By Franz Scheurer
I have learnt to read menus. I invariably and instinctively make the ‘right’ choice. I take one look at a menu and I know if I want to eat there or not. If I have no choice then I know in advance if I am going to have a good meal or if I will have to sit through an ordeal. When I read the menu at Pink Peppercorn, all I wanted to do was leave…
The reason I didn’t was that the welcome had been far too friendly and genuine for me to be so rude, and my companion made it clear leaving was not appropriate. It took considerable effort to narrow down our choices and the uninspired wine list certainly didn’t help. Spotting our indecision the friendly waiter asked us if we needed help and seconds later, our order was in.
Against our better judgement we ordered the ‘Salmon Soufflé’ a Laotian style steamed soufflé with dill & kaffir lime leaf on baby spinach. The dish arrived, beautifully presented on a square, jade-coloured plate, fragrant and bloody delicious. Pieces of perfectly steamed salmon in a spicy sauce, thickened with ground sticky rice and wonderfully contrasted by the moist, hot spinach and the raw leaf-basket surrounding the dish. We did try and find out from the Laotian chef why he called this dish a soufflé and his explanation was that this was the closest translation he could find. A dish of ‘Spiced Chicken’ turned out to be spicy tenderloin fillets, barbecued and topped with a yoghurt and garlic dressing, again fabulous presentation and simply terrific. The ‘Chicken Green Curry’ was fragrant, quite mild with a latent kick of spice, served with green beans and tender bamboo shoots. The accompanying steamed rice was mixed with a small quantity of wild rice and presented in a perfect cylindrical shape. A ‘Mixed Salad of Wild Baby Leaves & Orange Segments’ with lime and chilli dressing, although quite sweet, worked very well with the curry. A ‘Coconut Bavarois’ with fresh mango slices proved that the quality of the food and presentation worked from beginning to end.
The restaurant consists of a long, narrow room, with an open kitchen behind a ‘milk-bar style’ counter and impossibly high ceilings. The beautifully polished dark wood floor contrasts well with the pink and cream of the walls and the chocolate coloured chairs and tables.
Service is friendly, caring and efficient and all in all we had a great meal in an enjoyable atmosphere and this proves that I can be wrong…
For more information:
122 Oxford Street
Tel.: 02 9360 9922