Cuisine: Creole, French, European
Location: Subiaco, Hay St
After my first visit to Equateur I had to come back and chose the restaurant to celebrate some personal achievements. Stepping in to the restaurant we were greeted by the ever smiling Mickael who took us to our table, offered us drinks and brought us menus. The menu constantly changes and while it isn’t extensive, it’s better to do a few dishes well than to offer many and do them poorly. I decided to explore more of the Reunion Island creole inspired cuisine and had some tough choices to make but went with the $60 set which includes an amuse bouche, an entrée, a main, and a dessert which is excellent value. It appears others have started to discover Equateur as there were other tables taken up over lunch.
First up is the amuse bouche of a crunchy samosa filled with gooey melted Emmenthal cheese served with a creole flavoured vegetable salsa. This is very different to what I’ve seen before but the rich creamy cheese offset by the spice of the vegetable mix makes for an interesting combination.
Creole Prawns, Avocado & Tomato Cocktail
Pumpkin & Choko Gratin with Parmesan Cheese & Tiger Prawns
The entrée was also an interesting dish. I was tossing up between the creole prawns or the pumpkin & choko gratin but opted for the latter. The richness of the cheese filling and the prawns, then the sweetness of the pumpkin, the intensified flavour of the sweet potato strands, and then the chokoes which nullify any intensity of the other elements make for an interesting combination that works very well. I’ve never eaten chokoes before. They’re like a cross between cucumber and zucchini but the flesh isn’t mushy. With some salad in balsamic vinegar this goes down a treat. Really enjoyable. What I find really interesting is the use of the strands of sweet potato. They’re dehydrated almost such that the intensity of the sweet potato is intensified, but not the sweetness which starts to dull. It’s a really interesting element to the dish which adds a unique flavour that the other elements cannot contribute. I have started to notice the use of this technique in the dishes I’ve eaten here. I like it.
Pan Fried Chicken Breast
flavoured in a creamy sauce with creole spices served with a sweet potato mash
I did have a small taste of the tender succulent chicken in a smooth sweet potato mash. It’s quite tasty and I was considering ordering this dish. Like my entrée, they once again use the strands but this time it’s with carrot instead of sweet potato. I prefer the sweet potato over the carrot in terms of the flavour it provides.
Beef Bourguignon a la Cocotte
served with a gratin dauphinois & crispy vegetables
As I had the beef bourguigon on my last visit, although the dish has since changed, I decided to try the creole snapper curry. The snapper curry was a chunk of succulent snapper immersed in a spicy, slightly acidic, tomato based sauce. I was expecting the fish to be diced up but this dish is very different to the curry I imagined. It’s a chameleon. It starts off like a tomato based sauce you would associate with calamari, then the acid of lemon and the flavour of the kaffir lime leaves comes through, and then right at the end is a chilli kick that leaves a tang on your tongue. The dish is served with spiced rice, soft lentils, and a tomato onion chilli salad in a fish oil like dressing which at times can carry quite a chilli kick. The meal is deceptively filling as are the dishes before, and in no time you are very full. For a curry, it doesn’t exactly bear any resemblance to that from India or Asia, the flavours are interesting and very enjoyable.
Chocolate & Ginger Mousse Topped Up with a Meringue
I did have a little taste of this and the chocolate mousse was light, smooth, and full of flavour. The meringue was just firm on the outside from the blow torch which stiffened the outer and soft and spongy on the inside. I didn’t eat enough to detect the ginger flavour which I thought is a little unusual in a chocolate mousse but not sure if it worked or not.
Vanilla Crème Brulee Served with a Homemade Smoothie
Despite feeling really full, there’s the small matter of dessert to consider. That cannot be passed up. I had eyed off the vanilla crème brulee when I initially had looked at the menu and that is what I stuck with. The vanilla crème brulee was superb. Full of vanilla flavour, smooth, but surprisingly, not rich. I was able to easily polish this off in no time such was the ease of the dessert. Generally when you eat this dessert you get about half way or three quarters of the way through and then it becomes a struggle. It was also served with a pear smoothie which contrasted to the brulee, though, I thought it didn’t pair too well. It still tasted good and with the sliced strawberries and syrup on the plate, the dessert was delicious. So yum.
Equateur Food Review Summary
Verdict: My second visit to Equateur’s Reunion Island creole inspired dishes was just as good as the first. The ever smiling Mickael looks after his customers very well and provides excellent service. I started with an amuse bouche of an Emmenthal filled samosa with a creole vegetable salsa which was delicious. The entrée of pumpkin & choko gratin was an interesting pairing of elements with juicy tiger prawns and those lovely strands of intensified sweet potato. The chunk of creole snapper curry was tender, succulent and contained an interesting mix of flavours – tomatoey, acidic, spicy. With the spiced rice, lentils, and tomato onion chilli salsa, there was plenty to amuse the tastebuds. To finish, the vanilla crème brulee was nothing short of superb. A definite favourite, this version was unusually not rich which made it easy to eat and I truly polished it off with much glee. The 3 course meal at $60 is excellent value and with excellent friendly service from Mickael and quality flavoursome dishes, I can see why booking is essential.
Price: Moderately Expensive
Recommendation: Highly Recommend
See my other blog post:
Food review of Equateur – May 2014
Equateur Restaurant Details
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