I’ve been blogging for a while now so I’m happy to have slowly worked my way into the Food Blogger’s circle and all that it has to offer On this occasion, it was an invitation to a Food Blogger’s Dinner at Medusa Dining in Bardon, to celebrate their Spring Menu (listed at the bottom).
Medusa is in an unusual location, at the end of a set of modern strip shops including a fast food pizza shop and bakery. Great view though – two sides of the restaurant are glass walled with wonderful views over the twinkling lights and greenery of Bardon and beyond. There were 40 of us for dinner but only 32 showed so 8 naughty Bloggers RSVP’d but didn’t show. How rude! I sat beside Amy (@sensiblespice), Tereza (@PhatOink) and the wonderful Danielle (@digellabakes). Danielle started #Baked Relief, a kind thought that spawned hope, comfort and hundred of cakes for the victims of the Queensland Floods in January 2011. I was accompanied by my non blogger husband Anthony (@DJTonyP).
Dinner was an ambitious 7 course degustation focusing on local produce. The chef, Minh Le put himself under quite a lot of pressure, feeding 30+ guests in one sitting and it took a while for the food to start coming out. When it did arrive, it came in generous portions. Very generous. It’s not often at a degustation that you are starting to fill up by the second course. It was all good but there were a few high notes and one slightly flat. The White Asparagus & Roasted Nuts w Quinoa and Quail Eggs was tasty but the elements remained separate, rather than combining to deliver a flavour packed combination. Highlights were the Yellowfin Tuna Marinated in Thai Pesto w Mooloolaba Prawns and the Cured Cape Grim Beef Carpaccio w Morels. The Mooloolaba Prawns were huge and the Thai Pesto and Bonito Vinaigrette gave a delicious zing to the thick slices of raw Tuna. The tender Carpaccio was also coated in a zesty dressing (although probably a bit overwhelming for the Morels).
The stand out dish for me was the Crispy Skin Gooralie Pork Belly. The Pork Belly was as it should be (meltingly tender with crisp skin) but the accompaniments of Roasted Apple and Celeriac Puree, Green Papaya Crab Salad, Nuoc Cham with Endamame Beans and Salmon Roe cut through the richness of the pork and elevated the dish.
The night was a long one and with the delay in the first dishes, it was well after 10.30pm on a school night before we left. There are some things to work on – many have commented on the austere overhead lighting which was dimmed on the evening I visited but still had a spot light quality over certain seats. The situation with the toilets leaves a lot to be desired. Medusa is a large restaurant (probably taking up two shop fronts) yet it doesn’t have it’s own bathrooms. In a move that is becoming more common, the toilets are outside the restaurant, shared with other tenants. Though you require a key, it’s not really good enough for fine dining a restaurant to go traipsing through the car park, particularly when the toilets are messy and untidy. Bardon is not my stamping ground but Medusa Dining is in general, worth a visit. The service is professional and friendly and there is certainly value for money in the Degustation Menu in quality and freshness of ingredients and size of portion. The dishes looked great with lots of pretty touches and I certainly appreciated the effort that Chef Minh Le put into the evening and for taking a punt on inviting a bunch of picky food bloggers to launch Medusa’s Spring menu.
(Oh my goodness – I’ve had a look at the photos and they’re not very good are they? Believe me, it looked fab on the plate)
Medusa Spring 2011 Degustation
- White Asparagus with Roasted Nuts, Quinoa & Quail Eggs
- Hervey Bay Scallops with Veal Sweetbreads, Cauliflower Puree, Chantarelle Mushrooms & Truffle Jus
- Yellowfin Tuna Marinated in Thai Pesto w Mooloolaba Prawns, Nasturtium Leaf, Asparagus, Buckwheat Crumble, Quinoa, Endamame Beans & Bonito Vinaigrette
- Cured Cape Grim Beef Carpaccio w Morels, Baby Split Peas, Quail Egg & Pommes Souffle
- Crispy Skin Gooralie Pork Belly w Chilli Honey Glaze, Roasted Apple & Celeriac Puree, Sous Vide Abalone, Green Papaya Crab Salad, Nuoc Cham, Endamame Beans & Salmon Roe
- Buche d’Affinois with Lavosh, Quince Paste, Muscatels, Apples & Beetroot Puree
- Raspberries with Violet Curd, Raspberry Sorbet, Brandy Snaps & Violet Crystals
1/62 Macgregor Terrace
Bardon Qld 4065
Visited: Tuesday 31 August 2011, Dinner Service