Sunday, 8 January 2017

Teneriffe Social House - Teneriffe

Last time we were driving along Vernon Terrace at Teneriffe, looking for parking for a nearby pizza place, we noticed a sign for the newly opened Teneriffee Social House go up. Making a note of it and adding it to our list, we were pleasantly surprised to receive an invite from their owner to try out some of their signature dishes. Without further delay, we made a beeline for the restaurant on the first week of trading after the new year.

Signs and menus outside gave us ample opportunity to see what options were available to us without having to go in. 

We arrived five minutes before our reservation and the super friendly staff had prepared our table and were expecting us. We were seated in an alfresco setting, elevated and away from the main road so as to not be disturbed by passers by.

Menus were promptly provided. I was especially interested in the first page which gave a brief outline of the ideas behind their restaurant, with an emphasis on a casual time sharing food.

Table water was promptly provided by our waiter Jonas, who very thoughtful and attentive throughout the evening.

As alluded to, the menu consisted of food intended for sharing, being sorted into large plates, small plates, curries, salads and desserts. The chef himself came out to tell us that his intention was to create a fusion style menu with Mediterranean and Asian flavours with a familiar local twist. We were given the option to choose what we wanted to order or to defer our judgement to the chef to serve up his best dishes. Naturally we thought it would be best to let the chef surprise us.

Sharing plates were set up for my companion and I, and our food and drinks came very promptly after.

We both ordered the lemon lime bitters, which was comparably well done with just the right amount of sourness and bitterness without the overwhelming sugary taste of lemonade.

The first dish we tried was the Crab and Prawn Ravioli, served with laksa reduction and mint pesto. Expecting a more traditional Italian style ravioli, I was quite surprised to be presented with a more Asian wanton style dumpling. Each piece was huge and contained around three prawns each and copious amounts of crab meat. My companion did comment that the skin was a little thicker than he would have liked, but I'm pretty sure that with the massive size of the ravioli, it would have fallen apart if the skin wasn't a little thicker to hold it all together. The laksa reduction was both spicy and creamy, with a very strong coconut taste to it, we had a massive sensory overload with this dish! Speaking to the chef after, he told us that he drew inspiration for the dish from Il Centro's famous sandcrab lasagne, but wanted to create a somewhat lighter dish with a fusion twist to it. I really enjoyed it.

Next up we tried the Popcorn Prawns. At the thought of "popcorn", I immediately envisaged some Taiwanese style popcorn chicken with its peppery taste and sweet potato batter. When the prawns came, I was surprised to see their super light sweet potato batter, one of the thinnest I've ever had. There were a good number of them and they were all covered in delectable honey sauce and sprinkled with pepper. The sweet potato flour drew parallels to Taiwanese chicken, whilst the honey reminded me of honey chicken. I also really liked the deep fried chinese greens that it was served on, that were so crispy and thin it was almost like a piece of nori.

Next up we had some Arancini balls served with a blue cheese reduction. Like the ravioli, it was massive! I really enjoyed the cheesy risotto, which was quite tender, as well as the really thin crumbed batter. The blue cheese reduction really took the dish to the next level.

Next up we had some of the Seared Yellow Fin Tuna, served with Yuzu marinate, sesame sauce and wakame salad. My companion and I both loved this dish, which was refreshingly light. Being a huge sashimi fan, I loved the fresh tuna with its yummy seared exterior and smooth interior. My companion, who is usually not a sashimi fan, also really enjoyed the dish, due to its delectable yuzu marinate which gave it an extra depth and flavour that regular sashimi doesn't have. The wakame salad had a strong sesame taste to it, which we both appreciated.

The Plum Glazed Crispy Skin Bangalow Pork Belly with roasted beetroot came next. We found it interesting that it came with the skin removed from the pork and fashioned like two arches on the side. The skin was epic, super crunchy and not overly fatty. The meat was wonderfully tender and the fruitiness of the beetroot gave it a whole new dimension.

After all that meatiness, our next course was the Char Grilled Mexican Corn Cobs, served with lime and coriander aioli, and shaved pecorino. The corn had a nice caramelised flavour to it, and I really liked the charred bits. It as toasted quite well in the sense that it still retained its moistness, but the highlight of it was definitely the aioli and pecorino which made sure that it was smooth and rich in just the right way.

From the curry selection, we tasted the Braised Lamb Curry. This is usually served with a side of rice, but the chef, knowing we were nearing maximum stomach capacity, switched it up with a bit of roti instead. We really enjoyed the roti, which was flaky and light. When asked about it, the chef told us that Roti wasn't on their usual menu yet, but they were working to make it happen. As for the curry, it was inspired by rendang curry, and had the addition of extra coconut and tomato. Whilst it was spicy, that didn't overpower the other flavours, and the lamb was soft and tender but not dry. My companion did remark that where more rice or roti is provided, a bit more sauce would have added greatly to the dish.

Our final savory course was the Twice Cooked Pork Shoulder Ribs, with a coffee and a Chinese style sticky glaze. We spent a good few minutes trying to catch a smell of the coffee, but failed, perhaps because our senses had been quite loaded up with curry by then. The slab of meat was huge, and so we divided it up between the two of us. My half was quite tender and moist, with the added sweetness of the sticky glaze, but my companions half for some reason was quite tough and dry, so I shared some of my more moist cuts with him.

We had two desserts, the first one was the Baked Mediterranean Bread and Butter Pudding served with salted caramel sauce, peanut brittle, gelato and berry compote. I found it to be a soft and comforting dessert, but prefer sultanas rather than peanuts. The caramel added some toasty sweetness to it, the berry compote some fruitiness, and the ginger and pear gelato was fresh and delicious for the warm summers evening.

We rounded off the meal on with a Coconut Infused Creme Brulee, with torched sugar, fresh berries and sugar shards. The caramelised sugar was thin and very crunchy, whilst the custard was smooth and creamy with a very strong coconut taste to it. I loved how it melted in my mouth. The berries gave the dish extra textures and flavour dimensions. We found it a really good way to finish the meal.

For a restaurant that has only been open for two months, it runs like a very well oiled machine. We really enjoyed their fusion style foods, and their modern takes on traditional favourites. Having spoken to the Chef, we understand that they are about to roll out their second menu in a matter of weeks, and would definitely be keen to come back and try it!

Espresso and Matcha were invited guests of Teneriffe Social House, as always, our opinions are solely our own.

Price Range: $25 - $40pp

Taste: 8/10
Value: 7/10
Services: 9/10
Environment: 8/10

Teneriffe Social House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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