Circumstances had us eating at the RAI convention center, so we ended up at the Grand Cafe there. We chose the smoked trout from the limited menu, with relatively low expectations – It’s is a conference center after all.
It was genuinely good: tender, tasty and the accompanying Caesar salad didn’t have potato! Really good, not just conference center good, for approx $23.40 per serve.
A rather magical night started with a sunset luxury cruise on a private “boat” (it was big enough for a group of 20+ to not be at all crowded) that ended at restaurant Riva. An amazing meal followed.
Bothe the Foodies had the ‘marsmallow’ appetizer because it looked intriguing. Described as ‘Goats cheese – beetroot marshmallow’ and detailed as “acocado cream, hazelnut, olive oil and orange blossom ice cream” it exceeded the description with a mousse-like texture and a subtle beetroot backroad, offset by the slight tartness of the ice cream. Definitely a dish to remember, and the popular choice at our table.
The Foodies chose different entrees with Philip opting for the flank steak with jacket potato, and Greg going for the hake filets with mussels.
Both dishes were amazingly good. Full of a variety of flavour and texture that balanced each other perfectly. Impossible to fault either meal.
The biggest suprise of the night was desert. We both chose the tirimasu. Although neither of us are ‘sweets’ people, tirimasu has some balancing bitterness from the espresso. Not this one.
This version was very deconstructed, and not at all sweet, so naturally we both really enjoyed it.
Our two bonuses? Number one is that we were guests of a very generous host.
Number two: we had a clear view of the open kitchen and could see first hand how hard people work – and how precisely- to bring us this wonderful food.
The open kitchen also made it possible to thank the kitchen directly.