We got together with friends to dine in style at the Royal Pine Resort at the Gold Coast. The Videre Restaurant takes dining to a new level. Located on the 21st floor of the Royal Pines Resort, the restaurant offers a European inspired menu of innovative creations and mouth-watering flavours.
Videre Restaurant came alive with mingling, chatting food enthusiasts, sipping a glass or two of Veuve d’Argent, blanc de blanc, a very drinkable French sparkling wine.
Most of us arrived just in time to enjoy the spectacular views before nightfall through the panoramic floor to ceiling windows. A breathtaking uninterrupted view from the Tamborine Mountains to the left, to the Gold Coast and all the way to Burleigh and Coolangatta, on the right.
Glenn Bacon, Executive chef and his crew were busy assembling the pre-dinner “nibbles” to complement the Veuve d’Argent blanc.
Glenn has been an Executive Chef for 30 plus years and has received many Honours and Industry Awards. He has worked throughout Australia, The United Kingdom, Malaysia and Indonesia. Glenn and his team at the Royal Pines Resort take great pride in delivering exceptional food, guaranteeing outstanding quality and hence a real food experience for the diners. Glenn’s vast experience was apparent when I infringed into his “inner sanctum”, the Videre Kitchen. No flying pots and pans, no boiling tempers, no Gordon Ramsey style hype; just a relaxed, organised, calm and unruffled operation. I had savoured some of Glen’s creations before they went out to delight the other guests.
I was especially intrigued by his velvety sheep milk yoghurt-bubble with avruga roe. A spoonful of the liquid yoghurt with avruga roe was submerged into a “bath”, where it jellified. The delicate bubble was carefully placed on a serving spoon and served immediately. Once you let the bubble slide into your mouth, its delicate flavour exploded.There were plenty of very scrumptious morsels to go around.We enjoyed chilled prawn tails, with a hint of chilly spiced mango; so simple, but oh, so good, a perfect match of fresh seafood and sweet and spicy flavours.
The guests were spoiled with Manchego cheese and corn croquettes. Manchego cheese is a Spanish sheep’s milk cheese with a piquant but distinctive flavour. The golden fried croquettes were snapped up in no time. Thinly sliced Jamón ibérico, wrapped around pieces of sugar cane were an “amuse bouche” of the entertaining kind. “Do we bite, peel, slide, unwrap or suck it”?
However, I am passionate about Jamón ibérico and its unique, rich taste. This world-renowned Spanish cured ham is protected for its origin, like Champagne. There are stringent standards and rules imposed for farming Iberico pigs. There is so much more to Jamón ibérico,(Belotta) that I may write about this in the near future. The Jamón ibérico’s unique taste comes from the aroma of sweet acorns that the pigs eat.It was time for the sit-down dinner. So far, Glenn Bacon, take a bow, 10 out of 10 for excellent taste, innovative and fantastic presentation – and he had so much more up his sleeve to surprise us.
Once settled at the tables, we were served a tasty Fennel pollen focaccia with peanut butter crumble, topped with dried olive butter. An innovative and elegant alternative to the commonly served bread roles. We were still sipping the delightful French Bubbly, when our glasses were swiftly changed and filled with a Ravens Croft Verdelho from Stanthorpe. This wine was to accompany the next course of spanner crab elixir – I would have called it the elixir of love – topped with a warm fennel gelee and sea parsley. The next course was sweet grilled eel on creamy rich textured white eggplant velvet. The velvet was topped with a delicious toasted sesame oil and organic soy. This dish was served in a spectacular dry ice display. As we watched the “show”, the sommelier and staff, quietly conducted the next change of wine glasses to match the 2008 Masi Levarie Soave from Italy with the eel dish.
There was another exciting course to follow. The delicate Chicken wing, foie gras and beluga lentil compression was served with a black pudding fritter, garnished with a garlic emulsion, slices of peach and a separate serving of spiced brioche. A delightful dish, I liked the mix of textures, the subtle taste and the creamy, melt-in-your-mouth foie gras. (see Glenn Bacon’s recipe). I will share it with you. The wine to match this dish, was a Lethbridge Pinot Gris, from Geelong Victoria.
A brilliantly presented course of Tanjima eight score Wagyu Sirloin, rubbed in miso with anise braised short rib, an oyster pie, decorated with watercress, was served with light pickled heritage vegetables. Glenn did not only excel with innovation, but he chose to serve the best of the best produce such as this tender, cooked to perfection Wagyu Beef. The Australian Wagyu Association defines Fullblood Wagyu as “The offspring of a Wagyu Sire and a Wagyu Dam whose forebears originate from Japan ….”. (extract from vicsmeat.com.au) The wine to match, – a Penfolds Bin 138 GS<, Barossa Valley, S.A.
There was a definite Ahhh-moment, when the staff walked in with the Royal Pines Martini Sherbet in a candle-lit ice dome. How absolutely striking! The pictures speak for themselves.
That brought another pleasant evening of good food, fine wine and enjoyable company to a successful conclusion.