It was only appropriate that our visit to Gaddi’s began with its slow private lift.
The ascent to the first floor, where the 55-year old French restaurant is, took a crawling 30 seconds – an apt reminder that haste doesn’t fit in here. Guests should take the time to carefully savour everything, relaxed and unhurried.
The lift doors opened to a classical dining area dominated by huge chandeliers, sapphire carpet, panelled wall and elaborate furniture. There was a piano area to the left where live singing is performed at dinner. To the right were a few tables where guests can have a cocktail before the meal. But we chose to go, in the words of the waiter, “straight to the lunch”.
Each of us ordered a three-course lunch. We also shared, at the chef’s recommendation, a pastry with foie gras and black truffle fillings, featured in the seasonal Tasmanian truffle menu.
A waiter arrived with six kinds of bread on a large silver plate. I chose the raisin wedge and croissant. Both were warm and very good. The wedge had a delicate, biscuit-like crust, like that of a scone. The miniature croissant was butterly and filled with bacon. A fruity paste in the fillings balanced the flavour, so that it didn’t become too heavy.
Next came the soup, an ox-tail consomme. It didn’t taste like “meat bone tea”, as the waiter had described, but was indeed flavoursome. The aroma of beef slowly filled the mouth after the first sip. But the soup was outweighed by the side dish – two juicy morsels of deep-fried beef cheek, which was very memorable.
The black truffle pastry arrived already divided into three portions. It was my first experience with truffle. The taste was rather bland, but the fragrance was heavenly. The foie gras was good of course – you can’t go wrong with foie gras. We also requested extra bread to mop up the port and truffle sauce.
Having had red meat for starter I chose Atlantic black cod for my main course, served on a bed of bean mash, asparagus and spinach, and topped with a horseradish puree. The fish was melt-in-the-mouth smooth. The green foam was interesting. The asparagus was well-saturated with the creamy foam and strangely had a faint taste of egg roll. However it was difficult to cut the asparagus with the fish knife. Several times I pushed too hard and ended up banging the knife on the plate.
Dessert was a bit disappointing. The chocolate cannelloni filled with rapsberry mousse, though a novel combination, tasted nothing special. But the dark chocolate sorbet was excellent. The intense chocolate flavour lingered long after the sorbet had melted. Finally a silky cafe mocha and petit fours completed the experience.
Service, as one would expect in a restaurant like this, was impeccable. The waiters were nice, and they did an excellent job anticipating our needs. During main course I took a bit of dad’s prime rib, and a waiter immediately gave me a steak knife. Also I like the way they serve the main course. They have a rule of removing the lids of all main courses at the same time, then backing away gracefully. Their movement seems choreographed.
The price… well let’s just say the price reflects the quality of the food and service. But it’s still affordable. Try there at least once. Definitely recommended for special occasions.