Another year, another Hubby's birthday dinner at another one of Paul Wilson's Hotels..
Hubby's birthday last year, we went to Middle Park Hotel. We loved it. You can read about our great meal here. This year, Hubby's choice for dinner was at Paul Wilson's new establishment, Newmarket Hotel in St. Kilda. This time, the menu has a South American/Spanish theme, unlike his other hotels, which is more of an English theme. Hubby even said that the bread and butter pudding from Middle Park Hotel was the best he's ever had. I guess I have to work on mine then.
We have already met Chef Paul Wilson through twitter (@chefmrwilson) and we wanted to meet him in person so when we saw him at the restaurant, Hubby and I approached him and we introduced ourselves. I was relieved when he recognised us as his twitter followers and have had conversations with him.
Upon arriving we ordered a pitcher from their cocktail menu. Confederate cup ( honey liqueur, mint, orange, strawberries and peach iced tea. This was tasted beautiful and it was also visually gorgeous.
We decided to order a few different meals instead of ordering just a couple of mains. So we ordered pork carnitas with soft taco, baby gem lettuce, pickled pineapple and hot adobo sauce. This was a flavour explotion. The pork was tender and full of flavour. The inclusion of the pickled pineapple made the dish sweet but it pulled it all together.
We also ordered soft taco with wood roasted bone marrow with chimichurri and ranchero brisket. When I first heard there was bone marrow somewhere on the menu, I know I had to have it no matter how it was served. I do have to say, though, that I thought the chimichurri over powered the bone marrow a little. But when I got a big chunk of the marrow by itself, it was meltingly good. The brisket was very spciy but I didn't mind the spice.
Catalan pizza - spiced lamb, grapes, purple basil and pomegranate molasses. This was awesome. It was big on flavour. I don't usually like thin based pizzas but it was crispy and had a good bite to it. The molasses gave it a sweetness which paired nicely with the lamb. The grapes gave little sweet explosions when bitten into.
The roast of the day was roasted Wessex saddle back suckling pig with blood plums and a radicchio, fennel and broad bean salad. When the waitress came over and was in the process of telling us what this dish was, Hubby's and my eyes glazed over when she said the crackling is aaammmaaazzing. That was the deal breaker and we didn't hear anything else she said after that. And let me tell you, this roast suckling pig did not disappoint. The crackling was crispy but melting at the same time. To die for.
To finish off the meal, we ordered two desserts to share. One was latin style chocolate pot with bananas and dulche de leche. The chocolate was dark and bitter, just the way I like it. The sweetness of the banana and dulche de leche help balanced out the rest of the dish. Yum!
The second dessert was peach, raspberry and amoretti pie. It was more of a cake than a pie but it was delicious none the less. The pie was crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. The raspberry sorbet went great with the fresh fruit.
Overall, Hubby and I enjoyed our meal and experience at Newmarket Hotel. We will come back and next time we will try everything else we didn't have.