When I say the old gang ... that also included SM and LM ... so watch out waiters!!! We are a hard table to manage as we're a combination of in-jokes, sly looks and knowing smiles ... oh and explosive laughter when you leave the table ... and be prepared for the strident chorus of "Apparently" should your hospitality skills come slightly asunder on a busy Friday night service.
Anyhoo ... we had all read the review and were prepared for 2 of our communal bugbears at restaurants the state over - lack of bread and water!!!
With our worst fears confirmed, we settled down to the business of catching up and trying to decide what to order. Service was lacklustre and certainly not appropriately efficient for the prices that were being asked. The gloss and shine of the decor obviously did not transfer across to the staff. They did offer a form of degustation where we could order a number of entrees, pastas and mains to share ... which makes great sense with larger groups like ours and its also a fantastic way for punters to sample the wares of a fairly substantial menu (they had 12 specials on top of the printed a la carte menu).
But we decide to go for an anti-pasto and bread and we each picked out own mains.
I must say the food was good ... but it was a little too reminiscent of 80s nouvelle cuisine ... i.e. huge big plates with very small portions ... and no sides included in the price. So for example ... a piece of steak would just be that ... a piece of meat on a white plate .... chips/salad/veg have to be ordered separately.
Me and M shared a wild mushroom risotto (slightly salty but a good effort nonetheless) and this ravioli styled pasta filled with prawn/scallop/crab ... 5 pieces altogether and heaven to bite into.
For sweets me and SM shared a belgian chocolate fudge slice with a heavy chocolate sauce which rounded off the proceedings superbly!!
Also tried some of M's duck and a bit of L's pumpkin pasta.
I wouldn't be rushing out there again in a hurry ... but with a fantastic St Hubert's red and an italian Pinot griogio and unsurpassable company ... it was more than a pleasant way to spend an icy Friday night.
The Age review here: http://www.theage.com.au/news/restaurant-reviews/kin/2007/07/16/1184559688787.html
PS - I must try and remember to sneak pics of the food at the next dinner out - we plan to make this a monthly thing. Nest up is Mamma ganoush in June. Better head there before it gets a hat - rumour has it that this is more than a given
PPS - rediscovering the White Rabbits "Fortnightly" cd
Addendum - this restaurant is no more!!!