with Dr. Mycroft
What attracted me to this place was the lure of their hand chopped wagyu burger in truffle oil, and pan fried foie gras. I read about it,and the allure of the wagyu...hand chopped instead of ground, truffle oil, and pan fried foie gras drew me like a moth to a flame. I had to go try this place out. And indeed I did, with my good friend and makan/watch/photo/hobby kaki Dr. Mycroft. We drifted into the restaurant after parking his slick, heavily modified Golf GTi at the free parking within the premises.
Some bloggers have discussed the merits of using premium beef like wagyu in a burger. Mycroft feels its a waste of good wagyu, so he had the pasta.
Tucked in an unlikely place, within a community center with a swanky name - Stardust, perched just off River Valley Road, the eatery looks like a modern, clean joint, like one is apt to find in Sydney.
Service was swift. The moment we sat down, we were presented the menu, and shown the blackboard which offered the day's specials. And soon we were offered a bowl of olive oil with vinegar and a plate of warm, toasted, crispy bread.
My burger arrived...it looked kind of small. The patty was perhaps 2.5 inches in diameter, but about 2 inches thick. Served on a toasted split bun, it came with very crispy fries, and a serving of salad.
Perched on top of the hand chopped wagyu is a small sliver of foie gras. Pan fried to near perfection, this piece of fatty liver was gorgeous tasting. I think it must have been duck foie gras instead of the more expensive goose liver. But it tasted so heavenly, though it will surely up my purine intake...Still, wished it was a larger portion. (There is an upcharge of $8 to add the foie gras)
The truffle oil was difficult to discern. The burger patty was very tender...but then, as Mycroft argued, even if the beef was regular Angus, chopped or worse in other cases ground, it would be difficult to discern the superior wagyu texture and flavour. Indeed it was. But the patty was very nicely done. I requested for medium doneness, and it was perfectly so...slightly pink inside, no blood. It complimented with the fresh mushrooms very well. I also liked the bun.
They were quite generous with mushrooms heaped on the patty/foie gras, and being fresh, the fragrance and flavour of the mushroom was intense.
The french fries were also very good...crispy on the outside, and almost creamy on the inside.
Mycroft had the Linguine of Organic Mushrooms in Cream Sauce with Sliced Parma Ham.
He proclaimed the sauce a little too dilute, and the pasta a little too cooked to be al dente. But he liked his carbonara sauce with egg yolk and super thick, like those you get in Cafe Cartel, just as he liked his butter...the option he chose on his bread instead of the vinegar/olive oil.
Dessert was interesting.
I had the Molten 100% Valrhona Chocolate Cake, Raspberry Coulis, Vanilla Ice Cream.
The chocholate crust was softer than I had expected from the ones you get in Bakerzin. Cutting it open, the molten Valrhona chocholate oozes out sexily...enticing. The taste was superb...any dessert with Valrhona choc is going to be divine. It complimented nicely with vanilla ice cream.
Mycroft had the Sticky Date Pudding with Vannila Ice Cream.
Black date pudding was served with a generous helping of dried fig. I had a taste of the pudding...super sweet, but very tasty. Again nice compliment to the Vanilla Ice Cream.
Overall the service, ambience was very good. The quality of the food was excellent as well, as was the cooking. But the prices were a little steep. If the burger was $20 instead of $36 ($28 for the wagyu burger and $8 for addition of foie gras), I might be tempted to eat here more often.
277 River Valley Road,
Stardus Clubhouse (enter via Institution Hill)
Photo note: This was shot with a borrowed Panasonic DMC-FX55. Shot with medium resolution (I didn't think to change it. The max from the camera is 8MP, but I think this was shot in JPG at 4MP) Some sharpening, and resizing. I intentionally left it at 800 pixel width, to show the difference in the pictures and those I usually take.
I think the image is less 3D, and the range of colours is reduced. Also, small details, especially in shadow areas are also less visible on the Panasonic. Of course, it is unfair to compare a point and shoot to a professional camera with a professional lens.