I’m not sure why but when I first heard about The Classroom I was more than a little intrigued. First mention I saw was on Facebook and I thought the whole premise sounded pretty interesting. Then I saw the influx of positive reviews once it doors swung open and the school bell first rang and then I read the review of a fellow blogger – PFJ – and that was it. I had to go. GG found my fascination with it more than a little bemusing but as usual was agreeable to our adventuring to this new place one school night. We decided to head in early, as you can’t book and the popularity of the place was growing by the day!
So it was last Wednesday and we arrived just after 6. At this time securing a table was a non issue. Still a few people inside but we managed to score a table near the door overlooking the whole place, which I really liked. I should note that I said table but in fact it was a long old school wooden school desk.
They have the theme working for them throughout. You’ve got finger paintings on the walls….
….hopscotch squares on the ground, even a netball ring!
It is all very cute and I was more than a little bit smitten.
Each desk has a small clipboard on it with a copy of the menu.
Basically you tick what you’d like (with a jar of pencils provided for your ticking pleasure) and you then take your order up to the bar and are given a buzzer.
So we first locked in our food order and it was tough going! Tough because I essentially wanted to order one of everything off the menu! While they have a few larger dishes, the majority is smaller and designed to be shared. Sharing is caring after all….. don’t they teach you that in the classroom?
So we chose 4 dishes to share between the two of us and then the challenge was what to drink. An exercise book contained all the beverage options and there really were plenty.
Being a school night we didn’t partake in any cocktails….. which was particularly hard given how amazing the liquid nitrogen infused espresso martinis looked! But we’ll leave the ‘science experiments’ for another visit. We stuck to vino and there was still a decent range on offer. I was happy with Bellaridge Riesling by the glass.
I went up to the bar and placed the order for our food and drinks and was given a buzzer which I happily skipped back to our table with. So we sipped away at our glasses of wine, taking in the adorable nick nacks displayed throughout the place and also enjoying the tale end of ET and start of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on the TV screen at the end of the bar. But before we knew it BUZZZ!!! And it was time to head to the canteen to pick up our order.
Proudly presented on an old lunch tray I managed to successfully balance it back to our table. And it looked really good.
Hard to know where to start, but they had me at sausage roll so I started with one of those.
Pork sausage rolls with fennel & apple, apricot chutney ($14). The balance of pastry to sausage filling was perfect. And speaking of filling it was incredibly tasty! And it was only further enhanced by the subtle sweetness of the apricot chutney. A whole lot of yum right there.
Next I gave the Szechuan pepper squid, compressed watermelon,nam-jim dressing ($16) a go. Definitely an interesting combination, but the squid was perfectly tender and the refreshing sweetness of the compressed melon married up very nicely.
Sticking with seafood I then tried the Atlantic salmon and scallop carpaccio, almond & sweet ginger emulsion ($16). Oh happy day! With a little of the ginger sauce, this dish was as pleasing to taste and it was to look at!
Finally it was time to tackle the Chermoula chicken drumsticks (x4), roasted sweet potato & eggplant, zesty yoghurt ($17). The little ends had been tidied up and made perfect little handles for what were big, meaty drumsticks! The chermoula was incredibly tasty and the slight heat to it was offset so well by the yoghurt dressing.
Four dishes and four big ticks. I’d loved them all.
Did we have time for dessert? I wont lie…. It was a school night and I’m an MKR addict. At this stage it was about 7 so I figured we had plenty of time as we live quite close. At this stage the place was much busier, with basically every table taken. So I went up to the bar with our little order form and stood patiently and waited. It did give me a chance to take in the cool old lockers they had to store their liquor bottles – full of old trophies and books – all adding to the charm.
It did take some time to place my order, which is likely because others were ordering numerous cocktails and there’s a slight theatre to their cocktail making process. I’m not sure whether there could be a separate area to place food orders, but hey I wasn’t going to let a bit of a wait spoil my first visit. I suppose it was just something people should be aware of. And the friendly staff are going as fast as they can.
So I got us another two glasses of wine while we were up there and there turn around to receiving our two desserts was pretty swift so that’s a plus. They looked so precious!! Especially the lil milkshake bottle that came with the PB&J dessert. I’m not a huge peanut butter fan but it was just like a nutty salty caramel the way they had done it and with the cherry coulis – mumma mia! Delicious to the max. The milkshake gave a nice creamy finish to the dish too.
PB + J = Salted peanut caramel & morello cherry jelly, baby shake ($12)
I’m not sure ending with the Chocolate pot du crème, cardamom tuille ($10) was the way to go. It was just so incredibly, decadently rich! Definitely very high percentage cocoa chocolate had been used in its creation and there was a more bitter finish to it than sugary sweet. For that extra touch of magic they had sprinkled on some popping candy for good measure and I’d expect nothing less given their school yard slant.
The two of us definitely had enough to eat with those 6 dishes between us. I thought the pricing on the food front was actually pretty reasonable given the high quality of everything we’d had.
So would I rush back or was my one time visit enough….. I loved it and happy to say GG was a fan too It’s a little bit different, it’s a whole lot of fun and any place that does such tasty food is always going to be a winner in my book. It had friendly, unpretentious staff and I suspect will appeal to many a punter with its quirky wares. Top of the class for The Classroom!