Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lots of yellow grass and food @ Launceston, Tasmania Day 2

It's a beautiful day, and it was an exciting day for me because my friend left this day for me to take the girls out to eat the best of the best in Launceston. So after many nights (exaggerated a little bit) of research, I was disappointed to find nothing much. People don't seem to blog about the food in Launceston, they talk about the views, the water, the mountains and the fresh air but how about the food!
So with only one 'must go' restaurant, I started to panic about where I was going to take the girls for the rest of the day. The girls were kind, and suggested we go back to Charles St in Launceston because there was a lot of café on that street. So with my head down, we headed to Charles St and settle at a posh looking café named ELAIA.
Sometimes decisions are made so much easier when the place has been awarded numerous awards. In this case, ELAIA has been awarded ‘Best Café Award 2005 and 2006’, so we were confident we found the right place.

First things first, we get our caffeine hit, and my latest caffeine hit is a vanilla latte. Thanks to my colleague who introduce this drink to me, I am now addicted. It's sweetly flavoured with a hint of vanilla so you don't even need to add sugar. 
Vanilla Flavoured Latte - $3.90

My friend ordered a caramel milkshake and it came out looking like milk with a squirt of caramel. We stared at it thinking they forgot to shake the milk and looked at the 'milkshake' in confusion. I went to check the menu again, and it turns out, the name of the drink is called 'caramel flavoured milk'.

Caramel Flavoured Milk - $4.50

After oooing and umming for a while, we settled for chicken breast salad, handmade ricotta gnocchi, and special carno pizza to share.

Handmade Ricotta Gnocchi - $23

Chicken Breast Salad - $26

Special Carno Pizza - $18.50

My slice with extra cheese - Priceless

The winner was the chicken breast salad. I like how everything was cooked separately (the corn was charred, the walnut was roasted and honey flavoured and the chicken was marinated and pan-fried), yet the ingredients combined so nicely and the dressing made from balsamic and mayo was the best.  To make this at home would be alot of effort, so it was worth every penny.

The other two dishes were very generous in size and ingredients. My cravings for cream and cheese were completely satisfied.

A selection of homemade desserts

The citrus tart was alright but I enjoyed the fresh cream more than the tart itself.

Homemade citrus tart with fresh cream - $8.50
Considering how everything was tasty and fresh , the price was reasonable and the service was friendly, I was quite surprise by the lack of customers and when we left it was nearly 2:00 pm.

After a day of sight seeing, it was dinner time. 5 hungry little birdies headed straight to the 'must go' restaurant. When we entered the restaurant, I knew I broke the number 1 rule of being a food blogger. That is, making a booking or reservation for a place that has been raved about. The restaurant was full, half giving up I asked the waitress if there was any tables for tonight. Lucky enough there was one table at 8:30 pm. I booked it straight away and with one and a half hours to kill, I informed my hungry birdies that it will be worth the wait.

Took this photo while waiting for a table

Finally going in, excited!

Once we were inside and seated, I ordered straight away. I took a copy of the printout menu when I booked so we had one and a half hours to decide what we wanted to eat.

We ordered Oyster shooter with palm sugar vinaigrette and homemade sliced bread as starters, handmade basil pasta and Tasmanian Cray & seafood platter as mains, and slow roasted baby vegetables and steamed vegetables as sides.

Olive, herb and garlic and butter sliced bread - $1.00/ slice
Oyster shooter with palm sugar vinaigrette - $3.50 each

We polished the bread within seconds and we were glad we did because we needed it as a base for the oyster shooter. When the oyster shooter came, we were all very excited to take it as a shot together. However we spend the next 5 minute figuring out how to take the whole thing in with the oyster without choking on the vinaigrette. The vinaigrette with the palm sugar was perfectly balanced but they were just too generous with the serving. So we sip half the amount of vinaigrette before we took it as a shot but by then we were so overwhelm by the vinaigrette we didn't enjoy the oyster.

Handmade basil pasta - $29.50
Tasmanian Cray & Seafood Platter - $185.00

Food came out very quickly and soon our table was filled with food. Tasmania is so generous with their serving, our eyes dropped when we saw the seafood platter. Did I mention on the menu the Crayfish & seafood platter was for 2 people! Everything was really fresh and cooked nicely. The prawns were unbelievably sweet and I absolutely adored the smoked salmon. The fish can be grilled, crumbed or battered and we chose grilled to see how fresh the fish was. There were at least 4 types of grilled fish on the platter and there was so much on the platter we couldn't finish it in the end. The Crayfish (aka lobster in our eyes) can be cooked in four different ways, we chose 'Thermador' because we never heard or tried it before. The waitress informed us Thermador contains mustard, white wine and cheese. The crayfish with Thermador was really nice and the sauce didn't overpower the flavour of the crayfish. I would definitely try this at home with my cooked lobsters next time.  The homemade basil pasta was nicely flavoured but unfortunately the pasta was not al dente so we didn't enjoy it as much.

Slow roasted baby vegetables - $10.50

Steamed greens - $10.50

We got a little surprise in our steamed greens, an extra basil pasta.  The roasted vegetables were really sweet.  We thought they might have blasted the vegetables with honey or sugar before they roasted it.  None of us like the roasted mushroom infused with honey, I think i prefer my mushroom savory.   

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1 comment:

  1. Oh my eyes keep travelling back to the crayfish platter. That is so what I'd order-thermidor or just plain with seafood sauce. I'd be happy with either! :)