THE RYDGES POST

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Drink/Dine,Humour ian 3/24/2014

Welcome to Bacchus Kitchen Rules. Droves of viewers tuned in to see the MKR Big Red Truck roll into Brisbane and set up the mobile cook off on the banks of the Brisbane River in South Bank, just a menu’s toss from Rydges. We thought it might be fun to imagine the MKR judges, Pete and Manu, getting a little lost and arriving to sample the fare at our two hats restaurant, Bacchus…

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Ding Dong.

It’s the doorbell. No time for panic because preparation is complete. Our Head Chef, Mark Penna, and his team are ready for the challenge!

While Colin, our concierge, parks their heavily sponsored car, Manu and Pete head to the podium level. The dapper diners straighten their matching suits, say ‘bonjour’ and ‘g’day’ to waiter, Jean-Baptiste, who smiles and shows them to their table.

Curiously, they sit on the same side of the table. Cosy indeed, but lousy for conversation. That’s okay, however, these chaps are used to dining without talking – they have developed a secret code where raised eyebrows and quirky grins speak volumes.

Jean-Baptiste moves the cutlery to accommodate the seating arrangement and entrées are served…

For entrée Pete decides that there is nothing like a traditional prawn cocktail so he orders the prawn cocktail to discover that this is nothing like a traditional prawn cocktail. This one is a King Prawn and Cucumber Terrine with Preserved Lemon & Marie Rose. He is grinning like a Cheshire cat so he must be pleased with the presentation.

For his entrée Manu has chosen signature dish, the Pork Carbonara (‘carbonara’ macaroni with braised cheek, parmesan custard & slow cooked hen’s egg). He is also grinning like a chat de Cheshire donc il doit être satisfait de la présentation…

Both judges eat. Slowly. In silence. With their mouths closed, as their mothers taught them.

Pete’s left eyebrow arches like a sprayed caterpillar. He is obviously very impressed. Either that or he has wind. Manu’s brow furrows and he nods sagely. He’s also impressed. Either that or he has detected that Pete has wind.

The mains are served.

Pete has gone for the Salmon (seared with peas, mussel & chorizo salsa) while Manu ordered the signature main, the Pan Roasted Milly Hill Lamb (loin, slow-cooked shoulder, artichokes, pearl barley).

They again eat in silence, leaving not a skerrick on the plate. In fact, the plates are so clean they nearly sport that little animated sparkly thing that goes ‘ding’.  Cheshire cats indeed!

Time for dessert.

Pete has one eye on the White Chocolate Parfait with Amaretto & Coffee and the other on the Berry Crumble Soufflé. So does Manu. They share their desserts, each trying to get the bigger portion like two seagulls fighting over a chip. It is not pretty.

Pete and Manu’s eyes meet. The moment must be seized. They nod, give a simultaneous wry smile, spring to their feet, rip open their shirts and do a lap of the table, performing an overactive impression of flappy birds.

“Perfection!” Pete announces, climbing onto his chair. “Oui! Parfekshon!” Manu agrees. “Ten out of ten!” shouts Pete. Manu agrees, “Oui! Dix out of dix!!!”

Well! Were Mark, Jean-Baptiste and the team surprised at the judges’ reaction?! Not at all. Apparently it happens all the time…

For the full menu at Rydges South Bank’s Bacchus Bar Restaurant Pool, click here.

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