Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Review | Pierre's Platter

On a nice weekend, my sister and my cousin went down to Mornington to visit my grandma who lives down there. My cousin suggested we go to a restaurant in a winery nearby - and my sister and I were so excited when we found out it was a Mauritian restaurant!! My whole family is of Mauritian decent - and my sister, cousin and I are all first generation kids in Australia - so we still relate very much to the culture and food of our parents.

Mauritian food has many influences - Indian, French, African, and Chinese styles of cuisine all feature throughout the native Mauritian menu, making me extra keen to see how this was represented on the menu at Pierre's Platters.

Upon my first glance of the menu, I knew I wanted to taste the Pain frit (fried bread), and after some serious discussion with my sister and cousin, we decided to share the Roasted Rib Eye, Fish Gratin, Chicken Curry and a Vegetarian Platter.

(The platters are great for sharing between a few people, but as a main meal it is recommended to have one platter per person.)

First up, the Pain frit was served, and it looked so delicious. It is served with a traditional Mauritian tomato based sauce (Rougaille) which tasted just as good as it should - exactly like I remember it from family events and street stalls in Mauritius. The fried bread is pure goodness. If you head out to Pierre's Platters, it is a must try!

Pain Frit - $7.00

While we waited for our main meals to be served, we decided to try some of the wines that were on offer from the Stumpy Gully winery - and each selected a wine to have with lunch.

Soon after, the main meals were brought out, looking so good I almost forgot to take photos! The Roasted Rib Eye was very tender, and was served with a little potato gratin, and some aioli. It was a big serve of meat, but we conquered it by dividing it into four! I added some aioli to a mouthful to find the two made a great match! The potato dish was so rich and creamy! This dish was quite filling, so I had to be sure to leave room for everything else as I didn't want to miss out on anything!

Roasted Scotch Rib Eye with Potato Gratin - $30.00

The Fish Gratin was absolutely delicious! I don't think I have tasted a fish gratin before, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. After my first taste, I was surprised to taste the creamy, cheesy sauce that was accompanying the fish, which was so soft and not too overpowering. I also would recommend sharing this dish, because it is also quite rich. The salad which was served with this dish was dressed really nicely too, which is sometimes easily forgotten. Both of these dishes were good examples of the strong French influence on Mauritian cuisine.

Fish Gratin

Next up were some more Indian style dishes - the Vegetarian Platter featured a Potato Curry and Lentils, served with roti bread, dahl pouri bread and some more of that delicious Rougaille sauce. The Potato Curry surprised me as it was actually fairly spicy - but the mix of vegetables in this curry reminded me of my mum's cooking. The lentils were amazing - I think they had been cooked with a special stock, since their flavour was just extra yum! I'm not 100% sure about that fact, but I do know lentils pretty well..

The Mauritian roti bread is quite similar to some of the roti bread available at Indian or sometimes even Thai restaurants, but it is simply more delicious when I know it is to be consumed with a Mauritian meal :) To the right of the roti bread, you will see a thinner bread which is much more yellow in colour - that is the dahl pouri bread. This bread is made from dahl (yellow split peas) which gives it a unique and very delicate texture. Dahl pouri is traditionally served with rougaille sauce, and I have vague memories from buying a dahl pouri and sauce from a little street cart on a busy Mauritian street when I was there as a child. We all commented on how delicious the dahl pouri was, and it was even more delightful with the great rougaille sauce.

Vegetarian Platter - $28.00

The last dish to try was the Chicken Curry - which was served with some more Roti bread. You might think we would have already had enough of Roti bread - but let me tell you, you can never have enough! Although it was a little oily, the curry was great - I couldn't stop myself going back to the dish for more! The chicken was so soft and tender, and had soaked in all the great flavours from the curry. I also enjoyed mixing and matching this dish with the Potato Curry and Lentils from the previous dish, to create different tasty combinations in my mouth. Yum! The little side salad was also typically Mauritian to me - the tasty vinaigrette tasted just like my dad's!

Chicken Curry with Roti

Unfortunately for us, we couldn't taste any of the desserts after lunch as my sister had bought a cake to share at my grandma's house, and we were already quite full. However, I know I can rest assured knowing that I will surely be back to visit Pierre's Platter to take my parents there, and eat more Mauritian goodness, and no doubt some dessert.

I would recommend this little restaurant to everyone! For non-Mauritians, it is a great way to taste a unique cuisine, and for Mauritians, it is a great taste of home - and everyone will be able to enjoy the gorgeous setting!

Pierre's Platter is located in the Stumpy Gully Vineyard.

Pierre's Platter on Urbanspoon

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