Rawsons, Epping Club | Review
Effective advertising is what me bought me to Rawson’s that day. I saw an ad on Facebook with a fancy looking dish cooked by a Michelin starred chef, intrigued I clicked on the link and discovered you could get a three course lunch for $39- bargain! And it wasn’t too far from our old university, so we gathered our uni friends and made a booking for a nice Sunday lunch and joked it was to celebrate our 7 year friend-versary. There was a study going around saying that if you are friends with someone for 7 years then you are friends for life, not sure how valid the study is but hey, any occasion for a celebration.
When I made the booking, I was under the impression that we were getting one of the two private dining rooms available but when we arrived we were ushered to a table in the main space. Which wasn’t an issue because we had a few last minute drop outs so our group ended up being smaller on the day, when we mentioned that to the wait staff, it got them a little flustered as they tried to find us a table (in the near empty restaurant). We were finally seated and had to admit the restaurant was decorated very nicely, trendy, warm and upscale.
We were handed menus and there were about four options for each course although none of the dessert options took our fancy, so we decided to just go for the two course meal. However, the waiter came over and ran through the specials, one which was a mango and lemon soufflé served with a mango gelato- yum! To make the occasion feel even more celebratory we ordered the Barefoot Bubbly (cheap at $24) and were pleasantly surprised that despite its cheap price it was a crisp, sweet bubbly.
For the entrée I ordered the squid ink calamari risotto. For an entrée, the portion was quite generous and very well-seasoned. Having cooked squid ink pasta before I wasn’t thrown off by the appearance but some friends who hadn’t,found the dish very visually unappealing. I also tasted one of the specials my friend ordered, the pate with cherry chutney which was nice but the pate was quiet strong and you got quite a large serving so might be a little much if you don’t intend on sharing.
For my main I ordered the poached chicken with sourdough puree and crispy chicken skin. The last poached chicken I had was at Koi and it was absolutely delicious and so I was hoping for something similar. The chicken was moist but average in taste, thankfully it was served with the puree to add some flavour although after a while I found the puree a bit strong and ended up leaving half of it and crunching on the highlight of the dish- the salty, crispy chicken skin.
As mentioned previously, I ordered the lemon soufflé with the mango sorbet and sauce which is also what half my friends ordered. The other half ordered the affogato. The affogatos arrived first and despite my aversion to coffee, they looked good. Three scopes of ice cream served in a large cocktail glass with a drizzle of caramel sauce and a side shot of coffee. I had a bite of the ice cream and caramel sauce and it was pretty nice. Our souffles came soon after and we oo-d and ahh-d the solid rise of the soufflé. Beside the soufflé, was a small ramekin of the sorbet and a mini jug of the mango sauce. We broke the top of the soufflé with our spoons and I was impressed that it didn’t implode. The top layer of the soufflé was really nice but as we dug a little deeper we found that under the top layer the soufflé was very very runny! After we realised that all 3 of ours were the same we started to think that maybe it was on purpose but it did just taste like it was taken out of the oven too early. Pouring the sauce on the liquid soufflé seemed a bit silly but we did and it did make it taste nice but it felt like we were having dessert soup. The sorbet was nice, and we ended up only getting part way through the soufflé and just having the sorbet as our dessert.
Overall, the entrée and the main were nice but not at the standard we were expecting given it was a Michelin starred chef. The dessert (which often is the highlight of my meals) was a disappointment and made me wish that we just stuck to our original thought to order the two course meal and go elsewhere for dessert. Perhaps our expectations were too high for a 3 course meal priced at $39, if you just want a nice feed try out Rawsons but if you want a food experience then pay the extra and go to somewhere like Koi (a bit on the cheaper end) or Quay (on the high end).