- Smoked duck liver parfait, pickled cucumber & crisp potato
- Fried school prawns, tarragon & juniper
The smoked duck liver parfait is like a canape. The crispy potato works and the pickled cucumber much needed to cut through the intensity of the parfait. The textures are complementary; crispy and creamy but we find the parfait almost cloying. The flavours are so strong and it's so creamy and rich. I can understand concentrating the flavours given it is only a small bite but even so in it's miniature state it's pretty heavy.
- Creamed corn, pickled garlic, creme fraiche & watercress
- Fried chat potatoes, yuzu mayonnaise
The corn is delicious but again it's a delicious dish in isolation but after all the creaminess we've had so far in pretty much every dish it really is too much. As is yuzu mayo with the potatoes. The potatoes themselves are lovely; golden and salted and without the mayo, the simple and clean flavour of potato is a very welcome guest amidst all the richness of the other dishes.
Steve and I agreed that we like the feel of The Town Mouse and there's definitely some creativity in the food. But as a collection of dishes we didn't enjoy them and just found it all too intense and too rich. Maybe we selected the wrong combination of dishes.
The front of house staff are extremely capable and experienced; we enjoyed their hospitality. There was a glass smash by our neighbouring diner and the team came together and unobtrusively and efficiently cleaned up the bar, calmly and politely asked the diner not to pick up the glass, threw out any open dishes and re set the working area as if nothing had happened.
The Town Mouse scores pretty high up on the AFR top restaurants in Australia; higher than many much lauded places. Our humble opinion is that it is original and it's worthy of the hats it has achieved but it's not as great as some of the places it has superseded. We weren't blown away by the food and didn't enjoy it enough to want to return. Also the seats at the bar are just so uncomfortable I can't imagine having to sit there again for a meal. Our neighbour at the bar actually ended up standing at the bar to eat and I was pretty close to that too!