ASH STREET CELLAR
Gosh it's been so darn cold this weekend! I'm wrapping myself up in a pyjama onesie and sitting right next to the heater for better warmth as I type this up with cold hands... Brr!
Anyways, this week I caught up with my budding photography and food lovin' pals Thom and Vivien who both love to take foodie pics like I do for TeaThyme. Whenever we go out it's like a silly rotation of DSLR's or iPhones taking snaps of what's to eat before we dig in. It's one of those moments where we look as if we were tourists - but really, we just are admirers of all things yummy...
Vivien suggested Ash Street Cellar as our lunch meeting point that day because of it's latest 'Winter Warmer' lunch degustation of either a two course ($35) or three course ($40) with a glass of wine inclusive to the set price.
Fortunately for me we sat in the street and I was huddled in between two of the heaters and felt really toasty. Taking in the ambience of the place, it's got a cellar feel inside with the brick walls and wine bottles that line up the one side of it's interior and like most of the Merivale establishments, the ambience is always appealing as you can tell plenty of thought and money has been put down for it! The chandeliers were really something to admire as was their "Tart of the Day" which I couldn't help but spy upon when I had a brief walk around the Ash Street Cellar.
I'm quite intrigued with Ash St. Cellar's neighbour cafe, the Felix Bistro. Overlooking the place from where we sat, it looks to have a really French bistro flair. Something I'll have to visit sometime soon, I suppose.
Back to where we were, decidedly we each went all-out and did the warmest menu there is - a three course menu of our choosing of entree, main and dessert.
Vivien felt like a warm wintry soup to start and had the fennel and celeriac soup which looked delightful. From across the small round table, I could see a good dollop of creme fraiche and little dots of olive oil and chives for garnish.
Thom and I ordered this absolutely a-mazing oven baked tomino cheese which when you cut through the wrappings of thin layers of serrano you get to see the gooey cheesey innards ooze out onto your honey dressed plating. I quite enjoyed the cheese with the sweetened taste of the honey on the toasted pieces of bread alone and could've easily ordered another plate if it weren't for the knowing that a main and dessert were on the way...
Vivien had the swordfish with grilled radicchio and green olive dressing. Thom and I once again matched up and chose the spiced pork cutlet with pale pink roasted apples and fennel salad.
The pork was cooked just right. A light pink center, the meat easy to cut and chow down on. The flavours of the spices going oh so well with the texture of those chunks of apple. It was a good Apple/Pork combo that couldn't be passed down.
Thom's teeny-tiny cheese plate served with raisin bread, assorted cheeses and fruits was the alternative to the otherwise chocolate dessert that was offered.
It's sweet time! Us girlies had the warm, oozy chocolatey goodness that was the warm chocolate pudding. The pudding was made of a rich, dark chocolate which I loved to have more but just couldn't finish it all in one go.
I've noticed recently that the menu has changed slightly since our visit. Namely, the pork is now replaced with osso bucco which I'd have been pleased to have tried that if it were applicable! Perhaps another visit to Ash St Cellar is in order..