Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Review: BROTH

BROTH stands for Bar Restaurant On The Hill - it's nice to know that slight pretentions still exist in this country. It's a renovated shophouse atop Duxton Hill, and one of the increasing number of Australian restaurants. Personally, I don't care much for Australian food, but it was to be a family dinner, and sister chose the venue.

Some restaurants impress you immediately, either with their appearance or with their service. Unfortunately, Broth was not one of these restaurants. The ambience here is decidedly backwater, with tables set up rather haphazardly, even spilling out onto the street facing the restaurant. The interior of the eatery itself is quite tight, perhaps a remnant of its shophouse architecture. The service was equally awkward, with the waiters not doing much to put us at ease.

Broth was offering a special menu that week - a Margaret River menu that was to be exclusively Australian and featured rather more exotic fare such as kangaroo, rabbit and quail. Under normal circumstances I would have been delighted by the prospect of trying new meats, but some of the methods employed in actually cooking the damned things seemed very dubious (quail pie?) That being said, the following review is probably not representative of the food there in general.

For starters, I had a rabbit rillette with camalised prunes and pickles ($17.90). Somewhat like a pate, but shredded to give it more texture. I was not really blown away by this attempt (3.5/5), and only ordered it because everything else seemed even less palatable.

Being the sort of person who needs to have meat on a fairly regular basis, I decided to try the kangaroo fillet with cabernet chutney and caramelised sweet potato ($29.90). This combination I found rather questionable - the bland sweet potato did no justice to the kangaroo meat, and I can't fathom the appeal of chutney. Again, I was less than impressed (3/5).

I find that Australian cuisine, being fairly new on the food scene, tries to compensate by being bold and exciting in its fusion approach to food. I suppose that could be partly attributed to Australia's multi-culturalism as well, but whatever the reason, I am, unfortunately, a bit of a purist, and have yet to come across fusion cuisine that I could appreciate wholeheartedly.

For dessert, I decided to be adventurous and try the Cabernet Merlot jelly with creme fraiche ($12.90). This proved to be most unwise, because the sour creme fraiche only over-emphasised the already astringent Merlot jelly (2/5).

Although it is true that the food came from the limited period Margaret River menu, it nonetheless did not entice me back - certainly not at those prices, at any rate.

BROTH (Australian)
21 Duxton Hill
Tel: 6323 3353
Location: 2/5
Ambience: 2.5/5
Service: 2/5
Food: 3/5
Overall: Only if you have an exceptional craving for Australian food

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