Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Cabin, Mt Hawthorn

When we moved to mt hawthorn a couple of months ago, we decided to check out the cafe strip on Scarborough beach road and try all the different places there, as its not somewhere I've really been before, aside from the paddo! One place we drove past loads was the Cabin, upstairs above another shop, overlooking the IGA (scenic!) but with a view over the city.

The decor is very woody, lots of pine, tree trunk tables with knarled legs, looking very similar to their original condition as you'd find them in nature. It's very ski lodge, with deer heads on the wall, as well as the silhouette of a stag head being the icon attached to the bar.

The style of food is similar to tapas, and the menu is sorted into small and big eats, as well as sweets. They have a pretty impressive spirits list, as well as cocktails, beers and wines. Fridays they have some cocktails for $10 from 4-9pm which is a good deal! I had quite a few of their "surprise me" cocktails which was made of vodka, cointreau, grape juice n lime. Also had a frangelico mule, which had fresh lime and ginger ale added to the hazelnut liqueur. They also have a sparkling white cocktail with sugar and bitters, and a vodka sunrise. I've had a bourbon cocktail too which was nice but I decided I'm not big on bourbon anymore, too much in high school! The ladycello is also great, which is limoncello, grenadine and lemon juice. It's a really nice place to have a drink on their balcony and have some delicious food!

Speaking of food.. we've been there a few times, and when we came back for our 2nd visit, they had a new chef. The first time we went there we had the steak tartar with burger garnish, which meant pickles, mustard, onion rings, a quail egg and brioche buns. It was fantastic! Id never had it before but am a convert now! The flavours were fantastic, sharp mustard, creamy egg, crunchy sweet onion, and sour pickles. Loved it! We also got babaganouj, bread and dukkuh which was so good, we ordered it twice! But, that was the previous chef..

New chef is also great! I went with S one lazy Friday night, we sat on the balcony and ordered one or two dishes at a time, with cocktails. We started out with quail with Egyptian dukkuh, and toasted ciabatta with romesco sauce. One thing about this place is that the bread has always been fantastic! Toasted, oiled and salted, its crunchy and so delicious. S really loved the romesco sauce, and has asked for it to be made at home sometime. We enjoyed the quail but for the price we felt they were a bit stingy with the bird.. coulda put one or 2 more pieces on there. In saying that though, it was delicious. The dukkah was chunky and the quail was grilled nicely n had great flavour. 

We ordered the southern fried pork cheeks and harissa spiced lamb with couscous. S loved the pork, he was a huge fan. The pork was tender and falling apart with the pull of a fork. The seasoning on the outside was about half a cm thick, and crispy. It was quite salty which is perfect for having with drinks, but for me they were a bit heavy. The paprika aioli was nice, but added to the heavy feel of the dish. Tastewise though it was really nice, and again S has requested a replication at home! 

The lamb was also really nice and tender, but the harissa was very mild! It had some roast veg and couscous and was a good size to share. It would have been nice to feel some heat though! 

The last thing we ordered was a side of potatoes with vinegarette, bacon, and sour cream with chives. It was easily the biggest dish of the all the things we ordered, a huge pile of potatoes n they weren't shy with the cream! It'd be good for sharing with more than 2 as its a big serving! It was nice, nothing outta the ordinary to report, it was potatoes, bacon n sour cream! Nice, and good for $8, but too much for 2.. 

We decided (well I decided for us) that we were gonna have dessert.. we chose the brownie and cos S loves choc Orange, we asked to have a couple of the garnishes from the other dessert, with ours, which our waiter took care of without a problem or extra cost. It was served with pistatio, honey and cinnamon semifreddo and a drizzle of choc sauce. The brownie was served in a ramekin so it wasn't really a brownie just choc cake or pudding but it was hot, moist, rich and delicious! I didn't really love the semifreddo but pit together with the brownie it worked so well! Yum. S is a huge lover of brownies, and he died n went to heaven! It was a good brownie.. 

The next visit I went with mum so I could order the things S doesn't like! We got the smoked ham hock n pistascio terrine, the boiled eggs with curry mayo, and the crispy skinned duck with chilli vinegar. For dessert, we got the cheese plate. I really wanted to get the baked camembert with bread sticks, honey n walnuts, but it serves 4 n I wasn't sure we could really eat a whole wheel of cheese! 

The terrine came out with some small sliced pickles, some onion jam, more great bread, and a round terrine on a wooden board. Enjoyed the terrine, especially with the sweet onion jam. The sliced pickles didn't add enough sharpness for me n tasted a bit like nothing.. the bread was great, and with the terrine on top it was a satisfying bite. I found the terrine to be a little on the dry side but still the taste of fat was there. I'm pretty sure there was no mince in it, which may have given the terrine a better texture, a bit smoother rather than just having the possibly overcooked hock. It was tasty though and I enjoyed it. 

The duck was pretty delicious, however the chilli vinegar wasn't spicy at all, though very tasty. Combined with the duck, the vinegar worked perfectly with the rich fatty duck. I loved it! Is order that again for sure. 

The boiled eggs with curry mayo did pretty much what it said on the box, also served with their consistently yummy bread. The curry mayo was quite sharp and runny, which was good to pour over the soft boiled eggs that had spilled themselves over the bread when I cut them. We both enjoyed it, but it was a bit lackluster. However the menu says that this is what you get, so we can't complain! 

The cheese board came out with pear, walnuts, bread, water crackers and a pear and cider preserve. It looked great, and mum dove straight into the blue cheese which is far from one of my faves.. I tried some but didn't like it, just not into blue cheese! The highlight for me was the pear and Napoleone cider conserve, that stuff was amazing! I could taste the ginger, mum got the cloves, it was sweet with a hint of tartness. It was ridiculously good with the Spanish cheddar! Highlight!
I love The Cabin. Its walking distance from our house, I like the cocktails and the service is usually great. When its not great, its fine. Ive never had bad service, though there is one girl who looks a bit snarky but shes never served me. We will be back, for sure, I love that their menu changes and Im looking forward to when it does! We'll be back again. Its not the cheapest night out but its worth it. We get great food and good drinks, the staff always have a chat and have been really friendly to us. One waiter forgot about us for a while and then came back apologising and from then on was very attentive. Havent tried their breakfasts, that will be next!

For another view on The Cabin, check out Tannic Teeths take. Great photography!

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