My birthday is on Tuesday and I traditionally have week long celebrations, not because I enjoy the clock turning, but because it is another excuse to glam up and go out to eat with my family and friends.
To kick off my birthday celebrations, burger boy and I had dinner reservations at Balthazar last night. The dim candle lit romantic setting and music playing in the background was wonderful and provided the perfect ambience. I was a little worried earlier in the week because reviews on Urbanspoon had talked about the music being too loud and the dim lighting making it hard to see what was being served. I had only been to Balthazar one other time for a Friday lunch so I wasn’t sure what to expect but despite my initial worries, we could hear ourselves fine and I thought the music added to the atmosphere.
Balthazar has a small menu but everything we chose tasted amazing! We shared the pork belly ($22) and the scallops ($23) entrées to start. The pork belly was succulent and served with a prawn, I’ve never had pork belly that melted in my mouth like that – didn’t leave that feeling I usually get from eating pork belly. Being quite fussy, I normally just eat the meat part and leave the fat & skin …but not tonight, I devoured the whole lot. The scallops were delicious too.
In between our entrées and mains we were served a complimentary lemon sorbet which I enjoyed but burger boy wasn’t a fan. He thought it was a nice gesture .. but I think he would have been happier with bread.
For mains, burger boy had the duck ($39) which he really enjoyed. The duck breast was slightly pink and the sauce was so good that he soaked the side of potatoes ($10) in it. The potatoes were roasted in duck fat and were just divine – crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The duck was a decent portion but it wouldn’t have filled burger boy alone so if you have a good appetite I’d recommend ordering the side of potatoes. I had the snapper ($39) with curried mussels and diced vegetables, the snapper was nice but I’m not sure about the curry mussels and vegetables. It tasted nice at first but becomes overbearing after awhile and I would have liked a bit more of the sauce on the side for the snapper.
I was really keen to have the strawberry cheesecake and home-made donuts that were on the dessert menu last time I was at Balthazar but was completely devastated to see it wasn’t on there anymore! The desserts menu looked ok but nothing jumped out at me. I had the chocolate fondant ($19) which was essentially a baked chocolate cake with chocolate ozzing out of the centre – you’ll love it if you love chocolate. It was a served with a lychee and a scoop of ice-cream. Could have done with a bit more of the ice-cream though as the cake was extremely rich. The dessert was nice but not something I would crave / have again.
Dinner cost us $172 which is what we expected to pay for a fine dining experience. Overall, the food was good with the entrees being the highlight for me, service was superb and I had a wonderful evening.