Food adventure @ The Sharing House
For what has been months now, Meow Meow and I have frequently spoken of visiting the much-favourably-hyped Sharing House. With the return of Laiwah and a dinner planned for three, a booking at T.S.H (finally!) seemed to put in motion the wheels for a perfect dinner.
Laiwah: “Sharing the house.”
The interior was interesting to say the least and seemed to possess contrasting themes: sleek but casual. Trendy and playful. The colourful lego feature stood out from afar (heck, I had even noticed it when we visited Akachochin, located next door, a few weeks ago) and had we been seated at the bar, I probably wouldn’t have been able to control my urges to play with and rearrange the lego display.
Cranberry juice and pink grapefruit drink.
Complimentary sourdough bread, served with olive oil.
The olive oil was of great quality, and the olive flavour was rich and abundant.
And dinner was served.
Once one dish came out, the rest seemed to follow suit quite quickly. Either that, or Laiwah and I were just taking too long snapping up photos in between the dishes.
Chips - chickpea fries, served with house-made ketchup.
Served in a cone fashioned from newspaper that was fitted into a teeny tiny vase-like container with an accompanying even-tinier bottle of ketchup (phone included for size comparison), the presentation of the chickpea fries had me awwww’ing from first sight. The sweetness of the chickpea paired well with the salty seasoning on the chips and the sour sweetness of the tomato relish, with the latter really bringing out the chickpea flavour.
Surf and turf - rabbit ballotine, with prawns and baby potatoes.
Descriptions and/or explanations on how to eat a particular dish were lacking with some dishes and while the waiter who served this dish to us explained each component, they did not go over how to eat it. We ended up hazarding a guess and piled everything onto the piece of bread. The surf and turf dish was essentially prawn and pâté on toast. Whilst okay at first, I was not a fan of the gamy taste that continued to build after each bite.
Raw meat - classic steak tartare, served with chips.
Unexpectedly, the raw meat dish came out on top as the most enjoyed dish. My palate was quite surprised when the meat did not register as raw-tasting; instead, the soft and tender mince blended in with the soft and smooth interior of the flattened crisp potato. The meat was well-herbed and together with the sweet orange sauce, the flavours disguised any rawness.
With some leftover meat towards the end, I was more than happy to smear the meat onto my pieces of sourdough bread.
Tart - Witlof tarte tatin, with caramelised scallops.
The various shots capture Meow Meow’s destruction-reconstruction work.
The tart sounded great on paper and was even better to look at (such pretty presentation) but was not so great when we actually started eating it. Given the number of elements present in the tart, it was surprising that there were only two flavours that we could detect: overwhelming sweetness from the pastry and extreme bitterness from the witlof. The scallops tasted quite bland save for the slight bitter witlof flavour that had rubbed off onto the scallop. The only positive aspect of the dish was the perfect flaky texture of the pastry, but this was lost as soon as the flavours registered with my taste buds.
Chook - breast of chicken, white asparagus & green olive couscous.
The chicken was very firm, tender and consistently cooked. The grains in the couscous seemed larger than normal and were somewhat like a smaller version of rice. The strong olive and subtle lemon flavour in the couscous was quite distinct and very enjoyable. Overall, the chicken itself did not leave much of an impression and took away from the couscous flavour, making it dull and bland.
Carrot - heirloom carrots, rosemary and feta.
The carrots were tender and spruced up by the herbaceous rosemary and salty feta. The sweet carrots served as a good side to pair with the chicken.
Feeling impressed with only the chickpea fries, the raw meat, and the cous cous alone, and underwhelmed by everything else, we were hoping that the turning point for our dinner would come with the desserts.
The Ice Cream Man - Ice creams served in mini cornettos. Coco nib, chocolate mint, limoncello, pistachio, vanilla bean & wild strawberry.
The use of the test tube rack in the presentation elicited much amusement from the scientist within. Additionally, the tiny sizes of the cones had me awww’ing yet again. The thin wafer cones were crisp and tasted like a crunchy crepe. The ice creams were very creamy and the flavours of the limoncello and wild strawberry were quite spot on. The small pieces of lemon rind in the limoncello ice cream provided lemon’ness to what would have otherwise tasted like vanilla ice cream. The wild strawberry reminded me of berry frozen yoghurt.
So in the end, I guess the small sizes turned out to be a negative aspect since I wanted more after finishing the 2-3 bites required to polish off each ice cream.
An ice cream toast.
Creme Brulee - bitter orange creme brulee, almond & orange blossom biscuits.
A visibly burnt caramel layer didn’t exactly bode well for what was to come… With various degrees of burning ranging from burnt to overly-burnt, only some fragments could be salvaged. Perhaps that is what they were going for in regards to the ‘bitter’ element of the creme brulee, but the overly-burnt fragments were just too bitter to eat. The flavour of the orange custard layer was very fragrant and very enjoyable BUT (there’s a but!) the texture was practically the opposite of what makes a good creme brulee; it was dense, not smooth and its overall texture reminded us of curdled milk. The equally fragrant and delicate almond & orange blossom biscuits were the one redeeming quality in this dish but since the creme brulee took the centre stage, the dish was a dud.
The lego was brought to us when the bill was presented in a lego box and allowed
us Meow Meow the opportunity to play with the lego pieces.
On a more important note, adding to our disappointment with dinner overall was an incorrect invoice: three additional items which we had not ordered was included in our bill. While it was quickly rectified after alerting one of the waiters to the mistake, the damage was already done and we left the venue feeling a little more unimpressed.
With a few hits and a few more misses, perhaps the best thing to come out of dinner (aside from the enjoyment of the raw meat dish and chickpea fries) is the fact that Meow Meow and I can finally stop going over and over the we-must-visit-TSH-soon conversation.
The Sharing House
35 Dukes Walk,
South Wharf, Victoria, 3006.
(03) 9245 9800