I'd seen him briefly for half an hour that morning when he'd returned home and before I had to leave for work. Lucky for me, when I returned from work, I didn't have to think about dinner as Steve had made reservations at Seamstress.
I've been wanting to go there for a while to see how it differs from the other Asian restaurants around. We didn't have time to go to the top floor bar but enjoyed our table in the restaurant.
Service was a little flustered initially and we had to wait for menus and drinks for a while but it improved as the meal progressed.
We enjoyed being able to choose what we wanted to eat and left the serving sizes to our waiter to decide and I'm pretty pleased that he got it just right!
Next was BBQ unagi, pickled bean shoots, soft bolied quail egg. This was more flavoursome than the scallops and I enjoyed the salty fish and tart bean shoots which was softened by the creamy egg. I found the texture of the unagi a little dry and it kind of turned into mush in the mouth.
Juniper crusted venison carpaccio, beetroot & horseradish puree, shallots, buckwheat noodles and a cassis vinaigrette was served at the same time as the crab. This was a dish where all the elements had to be eaten at the same time for maximum enjoyment. The noodles themselves were bland but when coupled with the sweet puree and tasty venison it was yummy.
Both dishes were done well and funnily enough I favoured the duck and Steve preferred the pork but we enjoyed both. I liked the fact the duck was juicy and I enjoyed the zesty lemon hit which was a little bit of a twist as duck is more commonly paired with plum or orange.
The pork was soft with a slight crackle to the skin. I found the sauce a little bit heavy on the soy but the drunken potatoes were delicious. They reminded me of the potatoes my gran used to make with a red braised pork dish where she'd deep fry the potatoes first before braising them for a long time in a salty soy casserole type dish with pork and hard boiled eggs. I guess this is the moden Australian twist on that Shanghai family kitchen classic.
On the whole we enjoyed Seamstress. We had a great corner table and it was a comfortable dining area to sit in. It's a small and narrow room but we didn't feel too squished or too close to other tables. Whilst the food is not the most adventurous and is more reserved and restrained compared to the in your face and robust flavours of Chin Chin, Red Spice Road et al it's still decent food and it's a little bit more chilled out and relaxed compare to their buzzy atmosphere so there's a time and place for something less fraught and frantic.