Where: Chester White (302 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, VIC, 3122)
What: Casual dinner with old friends
We have been fortunate enough to be visited by two sets of international guests in the last five days - old friends from both Germany and the USA. For the latter cohort we opted for a modern, European meal at Chester White.
I was initially thrilled to see jugs of cocktails on the menu and couldn't resist trying the Pimm's (Royal wedding, anyone?). Perhaps this was not the most prudent choice for a brisk Autumn evening, but I am pleased to report that it was nevertheless refreshing and delicious. Any sort of communal eating/drinking is a bonus in my opinion (I'm a sharer!), so I was happy that our entire party could enjoy the beverage.
Next on the agenda were the fried Padrón peppers with sea salt, sherry vinegar and aïoli. This classic Spanish dish was another great menu item to share. Roughly one in ten of the diminutive green peppers are spicy - the remainder are sweet. Oh how I love gambling on unexpected flavours! Our American guests seemed to have quite a knack for selecting the hot peppers - indeed, I believe they consumed all of them (much to our amusement!). Perhaps this is some sort of American talent of which I was hitherto unaware!
Following entrée, my beloved and I decided to share a couple of pizzas (are we noticing a trend here?). My Jamón pizza (with Tomato, fior di latte, basil and jamón serrano) was excellent and my beloved's Porcini, button mushroom and roast garlic choice was likewise flavoursome and generous.
The final bill was reasonably priced - approximately $50 per head for two courses plus a drink.
Overall, I was impressed by the quality of food at Chester White. The only negative of the evening: a little difficulty in hearing each other - the result of an abundance of hard surfaces and a close to fully booked establishment. Oh, and one last thing. Make sure you get *good* directions to the toilet - I ended up wandering Burwood Rd for about 10 seconds before I realised where it was hidden....
I think I'll leave it at that....