Saturday, 5 January 2013

Blu Grill

Blu Grill on Urbanspoon

We drove through the dark, following a distant blue light shining guiding the way to
This was in fact a very unassuming restaurant in the middle of a quiet suburban area that I would never have thought of visiting.

I was excited to finally try out Blu Grill, who made its debut just one short year ago.

Blu Grill
Follow the blue light for answers (when hunger is the question!)
The opening scene of 'Fine Dining at Blu Grill'
We were promptly seated, with these items already at the table.
Instead of regular salt & pepper shakers, Blu Grill leaves dishes of coarsely cracked pepper and salt on every table.

It sure adds elegance, but is a little impractical to use.
Cajun Spiced Popcorn
First to the table before anything gets discussed is the all important bowl of complimentary popcorn, keeping diners entertained and understandably quiet until the bowl is empty :)
Chicken Livers - $12
Exclusive to Blu Grill is this unique entree, involving less seen and less eaten parts inside a chicken.

This was a hefty serve of large chicken liver chunks dusted with smoked paprika, flash fried with onions and served in a wickedly good lime and peri peri cream sauce.

Chicken livers tasted not as I had expected - soft and with a pâté-like texture that you can lightly chew. It has a strong taste that I wasn't used to, even though I have been eating offal my entire life, but is masked by that flavoursome sauce.
The upside down UFO dish
The serving is just like the bowl it is served in - deceptively small in presentation and seemingly small for my greedy thoughts. The dish is deep and holds a surprisingly large amount of that good saucy stuff - no, amazing saucy stuff to drench the bread roll in.
Pork Rib Eye
We wouldn't usually order a dish that even remotely resembles that of a pork chop, but this was a worthy order that could cancel that ridiculous rule.

Unfortunately I can't for the life of me remember the many components of this meal, as the frequency of menu changes at Blu is ridiculously fast and innovative. I would love to cut open a chef's brain and see what goes on inside it (in the least freakiest sounding way as possible) because I have full admiration of what they are capable of producing.
Pork Rib Eye (another angle)
The pork, I remember to be wonderfully cooked and oozed out cheesy stuffing from within. It was cooked with a lightly crumbed coating, and served with sauteed bok choy and a side of creamy rice. Would love to see this on the menu again.
Blu Ocean - $32
The Blu Ocean dish is appropriately named, and really does give you a good overall sample of the the ocean's offerings in the one plate.

The fish component varies from fresh snapper, salmon and barramundi, with other seafood being springy calamari tubes, king prawns and half shell mussels all sauteed in a white wine and vanilla sauce. The dish is also accompanied by saffron rice and a side of a refreshing tomato and coriander salsa.
Blu Ocean (close up)
Each component was cooked wonderfully well, with no dry fish, rubbery squids or overcooked prawns in sight or taste. Admittedly I hadn't expected as much sauce that was given, which made the dish a bit too rich and creamy as you work through the meal.

I feel the original humble tastes of the seafood would shine through more, had they been drizzled with sauce rather than swimming in this sauce ocean. Personally, the individual flavours became an amalgamation into one, with each mouthful melding all tastes into the same flavour.

For me, sauce is good, but not when it masks the freshness of the seafood. But to each their own, because I can feel disapproving judgment of all the sauce-fiends out there.
Mixed Berry Creme Brulee - $12
Not quite full but not quite hungry at this point, or just because dessert is a necessity - we finished off with Blu's mixed berry creme brulee.

It wasn't an overwhelmingly sweet dessert, thanks to the mix of acidic berries baked into the brulee. I'd probably prefer my creme brulees berry-less however, as personally I am not a fan of this particular combination of ingredients.
You had me at creme so-damn-good brulee
It was a smallish serve, but I loved the golden and slightly burnt toffee layer that promised ripples of smoothness underneath. It was a nice silky consistency throughout that made us lick out the bowl with our spoons.
The start of a beautiful day :)
I wondered if staff thought we were a little over enthusiastic by coming back for breakfast the day after. Because I thought we were :P

We came towards the end of breakfast time and things looked a little cluttered, with uncleared tables indoors and out. The napkin and salt/pepper dish at our table never ended up being changed by a waiter, which was the only minor hiccup.

I did think the table set up with formal napkins and all provided a nice contrast to the casual but beautiful natural surrounds though!
Build Your Own Omelette
I was pleased to spot on their menu more than the typical standard fare of most breakfast menus. As we are huge lovers of eggs and believe there is nothing better than your humble egg, Blu's omelette dish was a no brainer this morning (and always).
How do you like your eggs?
Presented before us was a large golden folded pillow of fried eggs, scattered with the items that we had chosen - sliced mushrooms and ham. Blu gives you the option to choose from ingredients including cheese, tomato, and other breakfast items.

Unfortunately it was a tad dry from being a second too overcooked for my liking. I would probably try another dish, but to my horror it seems that Blu Grill no longer opens for breakfast!
Such a shame.
Chilli Breakfast Stir-fry
Something caught my eye on the menu.

And when it arrived at the table, I'm glad it did.

This breakfast fry up was just like a Chinese combination stir fry, but loaded with potatoes, mushroom, bacon, wilted spinach and feta cheese. Sauteed the contents with chilli gave it a slight heat, but I think the chef could be a lot braver with the chilli addition.

I think I'm very partial to having many items on the plate at once, because I like to think (and eat) big. All the different breakfast items came, chopped, sliced and cooked altogether into a Mt Breakfast monument.

And I began to make my way down the mountain, deconstructing it, one piece at a time. It was an exhilarating climb, and left me with feelings of great achievement of getting through it :D

The large, sleek fishbowl kitchen is encased by glass, fully revealing all the magic that happens inside.

Diners can glimpse or stare their hearts out at this Chefs Reality Kitchen scene inside the restaurant, or they could watch classic old school channels playing on the televisions that overhang the dining room (that you can see in the glass' reflection above).
The stimulating sight for restaurant-sofa seat hoggers
The Blu Grill interior sports a very comfortable fit out, giving out a vibe of casual but classy at the same time. The tables are intimately close, which means accidental eavesdropping will be hanging around for the evening.

I would say I could have learnt a great deal about the people adjacent to us by the end of the night! However, it did save the friendly waitress from repeating the specials of the night over and over again for each table, as it was much too convenient for me to overhear her words from my own table.

Just turn the lights down, and you have fine dining right here!
A happy sight
The drinks menu is extensive, with an eye-catching wine selection display running along the kitchen border to match.

The casual setting in the alfresco area is a perfect backdrop to the natural surrounds that the restaurant is located in, and the cool breeze that dances through is a most welcome visitor on a laid-back weekend morning.

Blu Grill has very convenient plastic screens that simply roll up and down come opening and closing time. The large open style carries on throughout the restaurant, and allows diners to breathe in the fresh, unpolluted air of a quiet and peaceful suburban environment.
Just relaaaaax
There's a lot to be excited about, and the food is certainly a true and deserving hero of the restaurant. It is so innovative and everchanging that I see new additions on every occasion that I check their menu (no bull!), which is compiled with African, French, Mauritian and Thai influences.

It is a young restaurant, but already being a Gold Plate award finalist for 2012, Blu Grill certainly has the potential to bloom and prosper extremely fast.

Servings are generous with the prices, and this generosity is a recurring theme here, as I had the pleasure of dining here with vouchers that entitled me to a free dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was a gorgeous way of celebrating their 1st birthday.

I'll be back. Even without those vouchers. But I'll miss them dearly.

(08) 9242 8222
Friday - Sunday: 12pm to 2.30pm
Dinner Everyday: 5pm to late


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