with passion fruit dressing and it’s one of the first things I noticed when trying it. The sweetness adds some uniqueness to it and also some great flavours!
Now of course, you come to a restaurant called The Little Snail, you’re going to have to try some snails. If you’re thinking of garden snails, let me make it perfectly clear, these are not garden snails. They’re bred up to be eaten and eaten they were. The snails themselves have a sort of mussels texture but less chewy and more tender. Traditionally served with the garlic butter and herb-combined sauce, the combination of the two were my favourite of the night. Maybe it’s my obsession with garlic but I think it was great. Served with bread as well, nothing better than just dipping into that sauce and enjoying it just as it is. Escargot was great, you should definitely try it!
Now if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking what am I reading. Well basically, imagine a giant seafood meatball. With prawns, salmon other goodies. The boulette itself was quite tender and chunky. Chunky being that everytime I took a bite, I’d fine myself chewing on either salmon or prawns. I did quite like it however. The sauce was nice and subtle and really complimented the dish.
Following through now, we have the mains:
The Magret de Canard was crispy duck served in a sweet cranberry (or raspberry…) sauce alongside spinach. The sweet sauce really went well with the savoury duck and skin itself was quite crunchy. With the meat being cooked well and quite tender inside, it was a treat. Also it’s duck, one of my favourite meats, so I had a bias towards it. Definitely give it a try!
Served on a pea risotto, the salmon itself was cooked very nicely with skin still nice and crispy. Particularly with the capsicum(?) puree sauce with it, it added a new element in the flavour. The risotto however was another story. I felt like chewing through it really had the flavours but every bite seemed like a gamble on whether it’d be fine…or overcooked like most of them. This was a real let down. The salmon however was, again, quite nice!
Now I did also get to try the Veal (which was incidentally my dish), chilli prawn linguine and Kangaroo fillet however I didn’t quite get the nicest shots for you all. So consistency over quantity right? In short, I found the veal delicious. It was crazy tender and the creamy mushroom sauce served with it was so so good (at times, a bit too creamy, but I really liked it with the veal so I didn’t mind). The linguine was nice and had a bit of spice to it but I found it to be nothing extraordinary and the Kangaroo fillet was nice as well. Not as tough or chewy as steak and certainly has more of a ‘blood’ like flavour to it, but served with the sauce really made it nice.
Finally, to desserts!
Now I’m sorry, I did in fact had a lot more but I only have 2 photos for you tonight!
The chocolate mousse was…oddly very hard outside the mousse, like really hard. The kind of hard you’d need to give it a good hit with your spoon a few times to crack. But once inside, that gooey but thick mousse is one hell of a treat. Not too sweet and overpowering, it was very nice.
The Crème Caramel by far was my favourite dessert. While the exterior of it looks like something out of a giga-pudding commercial (google it!), this one shouldn’t be confused. Looking like it’ll break down with a spoon touching it, the texture was sublime. Much more thick than I expected and very creamy, it was delectable. While it remains the simplest, it was also the nicest dessert for my liking!
Now again, I also did try the Hazelnut and Praline ice cream and sticky date pudding (no good shots though) so they’d be worth mentioning. The Ice Cream was so good. If you like ice cream, buy buy buy. With reasonable amount of hazelnut chunks inside, it was creamy and crunchy. Served on top of a sable breton (like a French biscuit), it really added that extra texture to it. Also the sticky date pudding was delicious. One of the best I’ve had! Not very French….but still one of the best I’ve had! Try them if you can!
I guess I’m almost done writing this but I do want to leave a few things more. The staff at this restaurant were kind at times, but one thing that was very observant…they need to slow down. When you’re in a nice restaurant like this, food’s great and all but if your waiter is running around and food coming out in minutes, you have that urge to rush. Which was a real shame because I really really really wanted to enjoy myself (and I did). But that being said, if the staff can just do that, it’d be great. Also they’re a bit disorganised. Took them about 20 minutes just to get our glasses of wine. That wasn’t really cool.
Hope you guys enjoy the read, in summary, The Little Snail is reasonably priced for what you pay for. It’s nice, not overly French, but nice. And again, the staff could use some work!