Smalls and The Boss had been to The Boulevard on previous occasions. The menu is divided up into several sections: "To Share", "Pizza", "Mains", "Salads" and (of course) "dessert". It is nice that they are trying to cater to all levels of hunger. However, sometimes it is dificult to pinpoint what that level is, or whether the occasion is an entree-main-dessert type occassion or more of a share-and-share-and-share type occasion. We decided to do a combo of the two and share an entree of salt and pepper squid with lemon aioli ($16.50, pictured), then order individual mains.
I have a penchant for salt and pepper squid and have seen some very interesting looking versions of the dish. So, I'll be honest. This squid didn't look that great on the plate. The plate was enormous and the squid rings were quite small. It certainly wasn't love at first sight. But as we began to nibble away at it I realised why they say "never judge a book by its cover". And, although the squd rings were strangely small they were tender, the batter was light and crispy and the aoili had the perfect amount of garlic. I could've easily devoured the whole plate myself.
Our mains arrived shortly after our squid. There was no way Smalls was ever going to pass up gnocci. On this particular occassion it was accompanied by crispy skin barramundi ($36.50, pictured).
As the menu promised the skin on the Barramundi was lovely and crispy and the flesh cooked as fish should be. It was surrounded by plump, golden pillows of home-made gnocci. I'm not a gnocci person but Smalls is the gnocci guru. She gave it her tick of approval.
To be honest I can't for the life of me remember what The Boss ordered. But it looked like this:
I think it was duck. Or maybe chicken. Either way it was cooked beautifully. The Boss said it was lovely and juicy. And the seasonal vegie salad on the side was simple, colourful and also cooked beautifully. All the vegies had just a slight crunch and were lightly coated in a subtle dressing. My dish was chicken salad with vermicelli noodles, purple cabbage, roast capsicum, lime and coriander (pictured below).
It was a massive serve. They were generous with the chicken. And the noodles. There were a lot of noodles. And, to me vermicelli noodles don't really taste like anything. They are a good addition but should not be the key ingredient. Other than that it was exactly what I felt like. It was fresh and perfect for the balmy evening it was. The dressing was also rather delicious.
I have to admit I wasn't that impressed with the dessert menu. It's not that I'm not a dessert person. No no. I'm a dessert person through and through. But there was nothing on the menu that jumped out at me. I would've happily passed and found sweets elsewhere. But Smalls and The Boss decided on dessert anyway.
We switched back to our original arrangement and decided to share spanish doughnuts, chocolate sauce, vanilla anglaise ($14.50) and creme brulee ($14.50, pictured). The desserts came out in good time. I couldn't help but laugh at the spanish doughnuts. They were the ugliest things I had ever seen. They were huge. I've had churros before and The Boulevard's version didn't match the original. They were alright. Nothing to write home about. The serving was definitely too much for one. Between the three of us we didn't finish them. The anglaise was absolutely delicious. The doughnuts: average. But the creme brulee...oh the creme brulee. It was amazing. Our spoons cracked through the crunchy coating of sugar. It was delicious, rich and creamy without being sickly. Forget the doughnuts. Stick with the brulee.
It was probably just as well the brulee was so good. As we said goodbyes the delicious flavour of the brulee still lingered. It was still sad. We agreed that next we would test the pizza. I smiled knowing that "next time" would be quite a while away....and...next time I'll just get a serve of squid and a brulee and I'll be set.
Follow me on Instagram: @mirandamc