Far from being an overly romantic spot – no strolling musicians or breathtaking waterfront views – it’ll appeal to the courting twosome looking to keep things casual while still being fun enough for everyone involved.
The clincher lies in the food. It’s not fancy fare but food cooked with a lot of heart and soul (kudos to chef Seumas Smith, ex Esquina, ex Dinner by Heston), with unique flavours and textures that make for great dinner banter, and a bit of verbal foreplay, if so inclined.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been back to Moosehead Kitchen Bar, plan a return soon to sample its new dinner menu and make note of these standout dishes (order more to share) that we promise won’t disappoint.
Burrata, zucchini, Thai basil pesto, curry leaves ($21)
What’s not to love about this creamy Italian cheese? Here they’ve simply season the burrata with salt and pepper, and lashings of EVOO. Nothing special so far, indeed, but the trick lies in the mini melon-size balls of house-pickled (in chardonnay vinegar and sugar) zucchini bursting with a tangy sweetness, plus the gritty Thai basil pesto, and aromatic curry leaves; leaving just a touch of heat on the palate.
INKA fried eggs, chorizo, aioli, chive ($12)
Resist the urge to ask your date how she likes her eggs done. If she says, the Moosehead way, you’re in trouble. A dish that qualifies as brinner, the eggs are quickly cooked in the INKA oven (hence the subtle smokiness) and finished off with leeks and sautéed chorizo for a punch of rich, salty flavours. Simple food that’s done well is never a bad thing.
Hokkaido scallop crudo, apple, yuzu, wasabi ($21)
Playing a game mid-meal is one way to spice things up, and with this dish, you can, without looking like you’re trying too hard. Place two scallops (marinated in ponzu wasabi and yuzu), with bits of pickled green apples. With one, have it with shiso leaf, with the other, have it without, and get your date to weigh in his/her preference. For the record, we like ours with shiso. While sharper to the taste buds, it makes for a more complex mouthful.
O’Connor beef sirloin 300g, mushroom ketchup, roast spring onions ($62)
Before you raise your eyebrows at the price, consider that this is good quality grass-fed Irish beef that’s cooked in an INKA oven so there’ll be that all-important charcoal smoke. Also pay attention to the mushroom ketchup. It’s made with Swiss brown mushrooms that’s been blitzed and left for a day for its juices to collect. The juice is then turned into a gel and blended with chardonnay vinegar to make a sweet-sour sauce, which we wish Moosehead would bottle and sell. This is a sauce worth its house made label.
Grilled Lamb Chops roast sugar snap peas, romesco ($42)
Another cooked-in-the INKA oven dish, the Australian lamb (rubbed with Korean chilli flakes, maldon salt, coriander, cumin) is perfectly grilled. For us though, it’s the smokey romesco sauce made with roasted red peppers, pistachio and pine nuts, and an assortment of other condiments that’s just magical. Eat it with a touch of the cold pickled lemon zest and roasted peas to get a mouthful of beautiful flavours and contrasting textures.
Chocolate mousse, salted caramel, vanilla ice cream ($10)
Any avid Masterchef fan will know how hard it is to make a chocolate mousse. To make a masterful one though does require a bit of talent (and a deft touch).
At Moosehead Kitchen Bar, the mousse is made with dark chocolate (so it holds a slight bittersweet flavor) and folded with milk and cream for a super smooth consistency. Paired with medium sweet vanilla ice cream with salted caramel sauce, fresh candied peanut clusters and a chocolate soil that comprises crumbled chocolate cookies of flour, cocoa powder, butter and sugar, it’s a sweet ending that’s not too saccharine or predictable – exactly where all first (and third) dates should end off.