Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sardine Tin Review

After an extremely satisfying day of shopping in the city with T on our ACTUAL 5th anniversary day, we were pretty hungry and decided to have an extremely early dinner... at 5pm :) So after tossing around a few ideas for dinner, we decided to try Sardine Tin in Southbank for the first time. The place is TINY with about 6 tables that seat about 4 people on average and a small bar area which could probably seat another 6-8 people. Some people may find the height of the tables and chairs a little uncomfortable but it adds to the quaintness of the whole place.

Both the menu and the wine list were very small and there was a specials board with about 4 items on it. Sardine Tin is mainly a tapas restaurant with the menu designed to share so as you can guess, we ordered a heap of stuff!! Prices range from about $8 to $15, with the Steak Sandwich and the Ploughman's Lunch being the biggest on the menu. We started with the Pickled Anchovies and Chorizo & Potatos. The anchovies were understandably sour and would probably be better with some bread and the chorizo was tasty with crunchy fried potatoes.

From the specials board we ordered 3 out of the 4 items. The Falafel with eggplant caviar was a little too "green" for me and after having one, didn't venture to have another one. The Tempura Sardines with sweet potato & tartare was unique and resembled a modern day fish and chips (the sweet potatoes were served in tiny deep fried strips)! Lastly, the Pork Belly with apple and leek was a great dish with the flavours all complementing each other perfectly and the pork belly skin crisp to perfection. Needless to say, T ordered another serve of the Tempura Sardines and the Pork Belly.

We then ordered the only two desserts on the menu - I got the Banana and Chocolate while T got the Espresso Creme Brulee. While we were waiting for our desserts to arrive, we noticed another table get oysters deliered to their table. We hailed the waiter to ask about them and it turned out that our first waitress forgot to mention that they had oysters as their specials that night too! T was abit annoyed (cos that's how he is) but I swiftly ordered 2 oysters and that pacified him somewhat. The oysters were served with a very generous dollop of orange sorbet which I thought was a little bit TOO generous and hard to get the whole thing in my mouth. The sorbet did not cut into the taste of the oyster as much as I wanted it so I guess I could've done without them after all!

Our desserts arrived and my Banana and Chocolate dessert turned out to be little cake dumplings filled with melted chocolate and banana and covered with cinnamon dust. I found the dumplings a little too doughy and would have liked more chocolate and banana in them. However, T's Espresso Creme Brulee was served in a little espresso cup and was creamy and had just the right amount of espresso flavour in it. I also ordered a hot chocolate which was absolutely decadent, one of the best I've had in a while. It was rich and chocolatey, just the way I like it! Definitely getting one of those when I go back there!

All our food came out VERY quickly, which T very much appreciated. The service was good - we had one who was always cheerful - although with 3 waiters in such a small place, I thought it would be a lot less flurried. All in all, the Sardine Tin is a great little place to grab a quick meal and coffee/hot chocolate or have a small intimate gathering with plenty of delicious tapas to share around.

Oh, and our bill came in the cutest little... you guessed it, sardine tin!! Love it :)

Rating: 7/10

Sardine Tin
Shop 3a, Arbour on Grey Street

Phone: 07 3846 1146

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