The Edge Fruit and Vege Cafe, Edge Hill *CLOSED DOWN*
Saturday night and looking for somewhere nice to eat out I thought I would try The Edge Fruit and Vege Cafe in Edge Hill, which started doing dinners Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights only a few weeks ago. My sister works in Edge Hill and said they had passed some sample menu’s out to the nearby shops to drum up some support and she reckoned the menu looked pretty good. The Edge Fruit and Vege Cafe isn’t exactly known for doing dinners however not long ago this cafe was hosting sushi nights a few nights a week with ex Head Chef from Yama Sammy Kawano. Don’t know what happened to that…
The sign inside claims the restaurant to have ‘Rustic World Food in the Heart of Edge Hill’. Sounds good to me. So we arrived and I informed them that I had made a reservation. The girl claimed that I had said it didn’t matter if we sat inside or outside and asked if it was ok if we were seated inside as there was no room outside. I had actually asked for a table outside but never mind, inside it was. We took our seats and waited and waited and waited for someone to come to our table and even just offer us drinks. Granted it was a bit busy but the waiters and waitresses seemed to just not notice us sitting right in front of them. It took over 20 minutes before someone came along and poured us some water, took our drink orders and gave us a menu each to peruse. There are quite a lot of specials mention on the menu but the waitress didn’t tell us the specials. We did however ask someone what the specials were and we were met with a “Oh, hasn’t the waitress told you the specials yet?” No she hadn’t. So he said he would sent her over. The waitress came over and told us the specials but I got the feeling that she had no idea what she was talking about or even what half the food on the menu was. We ordered some artisan bread to start with as suggested by the waitress. The bread platter came out with 3 types of rye bread on a bread board: rye bread with walnuts, rye bread with caraways seeds and a rye bread roll with some little packets of butter on the side. The bread was cold and hard and there was nothing special about it at all.
Next up we ordered two entrees to share between the five of us (we had eaten to much bread by that stage). Despite the waiting around to be served earlier the entrees did actually come out in a timely manner. The first entree was Herb Braised Field Mushroom with Cacciatore Sausage and Goats Cheese on Wilted Rocket with Green Olive Puree and Red Wine Caramel (entree AU$3.90, main AU$28). This dish was absolutely fantastic and it was certainly enjoyed by everyone at the table except for my sister since she claimed that the sausage was too spicy for her. The portion size was great and the flavours really were wonderful, particularly the green olive puree. I would come back to The Edge Fruit and Vege Cafe just for a main of that dish, YUM!
Next up our second entree was Lamb Shank Soup with Careme Puff Pastry Closure and Lemon Gremolata (AU$15.90). It was quite a decent serve for an entree and it certainly was rustic. This dish was nice, however the pieces of lamb shank underneath the pastry weren’t very big, I guess it wasn’t chunky enough but one could be mistaken for thinking that its a pie and not a soup because of the presentation. Having said that the Careme Puff Pastry on top was light, flaky and delicious.
Our mains followed soon after finishing our entrees. I ordered the Confit Duck Leg with pommes sarladaise, rocket and pistachios, red wine poached pear and port fig jus (AU$28.90). The duck was cooked just right, crispy skinned on the outside and just pink on the inside, the pear melted in my mouth and the potatoes were lovely and crisp.
Two of the people I was dining with ordered the same dish and when it came out I got a bit of food envy and kind of wished that I had gotten their dish, not to knock mine in any way but it did look and taste delicious! They ordered the Caramelized Ribs – Pork and Beef with Vietnamese Salad and Taro Chips (AU$27.50) and it was a huge serve. The ribs were piled high on the plate and were falling off the bone. They really did melt in your mouth and my two fellow diners couldn’t even finish their meals, even with the other three at the table trying to help! Now I really tried to get a good picture of these ribs before my family hoed into them but alas it didn’t happen so the one below is all you have to work with.
And lastly, the my other two family members had also ordered the same thing on the menu. They ordered the Sicilian Veal Osso Bucco with House Spaetzle and Green Beans in Beetroot Vinegar and pan fried almond flakes (AU$24.50). The veal was very meaty with heaps of succulent marrow (that’s what osso bucco is all about isn’t it, sucking the marrow out) and the beans were crisp and not overcooked.
Not too sure about the House Spaetzle, it kind of just tasted like little chunks of batter with roasted garlic. I looked it up and apparently that is what it is supposed to taste like. Meh.
Ok so the verdict: The meals were reasonably priced with fairly big portions and I do have to say I was pretty impressed by the food. Like I said I would be back just for the mushroom entree. The service did let the whole experience down a bit. When we finally did get our water that is all the water that we got. No jugs, no refills and we even had to refill our own wine a couple of times. The food was great however the service was not. This may be because the restaurant had only been open a couple of weeks and the staff were still learning the ropes and hopefully this will smooth over in the next few weeks because I will be back.