Beaufort Street Merchant

I found out the hard way last week that if you have your heart set on somewhere for dinner and you don’t get to eat there (because it’s so incredibly busy because everyone has figured out how fab it would be to have a dinner of steak tartare, field mushrooms and a Monteith’s Pear Cider- then you should probably just turn around and head home, because no where is going to measure up.

GG and I decided to venture out last Thursday because I had been meaning to catch up with a fellow Treasurer at Five Bar but our plans had been thwarted. But I really still wanted to go, so managed to convince GG when he got home. Alas though, as mentioned above, wasn’t meant to be, we left out run a bit too late. We wandered further down Beaufort Street in search of sustenance and decided to call into Beaufort St Merchant. I’d only been here once before, for the entrée of the Beaufort St Festival’s Roving Dinner ( It hadn’t been my favourite course on the night, but I was willing to see how they fared during a normal’s day’s trade.

They had room for us, thankfully, and we were shown to our seats and given menus, while our water glasses were promptly filled. I wasn’t really sure what I felt like eating, so we placed our drinks orders – a glass of Riesling for me and a Viogner for GG – and continued to peruse the menu. GG decided to keep things light and order the salmon – served with crispy skin and a roasted beetroot, rocket salad and crème fraiche & horseradish dressing ($33), while I chose to give one of the tasting boards a whirl, Board 2 to be specific ($32) – sounded interesting and they let me substitute the smoked salmon on Board 2 for something from one of the boards. I went with the waitresses recommendation of a fancy cheese they had on offer. I like cheese.

So we sat and we waited and we waited…. I wouldn’t have mind waiting so much if I have a drink in my hand, but alas we had to request those again when our food arrived…. So I was a little miffed at this. Granted I was already in a less than chipper mood when I arrived given that my original plans had been thwarted but give a girl a drink!! Especially when staff just didn’t seem that busy or attentive…. If they’d bought us out a drink early, we’d probably have ordered a second each…. just saying is all.

The food did look nice though and GG was pleased with his salmon. Well cooked and with a tasty rocket salad on the side. It was the light meal he’d been after.

And my meal presented well with its generous selection of tasty morsels.

I was particularly intrigued by the cheese! It was just a fabulous melty mess! And it had a wonderful blue taste to the rind. Smushed onto some of the crunchy baguette, it was more than a little delicious. I have to find out what kind of cheese this is….. so I can hit up the Re store, they’d have some surely…… I digress.

The croquettes were disappointingly a little bland. I had asked what type they were and were told parmesan, but I guess I had hoped that would have something else with them. It really did just taste like a crumbed and deep fried cheese stick.

As GG pointed out though when he sampled some, that it you teamed it up with a little of the cornichon (fancy name for sliced pickles) then the two flavours worked well together. At least it gave the croquette a bit more zap. The terrine was interesting. It was a duck terrine and was surprisingly crumbly. I’ve always seen terrine a lot firmer, but this was more on the drier side. Combined with the duck were a selection of fruits and nuts, which made it quite a sweet affair after a few bites. Again – the combo approach helped – baguette, terrine, pickle – better.

I had hoped that the pork belly could have saved the day and while the flavour was pleasant enough, the fat on top was quite chewy, which was disappointing.

And prosciutto, it was a fairly big serve, which I could not get through. I find prosciutto such a chewy meat at the best of times and I didn’t really enjoy it that much.

Size wise, couldn’t fault it. Very generous and I definitely wasn’t still hungry after working my way through it. With the exception of the cheese though, nothing had really wowed me and given that service hadn’t really shone I’d have to say that when I left, much like the cheese on my tasting board – I was blue.

The Beaufort Street Merchant on Urbanspoon

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