Monday, February 14, 2011

i try the pickled fig

Where would you like to sit? At 6.30pm on a warm Thursday evening there was only one other couple at The Pickled Fig. There was not a breath of wind. The hot evening sun flooded the restaurant as it began to lower in the sky. Would we be too hot outside? Would we miss the sunset inside? What about that table? Wont the sun be in our eyes? What if we face the other way? Well, then we will definitely miss the sunset. What about the leather, zebra stripe chairs at the side there? Leather? On a hot evening? I. Don't. Think. So. The conversation went on like this for a good five minutes while our waiter for us to decide.

Eventually we did. We ordered surprisingly quickly given how long it took us to decide where to sit. As our waiter began laying down side plates and cutlery we were eying off table 14. There was noone sitting there. It was a pair of rainbow, slightly weathered deck chairs. Damn. We should've sat there. Oh well, live and learn.
I was being accompanied by Louise. Our other partner in crime, Thelma, was sadly in hospital. We were going to see her after dinner. The restaurant slowly began to fill up as we chatted away with the warm sun on our backs. This particular evening was very still. I'm not sure how this place would fair with a strong sea breeze.

Both Louise and I ordered salads. Perhaps it was the warm weather. I selected the prawn salad. This included chilled poached tiger prawns, strawberries, shaved asparagus, tomato flesh, cucumber, soft fetta and mesculin with a honey, lime and hazelnut dressing (pictured, $26.80).

It is certainly nice to see a bit a care taken in putting the salad on the plate. The prawns formed a ring around the base of the stack. Each were facing the same way and had a blob of dressing on top. It is even better when the salad isn't just overloaded with mixed salad leaves. The prawns were cooked perfectly and went nicely with the dressing. The strawberries were very sweet but I'm not sure they added anything to the salad. I'm not a fan of parmesan melted down into a chip. I don't think it did anything for the salad other than make it a little taller. My favourite part of the dish was the dressing. It was sweet but the lime gave it a nice tang. Overall it was a fantastic salad prepared with care. It was perfect for the warm evening.

Louise's salad was roasted beetroot, juicy orange flesh, soft fetta, fresh spinach, pine nuts, crispy orange, raspberry vinaigrette with seven seed bread (pictured, $23)

The colour of the beetroot and the raspberry vinaigrette made the salad look lovely and vibrant. Again, it had generous amounts of the core ingredients. The bettroot was lovely and tender. The fetta wasn't overprowering. And, according to Louise the orange worked well with the beetroot.

Salads aren't difficult. It is simple a matter of getting a good ratio of ingredients. It is about the right amount of dressing. It is about adding multiple textural dimensions. It is about taking a little care when putting it on the plate. And, it is about trying something a little different. The salads at The Pickled Fig can tick all these boxes.

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