Dinner Dates

Crazy for Candeloris |Smithfield

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The Candelori’s restaurant has operated for the past 36 years, and recently been reviewed by Gault & Millau 2015. Since opening in 1999, the restaurant has gained a reputation for providing delicious Italian food including house-made pasta made from scratch and with an atmosphere that feels extravagant and classy that suits both social and business occasions. Candelori’s is a true dining destination for all foodies who love Italian cuisine from the Western suburbs and beyond.

Candeloris_Nessy Eater (0)What a lovely restaurant to dine at.

We are off to a great start with these tall, fluffy garlic bread sticks ($9?) with the obvious ingredient…minced garlic. We sure took our time with these as it seemed so great to dunk these solider boys into the entree and pasta base.

Candeloris_Nessy Eater (1)Garlic Bread Sticks ($9?) 

I was a fool to think the pan seared scallops ($27) could be shared between two people along with Jerusalem artichokes, nduja and watercress. I was not trustworthy to evenly distribute the scallops as it turned out I had 3/4 quarters of this entree. Whoopsh!

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Pan Seared Scallops ($27)

There is no reason not to become a vegetarian anymore because the crumbed eggplant ($27) with Buffalo mozzarella served with pormodoro sure disguised itself as a BIG piece of steak. It’s extraordinary how the texture of this eggplant can almost, I mean ALMOST fit into the meat category. I was fooled by the presentation and AGAIN fooled by the texture. It really knew how to show-off that tomato surrounding.

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Crumbed Eggplant ($27)

Look what do we have here! Hand cut pappardelle osso buco ragu($29) – The ribbon egg pasta is made fresh daily at the restaurant and provides the perfect consistency of texture and flavour. A lot of muscle work goes out to these pastas and marinating the veal shank ragu, so make sure you lick your bowls clean, CLEAN I TELL YOU.

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Hand cut pappardelle osso buco ragu ($29)

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Only ribbons I’d eat!

We couldn’t miss the opportunity to give the squid ink tagliolini with scampi and scallops ($36) a try with baby calamari and cherry tomatoes. This ex-SQUID-ite dish may be a hit or a miss, depending how madly in love you are with having squid ink as your main ingredient. It certainly is a tad saltier than other pasta dishes, but married so well with the seafood.

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Squid Ink Tagliolini with Scampi and Scallops ($36)

Candeloris_Nessy Eater (9)Dive right into those tentacles…I mean tagliolini.

Candeloris_Nessy Eater (7)Hmmm fresh seafood in my belly.

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I think I wouldn’t mind having a few glasses of wine, please…

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Dining area at Candelori’s

Listen up kids. I turned into GODZILLA when the san valentino ($18) arrived. This dish took me to a HAPPY PLACE with the white chocolate mousseraspberry jelly and biscotti. My claws came out when there was only…

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That presentation of the San Valentino ($18)

Candeloris_Nessy Eater (14)Where do I even begin?!?!

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That inner photo…you like?

There may have been a little tension between me and my partner in crime when the indulgence ($18) had magically appeared at the table. With a total of 70% dark chocolate, passionfruit curd served with a chocolate moist biscuit it’s no wonder stacks were high.

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There’s a reason why this is called indulgence ($18)

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Ready for the next photo?

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OH BOY! Come to me baby!

What do we have here…12 hours baked meringue ($18) – Yes I slowly became vulnerable when snow white crisp shell vanished into thin air along with vanilla cream, rhubarb jam, poached apple, lemon powder and a zesty sorbet.

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12 Hours Baked Meringue ($18)

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I have a lot of explaining to do…but this was just SPECTACULAR! 12 Hours and not a single sign of sunburn.

If you don’t know already Candelori’s was named in the Gault & Millau Australia in 2015. That’s incredible especially when the deserve points for their quality of freshness of produce, the creativity and professionalism of presentation and can’t forget the harmony of the menu.

Candeloris_Nessy Eater (22)Well done Candelori’s!

Till next time Candelori’s and I will have that squid ink tagliolini with scampi and scallops to myself AND each of the desserts I order too.
Candeloris_Nessy Eater (23)Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended Candeloris, thanks to Candeloris.

Please note: Nessy Eater visited in on November 2015. Desserts change seasonally. 

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

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Candelori's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Long Luxurious Night at La Grillade Crows Nest

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Tucked away behind the Lower North Shore terrace, La Grillade has been the gourmet retreat for the social set and often the romantic dinner spot. This iconic venue is operated by husband and wife team, George and Ann. You may be familiar with this couple at The Little Snail  where French style cooking combined with friendly service meets personality and charm for each table.

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Such a cosy restaurant at La Grillade

Dining at La Grillade you will expect food as being exotic and sophisticated at realistic prices. For instance we opted for a set priced menu at $63 for 3 courses (for an entrée, main and dessert) with the full a la carte menu to choose from including snails and prime steaks, which are a key feature of La Grillade’s menu. But if you fancy something a little more meatier than it is your mission to order the 14 hrs slow cooked lamb shoulder for two (additional $20).

