Tuesday, August 9, 2011

NEW on Loop Street: Valora Restaurant

Last night I had dinner at the brand new Valora Restaurant in Loop Street.

The ambience was relaxing and at the same time plush and luxurious. The service was good; the food was excellent and good value for money. I had unfortunately forgotten my camera at home and so, please excuse the slightly dodgy cell-phone quality images, but it was all I had.

The owner, Michael is of Lebanese decent and very passionate about his food and his coffee (which is LaVazza btw). The menu offers a range of Mediterranean, Greek, Italian and Lebanese inspired dishes, including a range of mezze dishes.

I had the escargot to start, which was presented with a decedent thick, oozy garlic cheesy sauce and homemade brioche.

My partner had the calamari – lightly battered Patagonia rings deep-fried with lemon butter sauce.

For mains I had the wild mushroom pasta. I had been dying to try this dish when I first glanced at the menu a week before. Firstly, I love mushrooms and secondly, I love it when restaurants make all their own fresh pasta. So I had mine with fettucini – you have four choices, including penne, tagiatelli and spaghetti. The dish is prepared with lightly sautéed wild mushrooms drizzled with chunky basil pesto and moon-dried tomatoes (dried in the dark) with a hint of cream and oven roasted ginger and garlic. It is super rich though, so I couldn’t finish the meal.

My partner had the signature Tomahawk steak: a 350g rib eye cut on the bone, marinated with olive oil, rosemary, fresh garlic, black pepper, cracked salt and a hint of chilli, served with homemade chutney.

While the chutney was tasty it was quite overpowering, and so I only recommend a small dab on the meat, but in fact the meat is perfectly delicious on it’s own.

For dessert we had the trio of cheesecakes and the chocolate tart.

The chocolate tart is dense clearly made with good quality dark chocolate, which I like because it’s not overpoweringly sweet. It is served with vanilla gelato and a strawberry crème fraiche cornel.

The three mini fridge cheese cakes were also quite dense, and the waitress let me in on the cheese they use: Mascarpone. The flavours were: plain; peppermint; and banana and apricot glaze.

The wine they serve by the glass is from Brampton. The white selection: sauvignon blanc or a wooded chardonnay. I had the chardonnay. My partner had the red, which was a cabernet Sauvignon.

So as you can imagine, we were stuffed… and rolled home happily :-)

The cappuccinos were delicious!

I definitely want to go back for breakfast – I believe the poached eggs are to die for!!

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