My friends and I went to Byron Bay for a lovely, relaxing long weekend. We stayed centrally and everything was within walking distance, the shopping was great, the weather, beautiful and the beach…absolutely lovely. I woke up one morning at 5, and went down there and just sat there, taking in the breezes.
I was excited to try Dish, situated near the Main Streets of Byron Bay and was in a beautiful building/house. It was light and airy with an open kitchen and it had a few different dining areas, a bar (Marvell Bar), the main restaurant area and a little alcove painted terracotta. I loved the space, and it was breezy with open doors letting in the fresh air, my friends and I even commented on how it would be a lovely (small) wedding reception menu.
I guess I shouldn’t say that the service was that BAD…it was just this ONE waitress, haughty and uptight, she never once cracked a smile, and was never warm. I have to say though, one of the lovely things, was that our water glasses was never left empty long.
The food started off beautifully with a free amouse bouche of a lightly crumbed and fried polenta ball sitting on top of a dollop of aioli and topped with crisp pancetta and micro herbs. Yummy…it was rich and creamy and I could have kept on eating it.
Next came the housebaked bread which came warm with smooth butter and my scallops. The scallops was served with a cumin and carrot puree, pickled carrots, I also saw tiny crotons in it too. The scallops was small, seared lightly and raw in the middle. That’s exactly how I like it usually, but for some reason, the outside of the scallops were hard and slightly bitter. The purree was totally overpowering with cumin and the pickled carrots, too sour. The dish, was by all means, not offensive…but the balace just wasn’t there. The delicate and sweetness of scallops were completely lost.
Next came our mains, Gnocchi with heirloom tomatoes, spiced pumpkin and truffled parmassen. It came beautifully plated…I have to say, every single one of their dishes was plated like an artwork. Each of the tomatoes and gnocchi were placed just so…the gnocchi was pan fried and I liked the slightly crisp outsides, but after eating about 3 or 4, it started to feel a bit stodgy. Overall though, I really enjoyed the subtle truffle with the cheese eaten with the gnocchi. I thought the tomatoes were a bit sour, but my friend who also ordered the dish thought the tomatoes were the stars on the plate. My other friend ordered a duck dish which came rolled in some sort of leaves and looked like sushi. I thought the duck was cooked beautifully tender and pink, but I thought the celeriac puree was way too overpowering. I usually like celeriac but hate celery and all I could taste was celery for some reason. We also got a side of truffled mash, which was again, subtle in truffle but not in salt.
After our meals, we were way too full for dessert and this is when the haughty waitress, I felt, gave us attitude. I’m sorry that we had to check the prices of the receipt to see how much each of us had to pay, but really, there was absolutely NO need to stand that and say, “Are you done?” with such an attitude. What could have been otherwise a satisfactory dinner just left me with a sour taste in my mouth. We were waved off by another friendly waiter, but I don’t think he could undone how she left us feeling.