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What’s on the menu?

For entrée I was happily digging in to the platter of garlic-drenched escargots. The snails in the shell came in one dozen and sizzled in garlic parsley butter that may have overpowered the the red wine. My personal recommendation is to also order a few slices of plain bread so you can watch the puddle of butter and bread marry together like a edible sponge.

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Snails in the shell

I was busted for taking a small scoop of someone’s duck liver pate that contained green peppercorns, port jelly and croutons. That teeny tiny bowl of pate had us glancing at each other. Port jelly was one of my absolute favourite things. The flavours was sweet and very aromatic with red wine. As for the pate it was super SUPER SMOOTH.

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Duck Liver Pate 

If you are not so keen to ordering a duck liver pate then perhaps the rillettes of pork is an option. Traditional rillettes of pork with a hint of orange and tarragon fell far short of doing the generous quantity. The rillette was tasty and it was stuffed with a lot of shredded pork meat and cooked slowly in fat until it was tender enough to be easily served to form a paste.

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Rillettes of Pork

I thought I’d have issues with this entree but it was alllll good with the a generous portion of crispy pieces of croutons to balance it off the taste of pork love making in my mouth.

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Our starter wasn’t complete till we chosen the golden fried calamari which came with chilli, salt and pepper with garlic aioli. I love the calamari’s strong flavour and utterly unique texture; it’s nice and meaty but soft in the center, and when the coating is lightly fried, it is utter perfection on a plate.

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Golden Fried Calamari

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Love the setting at La Grillade

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True French style courtyard dining

Moving on to mains came this sexy ENORMOUS piece of lamb shoulder (for two) (additional $20 for set priced menu) that’s been slow-cooked for 14 hrs straight. It looked like a GIGANTIC slab of meaty goodness, just sprinkled with deliciousness from the crispy herb bits which then drowned in the Junee’s finest lamb sauce. It may look small in the photo but oh boy was it filling for three dinosaur stomachs. If you are not in a rush and want to spend the final minutes with this shoulder then now is the time to order a glass of red to accommodate this dish. A lovely falling-off-the-bone moment was witnessed and for the taste and texture it developed a deep, rich flavour that melts in the mouth.

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14 hrs Slow-cooked Lamb Shoulder (for two) 

And because we love meat so much it is very important to decorate your main with some glossy steamed vegetables that has been generously tossed with olive oil.

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Steamed Vegetables

Say goodbye to boring duck breast because the one in La Grillade was pretty damn tasty as it has been twice cooked and decorated with pink flesh then glazed with sweet and sour cherries. The duck breast wasn’t a challenge to eat as I believe it’s the meatiest and best eating part of the duck. Okay…there may be some signs that these breasts were dry, but that didn’t stop me! This dish was easily finished because of the sauce, delicately sweet.

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Duck breast

To complement any meaty mains we ordered the creamed potato ($8). The texture was mild, thick and creamy, and this was a pleasant change from vegetables. There was no river of gravy in sight but I totally approve how delicious this was because none of us wanted to share.

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Creamed Potato ($8)

The rib eye (400gm) was just so mindblowingly good here that it was only right to have it cooked to medium rare. You can tell this slab of prime beef, dry aged was lightly smoked and grilled. It was seductive to see the pool of beef juice and served with Paris butter and veal glaze. There was so much tenderness in this beef that I managed to sneak a few more slices back to my own plate. Oh that evil grin begins!

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Rib Eye (400gm)

Can you handle dessert after all the above?! Well YES FOR ME. We chosen the baked lemon cheesecake because we saw the word “cake” at the end of cheesecake. Teehee. I must say this was a very ordinary dessert, nothing that fancy my pants other than the slight sour lemon flavour and silky smooth texture of the cheese.

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Baked Lemon Cheesecake

If you can’t handle a super heavy dessert then the coffee profiteroles Kahlua anglaise would be a good pick, which are stuffed full of sweet coffee creme covered in a profiteroles patissière and are placed over a small pond of mild Kahlua sauce.

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Coffee Profiteroles Kahluaanglaise

We weren’t going to leave a French restaurant without having the crème brulee. Although for some reason, a bowl of custard isn’t seen as an appropriate dessert for a grown adult, but stabbing our way through a perfect golden sugary layer and into the smooth custard can be an excuse to having this.

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Crème Brulee

Can you see how this decadent dessert is with the vanilla custard and tops it with a layer of crisp caramelized sugar…Hmmm I feel fat.

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That brulee…

By now I’ve reached exploding point and it felt like I was ready to roll out of here, but first let me just finish our last dessert- rich chocolate mousse. It was a perfectly fine mousse even though it wasn’t anything super special. Not only did it manage to convey both indulgence and comfort it was a heaven in a dish for all you chocolate fans out there.

Well I was feeling a tad heavier than I was before I visited La Grillade. Best to go for the set menu as I feel it’s more worth it when you calculate in your mind the original price for each dish. I will definitely come back for dinner again an try my luck on the rest of the menu.

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Rich Chocolate Mousse

Photos by Vanny Tang

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