Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Encasa Restaurant, Sydney

Okay, believe it or not this is the third go I've had at starting this post. It's just that I had a really really good time with high school friends I haven't seen/caught up with for aaages and I wanted to make this a really good post. But considering how I never plan my posts, nor do I write very well - I think I'm just gonna stick with writing whatever that comes to mind.

We went about our dish orderings in a very organised fashion. There were two designated order-ers, a designated picture taker and well, the rest were designated eaters. I was one of the 'designated order-ers' which was really fun because I had a part in dictating what everyone else was eating that night! G was the designated picture taker (as I always make her do when we eat together =P) - thanks for taking the pics! hehe

I was really excited that night because I'd never had tapas before. I'd never tried paella before either and I'd seen enough wonderful pictures of pans of saffron rice with large morsels of seafood to be looking for a chance to order it (which I succeeded in - hehehe).

Potatas Bravas - Fried potato with garlic mayonnaise and spicy tomato salsa $8

This was the first tapas to come out and we were immediately hit with a nice garlicky aroma. We all described this as similar to wedges in both look and taste but of course these were better. They were less crunchier than wedges but the insides were soft and smooth. The mayonnaise was a hit and I loved the combination of the mayonnaise with the tangy, slightly spicy salsa.

Pan Campero - Toasted bread with goat's cheese and red capsicum spread $5

I would not reccomend this, the spread was really foul! It tasted like burnt capsicum and something unidentifiable. We ended up eating the left over toast with the remaining garlic etc from the torrades below.

Torrades - Toasted bread with garlic, fresh tomato and olive oil $4

The Torrades on the other hand was excellent. The waitress explained to us that first you rub the toast with a piece of garlic and make sure you get all the flavours out. You then do the same with the tomato, you follw that on by drizzling some olive oil on top and finish it off with a sprinkle of sea salt. The gals seemed reluctant to get their hands dirty so I ended up doing it all. It was quite fun actually and very tasty. I did rub the toast with quite A LOT of garlic on my own piece of toast so the first taste packed quite a punch.

Ibiza - Chicken, sun dried tomato, onion and olive pizza $17.50 (medium)

I don't think you can rally go wrong with that combination of ingredients plus they were very generous with the sun dried tomatoes. Yum yum!

Vieiras en Azafran - Scallops in the shell with saffron, shallot and cream sauce $12

This was one of the highlights of the night. The scallops were big and juicy and the cream sauce - though I couldn't really tell what was in it - was great! We didn't realise there were only four scallops to a plate so we had to order a second plate afterwards. I waited til the second plate to try it and scored myself two scallops because people were getting full by that time *woot*

Gallo - pasta w/ chicken, sun dried tomato, onion and cream $15

Yep, we (or maybe just the two of us who ordered) love our chicken and sun dried tomato! This was also a highlight and was gone in a flash. There were intentions of ordering another serving of this but we were already beginning to feel full and the paella had yet to come out!!

Beef skewers w/ capsicum, onions and olive oil

The beef skewers were actually on the specials menu so I'm not sure of it's actual name. This wasn't as exciting when compared with the pasta or the scallops and was slightly on the tough side.

Paella Valenciana - Saffron rice with chicken and seafood $24pp (min 2 people)

Last to come out was the paella as it takes 45min to prepare. We ordered a serving for two people yet we were still amazed at how bit it was. It doesn't look that big in the picture but trust me it could have fed four of us easily as a main. Maybe it was because I was already full. Or maybe I was expecting too much? But whilst the paella looked impressive, it wasn't one of the highlights of the meal. It just seemed to lack some oomph although I'm not sure how. The prawns were pretty big though and there was also a very generous serving of seafood including pipis, calamari and of course mussels.

Churros with chocolate dip

These were quite disappointing. Not completely cooked in the centre and the chocolate dip seemed more like hot chocolate.

