Monday, October 7

Bar-Roque Grill, Amara Hotel

I don’t know what it was but the Mister hit the spot on yet another birthday meal. For someone who hardly read food blogs or keeps track of the local dining scene, I got to say KW was either really lucky or he’s got some bang-on instincts.

This time round, along with my in-laws, we celebrated the Mister’s birthday meal at Bar-Roque Grill, a modern rotisserie with French and German influences.

Rococo rich, the restaurant décor is admittedly a little OTT, matching up to the decadent meal that awaited us. 

Diners can take a breather from conversation with some chewy and crusty sourdough. Take my advice and learn from my mistake: Ignore this if you can. Not that it’s horrible or inedible but the meal you are about to partake in requires some serious stomach space.  

A seemingly simple spinach salad got us off to a good start. Loved the combination of sweet dates and toasted almonds alongside creamy goats' cheese. I’m not sure if I’m hypersensitive or something but even the spinach leaves seemed fuller and crunchier than usual.

Then, THIS arrived. Note: My photo taking and editing skills does serious injustice to this crazy delicious dish; I’m glad the three lawyers in my family weren’t around, waiting to persecute me.

A special of the day was the baked Mont d'Or cheese, served with thick-cut ham, toasted bread, boiled potatoes and token pickles to offset that rich unctuousness. 

It was truly divine. Now you got to eat it quick enough as once it cools, it curdles - and "curdle" is never a good word to use for any type of food. 

If you are allergic to cheese, this could be your died-and-gone-to-heaven last meal. One could easily make a meal out of this alone because it’s just so satisfying – and bloody filling. 

Speaking of bloody, the US ribeye was incredible. It was a thick cut blessed with a savory crust (oh, the elusive crust) and flavourful gamy insides. I am not the biggest of meat eaters but when in the mood, nothing does more for me than a solid hunk of steak.

Intense cocoa brown, rosy pink flesh and nuggets of translucent beef fat, this was seriously a thing of beauty. I am so so thankful I didn’t develop meat sweat during sleep that night.

What really got the rest of the table swooning in delight was the roasted duck, also a special of the day. Marinated with honey and five spice, the layering of crisp skin, squishy fats and tender insides was gloriously awesome. 

Whenever our wait staff popped by to ask us how our meal was, I would be reduced to a gushing mess. I hope they realize my vocabulary goes beyond “really good” and er, “soooo good.” Embarrassing.

The accompanying dauphinois potatoes were sublime. I know what you must be thinking “Huh, isn’t this that boring potato dish that someone makes on every season of Masterchef Australia?”

I never thought much of dauphinois potatoes either but this went beyond its usual baked-potato calling. It was rich and luscious, and there was an indescribable aroma that KW swears is duck fat - I swear I am in denial.

Ravioles "Royan" is one of Bar Roque's signature items and probably one of the reasons why the restaurant is conveniently located within a hotel. Tiny pillows filled with wild mushrooms, smothered in a creamy mushroom sauce that had been punctuated with aged gruyere… I just developed food coma from typing that sentence.

Our stomachs were thanking us when we finally moved onto desserts. Or rather, dessert as that was all we could manage. 

Their signature apple pie was marvellous way to end our meal. The tart shell was a vision of buttery crumbly loveliness; I love how plump the apple slices were and how they were slightly softened in the process of baking instead of being reduced to a mooshy mess.  

The service was exceptional and it was't just one guy holding the fort. Seriously, where do they find these wait staff? Tacky as it might sound, I wish they had nametags so I would be able to identify them. 

I will be back – after the non-pregnant paunch subsides.  

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