Friday, 1 October 2010

shakahari v

My friend Matthias is in town, and I went to meet him at his hotel in Carlton...sadly there was no booking for him! But he was fresh off the plane and really hungry, and had to lug all his stuff around until he could find a new hotel, so we stayed close to Carlton and nabbed a table at Shakahari last night.

I was super excited to find out that next week is a new menu, and they are easing it in! The old menu has some items crossed off, and we were presented with a hand-written replacement! It was a bit hard to read, fair warning, if you go there before it gets typed up.

new couscous main at shakahari

Off the new menu, Matthias ordered the new couscous dish, which featured really delicious chickpeas in a great sauce, with almonds, roasted tomatoes, and a lot (A Lot) of parsley. This dish was really tasty, and I look forward to ordering myself some time.

risotto potpie at shakahari

I went for the risotto pot pie (gf), which has been on the menu for a while but I had yet to actually sample. I really liked it! Not an overly exciting flavour, but the addition of pine nuts made it really fun, and it was a nice dish. The accompanying vegetables were good, except for the mushrooms, which were half cooked and not that nice to eat.

vegan almond panacotta at shakahari

For dessert we both ordered the vegan almond panacotta (gf), which is new to the menu. This was an interesting dish. I liked the flavour of the panacotta, which was very mild, but it had a gritty texture which was a bit unexpected, and not at all like the beautiful smoothness of the tofu caramel. The panacotta is accompanied by an almond toffee and a very sweet citrus sauce. Both of these were way to sweet for me - I had to very lightly drizzle the sauce, otherwise it was too much for me, and I barely ate any of the toffee.

Overall, the new additions to the menu seem interesting, but there are still more things to try off it. The new dessert is fun, but I'm not sure it's really my thing. If you want to try the panacotta out, I recommend sharing it, it's a bit overwhelming on its own.



Previous shakahari visits one, two, zero, zero prime, three, four.

Shakahari
201 Faraday St
Carlton

6 comments:

Hannah said...

The almond pannacotta sounds really interesting, though it seems like they may need to strain the mixture a bit more to get rid of all the almond pulp!

It's so rare to find parsley in restaurant dishes these days, too... usually it's all about the coriander!

deb said...

I've always want to try Shakahari. I've read mixed reviews, but the main dishes look really good. Must get myself there sometime soon.

Toby said...

Wow. The pannacotta looks awesome.

Danni said...

TOFUUU CARAMELLLLLLLL!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Wow, that all looks lovely!

tevere said...

Keeping in mind your reservations, I tried the almond pannacotta today! (I thought that even if you found it too sweet, I might not-- I have a massive sweet tooth). I actually didn't mind the sweetness -- they've cut down on the amount of tuille, I only had a couple of fragments with sliced almonds embedded in them -- but the texture was. Ugh. Just unpleasantly slack and gritty. I also found the orange sauce verging on sickly: cough-syrup sweet, but with an edge of bitterness. On the other hand, my lunch partner raved about the pandan cheesecake, so maybe I'll try that one next time.

I had the green papaya salad for the main. Oddly sweet... I'd have preferred a better and more rounded flavour balance. They really need something to mimic fish sauce better... I'm not sure if that's what the nori was for (I've never encountered nori before in a papaya salad), but if it was to add umami then it didn't really work.