Crepes with bananas, vanilla icecream and chocolate sauce

I must mention that only three of us shared the desserts. We don't intend it that way, I swear we didn't. The thing was, only three of us wanted dessert and the rest were kindd of forcefully persuaded into it. But they were too full so they'd gone off for a little walk and that was when our desserts arrived. I'd asked miss nitnitlau whether we were going to leave some for the others as I could see she was attacking the crepes with real gutso. I got a look that was a cross between 'are you serious?!?!' and 'stop disturbing me, i'm eating!' and eventually we sort of came to a consensus that we'd leave them some churros but we'd split the rest between the rest of us.

The other two kept raving about the crepes whilst eating it and we sort of had to fight miss nitnitlau if we wanted our fair share of it because she was shovelling it down her throat like there was no tomorrow! Yes the crepes were nice but I thought the actually crepe it self was a teensy bit dry.

Miss nitnitlau was very proud of the aftermath she'd caused

Leche frita (fried milk)

I was more looking forward to the leche frita and was not disappointed when it came out. Crunch golden bars of goodness covered with a dusting of cinnamon. The inside was soft, creamy, sweet - it's consistency more like custard than milk. And there were three bars of the awesome stuff - just enough to go around the three of us hehehe.

The others were confused and speechless when they came back and only a half eaten plate of churros was left. They proabbly noticed our faces of guilty pleasure and realised that they'd miss out on something good but thankfully not much was said. Sorry guys! But as miss nitnitlau said "they didn't want dessert anyway..."

Encasa Restaurant
423 Pitt St
Sydney 2000
Ph 9211 4257
bookings essential Thurs/Fri lunch and Fri/Sat dinner
for more info pls visit http://www.encasarestaurant.com.au/


Simon Food Favourites said...

the Torrades is like a do it yourself Bruschetta i guess. did they freshly cook the churros or do you think they just reheat them from precooked versions? the chocolate dip does look a bit weak.

cynthia said...

It's alright, i didn't want dessert anyway ;) lol

and i totally agree with "the chocolate dip seemed more like hot chocolate. "
but i still wanted to dip in it.. later i questioned myself as to whether i'd embarrassed myself by dipping into hot choc ><"

eden said...

wow ! i wanna go here and try the churros (Even though you said it wasnt that nice)

and OMG i love the patatas bravas hereee such a bargain omggg yUMm i am so gna go back now just for that LOL

K said...

@ Simon: i really have no idea if they freshly cooked the churros or used pre cooked! I only got the tinest of pieces but it was enough for me to know that they weren't good =[ I'm guessing they were freshly cooked because it was still a bit dough-y inside!

@ cynthia: hahaha i feel ripped off when i think about it now! me wants good churros. RIGHT NOW.

@ eden: nooooo pls don't try the churros! you'd be happier not trying them! get the fried milk! LOL

miss nit nit lau said...

&& its even in bold!! HAHAH!

but i love ur opening and closing paragraphs! very sweet :) cant wait to have another feast together!!!

btw, i went to ENCASA again last weds with family and they change their desserts menu regularly!! I intended to order the deep fried milk, but it wasnt on menu :( so i had to settle for strawberry and cheese crepes.. i want my deep fried milk!!

K said...

@ miss nit nit lau: haha i thought it best if we 'come clean'! don't you feel guilty?!?!

i want deep fried milk too! i might go try it out at burwood when i get better =]

Anonymous said...

Churros are supposed to be pretty much raw on the inside.....

K said...

@ anonymous: but these were raw in not a good way. but yeah i get how churros should be soft on the inside =]

The Sophisticated Aesthete said...

The 'chocolate dip' WAS probably hot chocolate, as churros are eaten for breakfast in some Spanish regions, where they are served to be dipped into hot chocolate or coffee - similarly to the way you dunk a biscuit in your tea in Britain.

Ah, I feel like such a know-it-all, but I can't help it.
However, I really enjoyed reading this post. :)

K said...

@ The Sophisticated Aesthetic: wow! thanks for that bit of info! i'm gonna google it now LOL