Out with Diane (refer to Lygon Charcoal Grill review for the history of Diane) and a few friends desperate to get into Cumulus Inc.
But we rocked up on a Wednesday night and they said a 25 minute wait and we said see ya later. Not that desperate obviously. Been there many times and will be many more.
But it was raining and we did become desperate to eat somewhere so we tried Pappa Goose which did not look too full.
The waiter directed us upstairs for a drink and a wait for 10-15 minutes.
25 minutes later, by the time we got our menu and thinking we could have been at Cumulus, my friend reminded me that we could have gone to Il Bacaro at these prices.
The atmosphere is a bit bland and remains that way throughout the whole night.
Pappa Goose has modern British fare. My friend noted that none of the mains jumped out and said grab me. I think she feels that way about Brits generally.
Diane suggested some entrees. Good suggestion Diane.
As a taster we got a free little tea cup of pumpkin soup with roasted pine nuts. "A nice contrast" noted Diane.
There was a long wait for entrees but they were very good. Kingfish ceviche with calamari and a smudge of squid ink and some peas and pea puree dotted around was artistic and tasty. Diane was not sure on the peas (not the puree just the peas) but I thought they were a nice touch. The duck parfait with brioche and fruit compote was also excellent.
There was conjecture on the difference between pate and parfait and bread and brioche. We thought brioche had more butter and cream and the waiter confirmed this view.
As for pates and parfaits, Diane commented that parfait is a lot lighter and by the way "chicken liver is a poor man's pate".
Ok - well I actually quite like the good old brandy port and sage pate made of chicken liver but it appears that I am more simple than Diane.
Another long wait before mains, in fact the wait was too long. This place was not burgeoning with customers but maybe the intricacies and complexity of the cooking really slows things down - more chefs ploise.
In between, one of the waiters really encouraged us to order some sides - why?
A friend and I order the lamb stew which was excellent but just way too small for $38 - that is why. Some pieces were stewed for 12 hours but they were literally the size of a 1 cent coin. Thank god I loaded up on bread during the long waits.
Diane ordered pork with apple and radish which he thought worked very well together. There was much discussion about Diane's home life. He still lives at home with his parents, treating the house like a hotel and rating his mum's meal every night. In fact Diane forgot to tell his parents that he was not going to be home for dinner. No problem though "I can go for round two at home" he said.
There is no doubt that the produce and the cooking here are very good.
But my friend who ordered the steak summed up the present and future of Pappa Goose very well " I don't like to be told that I need to order sides when I order a $44 steak".