I bought a Scoopon Voucher a while back for a Twilight Dinner at Hippo Creek in Subiaco. It was described as a 4 course affair which started with half a dozen oysters, before moving on to a shared tasting plate. Then there were a few choices for mains, a shared dessert and a bottle of wine. For $99 I thought that was reasonable value and I know my fellow GG is partial to a steak so we locked it in.
The voucher was touted as a Twilight Dinner though, which meant that there were fairly strict hours that you could use it for and on the weekend this meant eating at 5.30, which did feel quite early bird. We got over that though and found ourselves outside the door at 5.30 with a few others who had also signed on for this promotion. We were shown inside and my booking wasn’t on the door, which was slightly frustrating given I had an email which confirmed the date and time. Thankfully they had a spare table and we were shown inside.
The first decision to be made was whether we wanted the Grant Burge Merlot or Sauvignon Blanc. I was happy to drive on this outing so we ordered a red, which granted does go quite nicely with a steak.
Given the first two courses were set, they arrived fairly swiftly to the collection of tables with voucher diners. The oysters were brought out with the tasting plate. I’m only a recent oyster fan and I generally prefer them with some sort of sauce, having not yet developed an appreciation for them fresh out of the ocean – au naturale. Now these 6 oysters that arrived to our table did not look really fresh to me, but I decided that if GG ate one and enjoyed it, then I would partake in my three. He splashed on some of the red wine vinaigrette and knocked it back. I could tell from his face that I would not be eating any oysters. GG said they didn’t taste fresh and were room temperature, almost warm, which was quite off-putting for us.
So I turned my attention to the tasting plate. A few interesting items were included – warm marinated olive mix, grilled chorizo, cuttlefish (grilled with mango, pink pepper and basil), Mud Huts (crumbed mushrooms), Billtong and Droewors. My favourite items on the plate were the Mud Huts, tasty little mushroom cups which were stuffed with a mix of feta, garlic, chilli, lemon and spinach with peri aioli. I also didn’t mind the chorizo or the Droewors, which is popular South African snack food, based on the traditional, coriander-seed spiced boerewors sausage – both were tasty. I had one really nice piece of cuttlefish but the rest was unfortunately a little chewy. Snacking on this platter, including some of the fresh bread, had put a reasonable dent in my appetite so I was slightly daunted by the impending arrival of my main.
Both GG and I had ordered the Lions Kill – 300g Sirloin Steak topped with a quarter rack of our famous pork spare ribs. I really like ribs and my preference is for quite a sticky sauce, and I don’t mind if it has a bit of sweetness to it. I believe ribs should be somewhat of a messy affair. The ribs tasted nice enough but they definitely weren’t the best we’d had. The steak was cooked beautifully and came with a delicious creamy pepper sauce and a generous dish of chips. I really enjoyed the steak that I ate and the chips were well seasoned and nice and crunchy. I was fairly full so I’m not sure that the dent I put in my plate could even be considered respectable. I ate most of the ribs though. Across the table GG wolfed his down, equally as pleased with how his steak had been prepared and only a few stray chips remained.
I was grateful at this point that we were sharing a dessert and we had chosen the Koeksisters, South African Style spiced donuts, shredded coconut, and coconut ice-cream. Four sad looking little donut balls were presented along with a small scoop of ice cream – bit disappointing. I wasn’t really a fan. They were quite doughy and yes I know they are donuts, but they were fairly dense and I didn’t really enjoy their spiced flavour. The coconut ice cream was nice though.
In all I was pretty uninspired by our visit. Sure, service had been friendly and efficient, and I had enjoyed my steak but I just wasn’t that wowed by the experience as a whole. Maybe next time.