So last weekend I had thought the time was nigh to use a voucher I had won for a restaurant in town. However as chance would have it when I rocked up on that particular day it wasn’t open……. needless to say I wasn’t impressed. I had checked the website for their opening hours and yes they should have been opened but in hindsight a quick phone call would have saved GG and I a walk. Such is life and I suppose the beauy of being in town was that there was plenty of other options for us to consider. First, we tried the George but at 1pm on a Saturday but they were only doing a high tea and that wasn’t quite what I fancied at this time of day (plus I had a booking to be there the following Sunday).
So we continued down the terrace and with our fingers crossed decided we would try Greenhouse. Yay! It was open and we were able to get a table without any fuss. Delightful!
It was GG’s first visit and we were both very hungry. On looking at the lunch menu, which was fairly brief, I wondered wihether this was the best spot to have brought my fellow. I think he had more of a steak or something larger in mind. But on perusing the menu and after having the pizza and pasta specials outlined to us we decided we’d get three dishes to share, hopeful that they should resolve our hunger issues.
The restaurant is very trendy. All recycled furniture (even the toilets – seriously an experience – worth a visit) but its still very sweet – the simple furniture is beautified with large colourful paintings on the wall and dainty flowers in little jars on each table. Awwww 🙂
Our waitress was a gem, really friendly, our glasses of wine (a red for GG, shocking I know, and a glass of Bella Ridge Trebbiano for me) were both brought out quickly and our water glasses were regularly replenished by the watering can.
So what did we order? We decided we’d try the crisp vietnamese pancake, chicken, papaya & nahm jhim. It sounded like an interesting combination of flavours to me and also that it would suit the warmer weather. I sat my salad on top of one of the pancakes, which sort of tasted like a spring roll wrapper, pretty thin and very cripsy. The salad itself was that wonder blend of sweet and sour and salty. The chicken was nice and moist and in all it was pretty refreshing. I enjoyed the flavour, but towards the end of my serve it got fairly intense, a sentiment shared by GG, a lot of the same, but the good thing was we were sharing other dishes so it wasn’t as though you were sick to death of this one after splitting it. It was a good salad.
Then for the resident meat lover we ordered the chermoula roasted lamb, broad bean, quinoa. We weren’t sure if it was going to be hot or cold. As it turned out it was a warm lamb dish with a cold salad on the side. The addition of a minty yoghurty dip was well received. Lamb and that sort of sauce just works so well. It was perfectly cooked lamb, pink and tender, and with the lemony quinoa it worked a treat. Not a bad dish in all. Of the first two I tried if I was to have one again I think I would have gone the first one with the chicken. Just found the flavours of this one a little more interesting.
Finally I was keen to try one of their pizzas, which on Saturday was a combination of marinated eggplant, basil, goats curd and then sprinkled with rocket. You could say it was a fairly basic selection of ingredients, but perhaps it was the simplicity that seemed to work so well. The base itself was perfectly crisp and this was my favourite of the three items that we’d ordered. I’m just a big pizza fan and its always nice to try a flavour different to the ones I usually have (which let’s face it, a lot of the time in Hawaiian). So for me, the pizza probably made the lunch for me.
For the two of us (one being a big hungry man and the other an equally hungry young lady after traipsing all over town) the three items left us feeling very well fed. Three dishes and two glasses of wine was $80 which I thought wasn’t too bad. The service had been excellent and all the ingredient in each dishes did have a wonderful freshness to them.
After this lunch I was more than keen for a return visit!
Now as fate would have it, I did end up back at the Greenhouse less than a week later for a quick business lunch. I decided on this visit to try something different and went for their pasta of the day, which was a home made fettucine with pieces of braised beef, tomato and parmasen.
What a difference the wrong selection can make! I didn’t take a photo of this meal but I was quite disappointed with how dry the pasta was and how it generally just lacked any substantial flavour. Even a sprinkling of salt failed to improve the situation. So I wasn’t a fan of the Greenhouse on this occasion. The service had been equally as friendly, company was great, but I was just left wanting in a major way on the food front.
Could it be, third time and the charm returns? We’ll see I suppose.