THE OLD CROW, 172 NEWCASTLE STREET, NORTHBRIDGE
A new edition to Newcastle Street; The Old Crow opened at the end of June and offers early morning coffee and lunch through to cocktails, wine and dinner in the evening. The chef is Ben Atkinson (ex Cantina 663) and the restaurant is in a renovated old house with a lovely little courtyard right next to the footpath. It will be a great spot in the summer for people-watching – especially with all the “colourful characters” of my neighbourhood!
The cocktail list is made up of classic cocktails (as is the norm in 2013), a lot of them originating in New Orleans; such as the Hurricane, Sazerac and Ramos Gin Fizz – which fits in with the Creole/Cajun/Southern theme of the cuisine.
I ordered a Southern Gentleman – Maker’s Mark, lemon juice, 1883 vanilla syrup, mint, crushed blackberries. After an initial bourbon hit, the blackberries came through. Good, fresh flavours, very enjoyable.
Gav had a Ramos Gin Fizz, invented by Henry C Ramos in 1888, one of New Orleans’ most famous cocktails. Orange blossom water, cream and soda is what differentiates the drink from an ordinary gin fizz. Gav liked the flavour but found it a bit too creamy.
I had the House Boudin Noir Cake for my entree, which came with quince aioli and pickles. Perfectly cooked, moist black pudding, well matched with the contrast of sweet quince aioli and the tart gherkins. A very nice dish.
Gavin’s Char-Grilled Cuttlefish was another nice dish. The cuttlefish was served with chipotle and creme fraiche.
My Fried Jerk Chicken with rice and beans and yoghurt was not quite what I was expecting but the chicken was amazing. Succulent meat and crisp skin with just the right amount of spice. The only minor problem was that it was very hot as it was served in the dish it was cooked in, straight out of the oven, and I was struggling to wait for it to cool down!
And then I tried Gavin’s main – major menu envy! Slow Roasted Short Rib with buckwheat polenta and soused peppers – the meat was tender, juicy, smoky – just perfect. I would have ordered this had Gavin not chosen it, I’m not going to lie – I was disappointed that I didn’t!
Dinner – 25 July 2013