- Portobello Mushroom Fries
- Eden Char-Grilled Prawns
- Werribee Cauliflower Salad
- Seafood Linguine
- Geelong Lamb Shoulder
We were off to a fantastic start with a trio of small bites. The Portobello Mushroom Fries were quite simply irresistible. The golden brown, crumbed outer offered up a flakey and crunchy texture, giving way to an inner that was juicy and meaty. The beautiful Portobello mushrooms were full of flavour, nicely accompanied by a spicy chilli jam and rounded out by the tangy sensation of malt vinegar. Delicious.
We also enjoyed the Eden Char-Grilled Prawns. Beautifully presented, the giant king prawns exhibited a beautiful charred outer and arrived with an exceptional seafood aroma. The prawns were fresh and crunchy, seared just perfectly and was served with a nutty, gingery satay-esque sauce, crunchy cashews and coriander. Freshness at its best!
The Werribee Cauliflower Salad was also a favourite of the evening. Loaded with beautifully charred cauliflower that was crisp on the outside yet soft and fluffy within, the salad also contained exotic ingredients like wild rice, coconut yoghurt and dukkah spices that made for a very appetising salad that delivered a full, flavourful hit with great textural diversity. From the creaminess of the coconut yoghurt, to the crunchy wild rice and crispness of the green beans, this was definitely a must try dish.
Despite the fantastic start to our meal, we can’t help but admit if we weren’t at least a little bit disappointed with the mains.
The Seafood Linguine contained plenty of fresh seafood and was well tied together with an olive oil based sauce infused with paprika and saltbush. However, the so-called linguine was a thick, wide-cut pasta that felt like the fettuccini wasn’t rolled out quite thin enough, making for a chewy experience.
Our Geelong Lamb Shoulder was also a miss on this occasion. While the quality of the lamb was top notch, the lamb felt dry and tough in this instance. The tangy citrus sauce wasn’t quite enough to help with the dryness, and the combination of the sweet, pickled oranges felt odd.
Situated on Chapel Street, Abacus features an open, light filled dining experience that dishes out amazing small bites paired with delicious cocktails.
It’s unfortunate that same can’t be said for our mains tonight, and it felt as if the big bites have been executed by a completely different kitchen and chef altogether.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
No doubt that this inconsistency was just a once off, though we’d happily return for happy hour drinks and snacks!
Penguineats would like to thank Abacus for inviting us.